HE HAS interviewed Hollywood A-listers and leading politicians from around the world.

However, the very first time Channel 4 News anchor and Strictly sensation Krishnan Guru-Murthy was on the OTHER side of the microphone was right here at the Glasgow Times.

“My first interview was with your television writer at the time, Gavin Docherty,” he says, smiling. “I did work experience on a lunchtime BBC Scotland show that was broadcast from the Glasgow Garden Festival, called The Garden Party, and then got a job as a presenter on Open to Question, which was a youth debate show.

“Glasgow was a really fun place in 1988.”

Glasgow Times: Krishnan and Lauren dancing on StrictlyKrishnan and Lauren dancing on Strictly (Image: BBC)

He adds: “It was preparing for its year as City of Culture, and there was a lot going on. I stayed in a rented flat on Belhaven Terrace in the West End, hung about on Byres Road – it was great. I was just amazed by Glasgow restaurants, like the Rogano, the Ubiquitous Chip. And there were some really cool shops, like Cruise.”

It was a big deal for an 18-year-old, admits Krishnan, to present a show like Open to Question, where an audience of teenagers put questions to stars and politicians. His first interview, in October 1988, was with Jimmy Savile, whom he recalls as “cold, aggressive, slightly menacing.”

Writing for the Channel 4 News website in 2012, Krishnan also said: “I’ve never forgotten the creepy feeling he left me with.”

Open to Question was supposed to be a gap year diversion, says Krishnan, who grew up in Lancashire.

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“I was going to university to do medicine,” he says. “I thought doing some TV would be a bit of fun, but I loved it. So I changed my degree to politics, philosophy and economics.”

His parents “were fine about it”, he adds, smiling. “I think they would have been more concerned if I’d scrapped going to university completely. Although, it was only really when I started at Channel 4, when I was 28, that they stopped asking me when I was going back to medicine.”

Glasgow Times: Krishnan and professional partner Lauren OakleyKrishnan and professional partner Lauren Oakley (Image: BBc)

If he thought he was famous before he signed up to Strictly, being a part of the sparkly juggernaut that is the BBC’s biggest Saturday night entertainment show has taken things to the next level, he agrees.

“Naively, I thought after 35 years on telly I was quite well-known,” he says, with a laugh. “It turns out I wasn’t, not really. People love Strictly so much, they do want to talk to you about it.”

During a brief break in training for this week’s samba, Krishnan and professional dancer Lauren Oakley are discussing the partnership which has evolved between them over the last seven weeks.

“He is a very good student,” says Lauren, enthusiastically. “As the competition gets harder, the teaching gets easier. He’s understanding more about the best way to train, what works for him.”

Glasgow Times: Krishnan Guru-MurthyKrishnan Guru-Murthy (Image: Getty)

Krishnan agrees. “As the series goes on, you do pick up on some of the steps, it makes more sense,” he says. “People ask me what my dance wish-list is, but to be honest, I know so little about them all, I don’t really have one.

He adds, grinning: “Each week, Lauren tells me what we are doing, and I say, oh, that’s great – and what’s that? I just think they are all great fun.”

“The thing about Strictly is that you have be all in, you have to give 100 percent.”

Reflecting on the last seven weeks, Krishnan admits neither he nor Lisa, nor their children Jasmine and Jay really understood what taking part in Strictly would be like.

“I thought it would be a couple of weeks of fun, Jay thought it would be a couple of weeks of embarrassment,” he says, with a smile. “All of us have been confounded by the reality.

“But the whole family are really enjoying it, and want to be there each week, and offer me notes and critiques on things I could have done better..

He adds, laughing: “From knowing nothing about it, we’re all armchair experts now.”

Even if it does all end this weekend, it is obvious his Strictly experience will leave an indelible mark on Krishnan, however unlikely that may have seemed to him seven weeks ago.

“The phrase everyone is saying just now is – live in the moment,” he explains. “Don’t think ahead. That’s a bit of a hazard for me, as my whole life is about planning and looking ahead.

“But there is so much to do on Strictly, you don’t really have time to think about anything else.”

He adds, with a laugh: “And I have a job, you know? I’m still doing the news. So I switch between them. I wish I had that fearlessness of youth, that I see in Bobby and Ellie [Brazier and Leach, fellow Strictly contestants]. You get older, you realise how little you know. And you start to creak a bit…

 “I wish I still had some of the confidence I had at 18.”