Simon's dream job as weatherman
A FORMER Royston resident will soon be making an appearance on your television sets. Simon King has just started broadcasting the weather at the BBC. He can be seen on News 24 and on the BBC Weather website, forecasting and presenting the world and UK wea
A FORMER Royston resident will soon be making an appearance on your television sets.
Simon King has just started broadcasting the weather at the BBC. He can be seen on News 24 and on the BBC Weather website, forecasting and presenting the world and UK weather.
Simon grew up in Royston, attending Tannery Drift School and then Roysia Middle School.
The 28-year-old said: "I got interested in the weather when I was about 11 or 12 when I was at Roysia. We did a project on the weather and went out onto the field with all the instruments, and my interest grew from there.
"I was always very focussed on becoming a weatherman, so when I went on to Meridian School I concentrated on maths and science with a view to getting into university."
After taking his A levels at Long Road Sixth Form College in Cambridge, his enthusiasm for the weather led him to study for a BSc in Environmental Science of the Earth and Atmosphere and then an MSc in Applied Meteorology, both at the University of Reading.
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Simon joined the Met Office in July 2005 as a forecaster in the Mobile Met Unit, a specialist unit whose members are also sponsored reserve officers in the RAF.
After his forecaster training with the Met Office and specialist RAF officer training he
was deployed on his first tour of duty to Basra, Iraq. He provided weather forecasts for many elements of the RAF and army. Simon told The Crow about his experiences out there:
"I was out there for four months and it was an extremely challenging experience," he said.
"The weather conditions are obviously very different to the UK, and I was having to predict the patterns of dust storms and other things which could affect the operations of the RAF.
"I stayed on the base, but there was always the threat of rocket attack looming, and we had a few close calls."
In August 2008 he swapped his formal military briefings for a more conventional style when he joined the BBC Weather team.
Simon described his feelings on working for the world famous broadcaster:
He said: "I've always wanted to be a television weatherman. You see those guys on X-Factor and programmes like that whose dream is to be a singer. Well this is my dream, so I'm delighted to have fulfilled it."
He started by doing a variety of BBC services including the news channel, interactive and world.
"You progress based on experience, so in a year or so I'm hoping to be doing the lunchtime weather on BBC1. Then you can move onto the 6pm and 10pm news slots," he said.
Simon's love for weather even plays a part in his other interest in extreme sports. He loves the snow and during the winter he likes nothing more than hurling himself down a mountain on a snowboard.
He now lives in Reading with his wife Emma, and enjoys walking, camping and other outdoor activities.
But can Simon promise the people of Royston a white Christmas this year?
"You never know," he said. "I think it's a mild Christmas forecast this year, but with the advent of global warming we could have a freak snowstorm like we had a few weeks ago.