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BBC journalist hopes reporting with child by her side will inspire working mums

Photo of Anna Holligan doing interviews while holding her daughter Zena. The BBC foreign correspondent is aiming to inspire other working mothers by presenting news reports with her child in a buggy alongside her.

By Emily Chudy, PA

A BBC foreign correspondent is aiming to inspire other working mothers by presenting news reports with her child in a cargo bike alongside her.

Anna Holligan, who lives in The Hague, the Netherlands, can be seen delivering a piece to camera on the Eurovision Song Contest while her daughter Zena talks and laughs in the background.

“Oh the joys of breaking news on a non-school day,” she tweeted alongside a video of “out-takes” in which Zena tries to attract her attention while she is recording.

It is not the first time she has shared clips of Zena, four, accompanying her at work.

Ms Holligan says she has often had her daughter alongside her since a few days after she was born.

“I remember recording some radio links with her on my knee, as I was wheeled out of hospital following an emergency C-section,” she told the PA news agency.

“She’s usually pretty good at staying relatively quiet for a couple of minutes.

“In this instance, it was close to bedtime and she was excited about talking to our family in Scotland.”

“Initially I thought it was pretty natural to share glimpses of the juggle as I started to experience the challenges of working parenthood,” she added.

“While lots of people were hugely supportive, some weren’t and warned it could jeopardise my career.

“Covid changed this.

“Suddenly we were all forced to embrace the presence of our offspring… it was no longer a taboo – for some – to have your kids around.

“I no longer feel the anxiety associated with always trying to hide her – or apologise for her being around, this has been a huge liberation and removed so much of the pressure.”

Ms Holligan said that she had Zena with her on the most recent occasion due to it being a weekend, however she has no plans to include her in future reports.

She told PA: “The outtakes were funny, and we are all craving a little light in the darkness.

“She’s just as joyous as this snippet reveals – and she was happy for me to share, in fact when I asked she responded in a flash: ‘Why mummy, is it because I’m more interesting than you?’

“I decided to share on Twitter because so many young women who I admire so much have messaged me privately to say they’re inspired and find it reassuring to see there’s a way to have children without sacrificing their career.”

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