A bag of contradictions. That’s how CliffCentral presenter Leigh-Ann Mol describes herself. Smart, but sometimes intellectually clumsy and naive. Rational and reasonable but a hopeless romantic who is just as likely to follow her heart. A serious, critical thinker with a wicked sense of humour.
Smart as a whip, bright as a button and naughtier than a sackful of monkeys, this Mol is the straw that stirs the drink on CliffCentral. Just as likely to burst into tears at the tale of a starving dog as she is to give a guest an acerbic tongue lashing for an incorrect pronunciation, Leigh-Ann is an enigma.
Leigh-Ann is never happier than when buried in a book, hair scraped back and spectacles perched on her nose. Hers is an enquiring mind; journalism called her. After school she completed a BA in Communications at RAU (now the University of Johannesburg) before joining the SABC as part of the broadcaster’s first internship programme in 1998.
Six months later, and with hands-on experience in radio and TV news field reporting and anchoring, story writing, bulletin production and voice training, Leigh-Ann was appointed to the SABC radio news desk where she began compiling news bulletins for 5FM, MetroFM and SAfm.
Her obsession with the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, combined with a fiercely competitive desire to break a story first meant that she was destined to make the newsroom her home. Six months later, in January 1999, she took up the position of 5FM news anchor.
Since then Leigh-Ann presented the news for various shows, including Just Plain Darren (with Darren Scott) and The Mark Gillman Show. In 2007 she joined 5FM Mornings with Gareth Cliff then made the bold move with her team to CliffCentral, where, she admits, she has to roll with the punches. “Every day is a challenge working with Gareth and the team!” she laughs, adding that her strong, outspoken disposition and resolve to generally say what she thinks stands her in good stead to deal with the day-to-day challenges of broadcasting.
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