Television presenter and journalist Ranvir Singh, who hails from Lancashire, will be fronting a new ITV show featuring incredible real life stories. Ranvir chats to AASMA DAY about the show which will be aired tomorrow and how the truth is always more extraordinary than fiction.
Former Kirkham Grammar School pupil Ranvir Singh says she is often asked who is the most famous person she has interviewed.
The truth is, I don’t get half as excited about meeting someone famous as I do about meeting genuine, real people who are going to tell you something incredible
The question still leaves journalist Ranvir, 37, feeling perplexed and at a loss as what to answer.
Ranvir explains: “I can honestly hand-on-heart never think of an answer when people ask me about interviewing well known people.
“The truth is, I don’t get half as excited about meeting someone famous as I do about meeting genuine, real people who are going to tell you something incredible.”
Modestly, Ranvir doesn’t put herself in the “famous” category and admits she gets embarrassed about telling people the title of the new series she will be fronting called: “Real Stories With Ranvir Singh.”
“I thought it was a joke when they first told me that was the title” laughs Ranvir. “I said: ‘Don’t be ridiculous - what’s the real title?’
“I always think of someone like Carol Vorderman or people who are really famous as having a show with their name in it.
“I’m only little old me. I can’t believe I am going to be in a show with my name in it!”
Ranvir adds jokingly: “Maybe they came up with the title and had to find someone to fit the name! If that was the case, I would happily change my name each time I wanted a job fronting a show!
“I feel embarrassed telling people the title of the new series because of my name being in it.
“But I am also chuffed about it.”
Real Stories With Ranvir Singh is a six-episode current affairs series which will tell the tales of the ordinary people involved in some of the most extraordinary events to have hit UK headlines.
ITV says that the new series, which will also involve reporter Michael Underwood, will feature “astonishing video footage and compelling interviews.”
Ranvir was involved with the concept from the start as she was approached while doing a documentary called Sham Marriages and told that there were six half-an-hour programmes over the summer which they wanted her to do and that it was a blank canvas so she should think about what she wanted to do.
Ranvir says: “A team of us talked about lots of different things we wanted to do and what we came up with was very much a human interest show.
“It is pure human drama and will feature moments in people’s lives that others would struggle to imagine being in.
“Normally, in the news programmes I am used to doing, you only get two or three minutes of an interview and are left wanting more.”
Ranvir, who was a pupil at Kirkham Grammar School before going on to study English and philosophy at Lancaster University and later a Postgraduate Diploma in broadcast journalism at the University of Central Lancashire, says she believes all her years in frontline journalism helped her when interviewing the real people behind the headlines.
Ranvir, who worked at Radio Lancashire before co-presenting North West Tonight with Gordon Burns for several years, explains: “It is a really powerful series featuring real people’s stories that have actually happened.
“They are extraordinary moments that have happened to someone or that someone has dealt with in their lives.
“One of the most emotional interviews I did for the series was an interview with a young mum who is about to become a medical first in the UK.
“It is something that will make your jaw drop.
“It is psychologically difficult for her to deal with, but she is doing it for the sake of her six-year-old son.
“There are other stories that will make you feel a range of emotions. Some will make you angry.
“You get an insight into people’s thinking at an extraordinary moment in their life.
“It is all about those moments which change people’s lives.”
Real Stories With Ranvir Singh will be aired on Thursdays evenings – starting tonight.
Ranvir says: “This show will be on at the traditional time for soaps.
“But this is the drama of real life which is not scripted or filmed dozens of times.
“Truth is always far more extraordinary than fiction.”
Ranvir, who has a son who is almost three, says the tales featured in the show will strike a chord with viewers.
She says: “These are stories that will resonate with us and make us think: ‘There but for the grace of God.’
“They are things that will put your own life into perspective or make you feel inspired.
“Hopefully, the show is the perfect fit for me as real people’s stories is where my heart has always been.
“I have spent most of my career working on instinct.
“Whatever makes my jaw drop and heart race or has me shaking my head in disbelief, I am 99 per cent certain it is going to do the same for other people.”
Mike Blair, executive producer at ITV Studio’s factual division Shiver, says: “Ranvir brings all the warmth and empathy gained from her decade of front-line journalism experience to Real Stories With Ranvir Singh.
“It’s a current affairs series with people at its heart taking an in-depth look behind the headlines at the stories and issues that viewers really care about.”
Real Stories With Ranvir is series produced by Jemma Martinez and executive produced by Mike Blair for Shiver.
• Real Stories with Ranvir Singh airs on ITV1, Thursdays from tonight at 7.30pm,.