​Generation Next: Lilah Parsons

The model turned TV and radio presenter reveals the secrets of her success

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Lilah Parsons could be a poster child for Generation Slashie – model, presenter, part-time DJ: her CV is as varied as Parsons is in demand.

Scouted at a party when she was 20 years old, Parsons put her degree course at the London College of Fashion on hold to model full-time (she was named as a 'face to watch' in 2010) for brands including Chanel and Vivienne Westwood, before making the move into presenting – first on TV, then radio.

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In January this year, Parsons took up her current role as co-host of the Capital Breakfast Show, a job she describes as her 'dream'.

'I got a job on an ITV2 show as a model,' Lilah Parsons says of her navigation of that notoriously tricky transition from modelling to media four years ago.

'I really enjoyed it and thought I'd like to do more TV, so I approached an agent. The next thing I knew I was screen testing for MTV. In hindsight, I was extremely lucky to get such a quick start in the industry.'

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Parsons makes it sound easy, but like every so-called 'overnight success' it's a story that involves lots of good old-fashioned hard work.

'Being a presenter is all about putting the hours in and learning the trade and getting that confidence,' she asserts.

Parsons spent a year at independent station Hoxton Radio before landing her current gig as co-host of the breakfast show at London's highest rating radio station and urges anyone else to do the same. 'I learnt so much,' she says of the experience.

Her advice is simple: 'Just get out there and make some content', citing YouTube as a 'great tool' for the wannabe presenter.

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'Start interviewing people at uni, on the street, at local events,' she enthuses. 'You don't have to use fancy equipment, just get the ball rolling.'

Parsons credits her 'very tight-knit family' as giving her the confidence and support to pursue her ambitions, even if 'they don't have a clue what half of it is,' she laughs. 'I get questions from them like, "So who is this Justin Bieber?", which is always amusing.'

So what's next? 'Hopefully I'll stay at Capital for a while. It's still so new for me – every day is different and the level of guests we get on is incredible. I can't even think about where I'll be in five years' time – I'd like to still be doing this in 20 years' time. It's my dream!'

LILAH'S STYLE FILE

How would you define your personal style?

I definitely wear too much black - it's my safety net. In the day I live in Converse, jeans and my leather jacket but for events I like to be more feminine. I own a lot of dresses.

Do you enjoy dressing up?

I love it, but only every now and again. I'd hate it if I had to do it every day, but for a special event I do love to go all out and wear something really beautiful and have my hair and make-up done. I went to the British Fashion Awards recently in an amazing Burberry dress. I felt great – but I was desperate to get my heels off by the end of the night.

What jewellery do you like to accessorise your looks with?

I like quite delicate jewellery – layering up some chains and a few stacking rings. I love gold, silver and rose, but I never mix metals so I just go with what works with my outfit. And I love stones, but again they need to be subtle and delicate – I'm not into big costume jewellery. 

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