By Chris Murphy FORMER Leeds University student turned television presenter Jenni Falconer is set to become the envy of millions of viewers after landing a dream job.
The 27-year-old is to follow in the footsteps of Judith Chalmers after being named as the host of ITV'(s new flagship holiday programme.
Jenni, who studied Spanish, Italian and Management Studies degree at Leeds University, will front a new programme called How to Holiday from January 2004.
Her first break in television was as a contestant on Blind Date in 1994 – while she was still at university. Then aged 19, Jenni picked Donda Michaelas – a 20-stone fish fryer from Kent – as her date and the pair spent four days together in Brittany.
Predictably, there was no chemistry between the couple, although Jenni did impress in media circles and a flood of offers came in.
She presented The Big Country on BBC Scotland before joining ITV's current affairs show 3D as a reporter. She then went on to front the consumer programme We Can Work It Out.
Her real breakthrough came in 2000 when she bagged a job on GMTV's Entertainment Today.
The new show, co-hosted by Dominic Littlewood, will visit one location per instalment exploring the different ways of enjoying it according to a small or large budget.
Jenni said: "Everyone loves going on holiday, but I never imagined being given this fantastic opportunity to travel the world for a living.
"I love travel presenting. The only downside is we are working so hard I've hardly had time to top up my tan."
Jenni replaces Judith Chalmers, who is retiring, as the high-profile holiday hostess, but she says she is glad the channel chose to create a new programme rather than continue with Wish You Were Here?
She added: "Judith is wonderful. She's an institution and no one could possibly replace her."