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Dermot O’Leary

The broadcaster, TV presenter and author talks about what inspires him, what riles him, and how everyone should have a few regrets

I learned how to keep going during low points when I was 14 years old, playing rugby for a team in Colchester where I grew up. Not only did we never win a game, we never even scored a point! It was a big life lesson - I learned about teamwork, sticking together and endurance. I still play five-a-side football with two of the guys from that team; we’ve been friends for nearly 30 years.

I believe in a meritocracy; you have to work hard at something if you want to succeed. After university, I knew I wanted to get into TV and I wrote 300 letters to production companies and got something like 295 rejections. I got a job as a runner with a documentary company and did work experience on the weekends for the radio station BBC Essex. That was my apprenticeship.

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