Isle of Wight resident and Britain’s first female weather presenter on ITV regional television said making her debut on-air was “absolutely terrifying” in the 1960s.

Appearing on ITV’s This Morning with Dermot O’Leary and Alison Hammond earlier in February, Hilary Langford, 80, of Totland Bay, was introduced alongside weather ‘icons’ Ulrika Jonsson, Emma Jesson, Laura Tobin, in a segment to mark 170 years of the Met Office.

Hilary revealed how she ended up on TV in 1966, aged 22 at the time, explaining that the job came about because her school-hood best friend’s father was the programme controller of Tyne Tees Television.

Isle of Wight County Press: Hilary Langford and other 'icon' weather presenters on ITV's This MorningHilary Langford and other 'icon' weather presenters on ITV's This Morning (Image: ITV Studios/PA)

While working at the Flora Robson Playhouse theatre in Newcastle, he asked Hilary if she would like to appear on a new item being put together for local news.

Hilary said she thought about it for two seconds before replying yes!

Two days after their conversation, the news producer called Hilary to the ITV studio, where she was handed a script about the weather and sent to make-up and wardrobe before being put live on air.

“No rehearsal, nothing. It was absolutely terrifying, and that’s how they did it in 1966," she added.

Isle of Wight County Press: Hilary Langford on ITV's This MorningHilary Langford on ITV's This Morning (Image: ITV Studios/PA)

Hilary continued her work at the theatre during her nine-month stint on TV, heading to the studio at 4pm and presenting the weather during the 6pm news.

Hilary would wear clothes during the broadcast in line with the forecast, including a sundress when it was hot or a gold-coloured raincoat when it was wet, but noted that no one could see the colour, as the broadcast was in black and white.

The Met Office was founded in 1854, but Hilary revealed that in the 1960s, they would get their weather forecasts from the Royal Air Force station in Boulmer near Alnwick.

“I just used to ring them up every day, and they used to produce the weather forecast”, she said.

“I was a bit of a trailblazer really, when I think about it.”

Isle of Wight County Press: Hilary on presenting the weather on ITV's Tyne Tees TelevisionHilary on presenting the weather on ITV's Tyne Tees Television (Image: Contributions)

Earning £3 a day for her Monday to Friday shifts – the equivalent of £70 today – Hilary spent her earnings on a red and white Triumph Herald. 

After leaving ITV, Hilary went on to secure roles at the BBC, including what she described as her ‘best job, as a booker, where she put artists and contributors under contract for their appearances on TV, mainly on dramas.

Hilary went on to live in the Lake District and Dorset with her husband David, where the couple ran hotels.

While living in the Lakes, and during the winter season when the hotel was closed, David would serve as the studio director of the children’s BBC show Blue Peter.

Hilary and David moved to Totland Bay ten years ago to join their daughter, Sarah. Their son lives in Dubai, plying his trade as an airline pilot, flying huge double-decker Airbus A380 planes.

Interestingly, Hilary’s connection with Totland goes back many decades, as she would often visit her father and stepmother, who lived in the village, with Sarah spending her first birthday on the Island.

Hilary celebrated her 80th birthday on Tuesday (February 20), spending her special day with family and friends and enjoying a nice meal out.

Isle of Wight County Press: Hilary at North East NewsviewHilary at North East Newsview (Image: Contributions)