Broadcaster Jill gets MBE
Borders-born sports presenter Jill Douglas has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours list.
Jill, whose media career began with the Southern Reporter, has covered a number of sports for Sky, the BBC and ITV, including rugby, cycling and athletics, and has been a firm fixture in the BBC’s Olympics coverage, covering the many achievements of such greats as Sir Chris Hoy.
For the past few years, she has helped raise awareness of the disease MND, as CEO of the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, having become friends with Doddie Weir during the early part of her career.
Jill, who was raised in Bonchester Bridge and attended Jedburgh Grammar School, also fronted ITV Border’s Lookaround programme in 1993 before being snapped up by the Beeb.
When the letter popped through the door informing her of the impending award, she said she didn’t quite believe it.
She said: “I had to double-check what it was.
"But I was delighted. I’ve had a very fortunate career, and have had a long time in sports broadcasting.
"Over the years, I’ve seen some amazing things and also involved myself in other projects and tried to do as best I can for sport and the work in charity that I’ve undertaken.
"So, it's great to be recognised, but I feel this also reflects the work of the brilliant teams I have been involved with over the years, whether it be sports broadcasting, helping out with the local rugby club or working with the foundation, I’ve been surrounded by some really excellent people.
"So I think this is a bit of recognition for everybody that's been involved in my various careers.”
She said her time at the Southern Reporter was the foundation for her career in sport.
She added: “I learned the trade there, working under editor John Smail in Selkirk. It was a great place to start off and it was like a launchpad for everything that came afterwards, so I’ll be eternally grateful for that.”
She said she managed to keep the award secret, only telling her husband, former rugby international Carl Hogg.
But there was one person not happy about that.
She said: “Doddie Weir called me up to complain that I hadn’t told him, but he was awarded the OBE a couple of years ago and he never told me.”