Meet E! News Asia's new host, Yvette King
Now that's entertainment

by Adibah Isa

It was one of those mornings.

Upon entering the Buro pop-up, I stumbled into the hair and makeup room to find Yvette King. If my brain hadn't fully functioned before then, it's certainly awoke in a jolt now. Oh yes — I suddenly recalled that she's shooting with us that day.

"Hi!" I exclaimed, slowly retreating. "Oh hey," she shot back in the lilting, Aussie drawl you could recognise anywhere. With a mobile in hand (King is very plugged in, with a blog and accounts on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook which she updates regularly), her eyes dart back and forth from her stylists and mobile to her brown, slightly almond-shaped upturned eyes across the mirror.

King's no stranger to doing everything all at once. A regular on the hosting circuit, she possesses a face and voice you'd recognise from red carpet events, launches, premieres and television programs such as those screened on Fox Sports.

With her profile swiftly on the rise, it's still a surprise that people occasionally get her name wrong — recently, Starbucks scrawled "Evad" on her cup instead of her actual name. Not for long though — with her newly appointed gig as host for E! News Asia, she's really playing in the big leagues now. A dream job that's been 10 years in the making, it was on a vision board she placed in her wardrobe when she first moved to Singapore.

Watching her channel high-fashion ease in frocks by Chanel and Bottega Veneta, it's obvious that King's a natural. She knows her body well, is comfortable in front of the camera and doesn't need much direction.

"You certainly need a spark or a quirk about you
that sets you apart."
Tweed jacket, tweed trousers and pearl necklace by Chanel.

First things first: What are the most Aussie and Korean things about you?
The fact that I religiously eat Vegemite on toast with avocado every morning and I'm obsessed with beaches and denim shorts... And I call flip-flops their true name, thongs. I add spice and chilli to every meal — must have been all that kimchi I ate growing up. I can be very bossy and strong willed very much like my Omma.

What was your first hosting gig?
I was a video journalist for The Daily Telegraph online and we heard word that seagulls at a popular tourist spot were so brash and aggressive that they would swipe food right out of your mouth! Of course, the producers sent me on this gig and yes, one of my first on camera experiences was presenting a piece being attacked by birds! The story ended up being quite popular and actually got picked up by a TV breakfast program called Today!

What's a day in the life of Yvette King like?
Varied. Always starts with a big coffee — black, no sugar. Most days, I'm in the studio or taping in the evening so in the morning I'm usually in my PJs for as long as possible doing emails. If I'm feeling particularly guilty, I'll go and do a Pilates class.

Who's the most famous person you've interviewed?
Beckham. David Beckham. Like Bond, James Bond but cooler and real! An interview with arguably the world's most famous man in front of thousands of onlookers and the world's media on a stage at Marina Bay Sands. It was one of those surreal moments that was a little out of body. I actually left that encounter more of a fan of him than I was in the first place (which I didn't think possible) as he was so professional, kind and gracious.

Cashmere knit dress by Chanel. Ring by Gucci.

"I wrote my bucket list of goals on an old lunch receipt years ago that included —
at the top — that I would be holding this microphone."

Dress by Bottega Veneta. Earrings by Céline.
When's the most nervous you've ever been on the job?
Probably pre-interview for Naomi Campbell's press conference for Digital Fashion Week. She was fashionably late, which just added to the tension and anticipation. But once she was sitting there on the couch with a smile on her face, the nerves just dissipated. I saw her the next day in the epi-centre of what seemed like hundreds of staff. We made eye contact and she said, "Hello Yvette". Oh my god did Naomi just remember my name?!

What makes a good interview?
Making it less of an interview and more like a conversation — making your subject feel comfortable and at ease. Knowing who you're talking to — doing your research certainly helps. Also, if they offer a side to themselves you've never seen before, that's a good interview.

What makes a bad interview?
Being too self indulgent as an interviewer. It's not about you!

Would you call yourself an intuitive person? Do you think intuition is essential in a journalist?
I don't know about intuition, but you certainly need a spark or a quirk about you that sets you apart. You're always looking for an angle, and having a different approach usually works.

Is this your dream job?
This really has been 10 years in the making. I wrote my bucket list of goals on an old lunch receipt many years ago that included — at the top — that I would be holding this microphone. I also had a vision board up in my wardrobe when I moved to Singapore that I looked at every day for years. But sometimes chasing a TV presenting job and a very specific one at that can feel like you're chasing a unicorn. I am still pinching myself.
"I think viewers sniff out inauthenticity straight away"
As a person in the public eye, how much of yourself is there, and how much of it is "the host Yvette King"?
I try to be as much of myself on camera as possible (while trying to stay professional of course!) as I think viewers sniff out inauthenticity straight away. Plus, it's journalism, not acting, so you have to just be yourself — that's the best tip someone gave me when I was starting out. The only difference is that the girl on screen is a more animated version.

Do you like hearing the sound of your own voice? I know journalists (myself included) who cringe when they listen to their recordings.
Who let that awful, nasal stranger speak?! It's hideous and I never get used to it. It's a tone that cuts through a crowded room.

What's something new you'd like to bring into the entertainment scene? What do you think's outdated?
One thing for sure is that in the Internet age, you don't need to wait to hear the news on the TV at 7pm — it's out there already almost as it happens. That's the challenge. I think there's a trend of people craving the candid.

Who do you look up to in this industry and why?
Giuliana Rancic wrote about news anchor Barbara Harrison who inspired her to pursue a career in journalism. Giuliana was that poster girl for me. Not only because she looked like she was having the most fun in the world at so-called "work", but also because she changed the face of entertainment news when she became managing editor of E! News, coupled with the fact that she had staying power. To work in television for over 10 years is a huge coup. She's irreverent and entertaining to watch.

What's the best advice you've been given?
Don't take yourself too seriously. Enjoy the journey, not just the result. Work hard. Don't give up. Believe in yourself. No one escapes this life alive so be bold. It all sounds cheesy, but they're true.

Finally, what makes an awesome, super likeable Instagram photo?
Honestly I have no idea! I will spend four hours photographing something with a DSLR, adding all these filters and no one gives a damn! Then I post an ice cream against a wall using an iPhone and suddenly the world is showering my feed with hearts! What the!?

Catch Yvette on E! – available on Singtel TV Ch328 & StarHub Ch441.

---------- Tweed jacket by Chanel. Pearl necklace by Chanel.

Photography: Vanessa Caitlin
Fashion direction: Dora Aljoofri
Styling assistance: Andrea Sim
Makeup: Larry Yeo using Yves Saint Laurent Beauté
Hair: Peter Lee/Hairloom using Goldwell
Lighting: Elinchrom, available at Cathay Photo