Jameela Jamil grew up in London and before she had the chance to even dream of a television career, she had to face the scary possibility of never walking again in adulthood. After being struck by a car at the age of 17, the medical staff that was supervising her recovery informed Jameela that due to the intense spinal damage and broken bones, there was a serious chance that she would never be able to walk again.
Fearing the worst, but hoping for the best, Jameela Jamil used a walker for two years as she underwent a major rehabilitation program. While she fortunately regained her ability to walk, she was prescribed steroids to help her body heal and it caused her weight to balloon. The extra pounds didn’t lend themselves well to her self-esteem and Jameela often wore baggy clothes to cover her body, as she felt awkward and ashamed about her shape. Once she was allowed to leave the steroids behind, she gained self-confidence by eating in moderation and wearing clothes that were comfortable and, ultimately, made her feel more attractive.
In discovering the clothes that complemented her body, Jameela Jamil became more interested in fashion and the modeling industry. Now in her 20s, she tried modeling, but eventually landed a job as a model scout instead for Premier Model Management. While the gig gave her a great deal of insight into the process of becoming a model, there’s little doubt that she felt slightly disappointed that she was helping others to do something that she wanted to do herself.
By 2009, Jameela Jamil had switched careers again. She traded in the modeling sector for the industry of education and became an English-language teacher for foreign students at the Callan School of English. During her stint as a teacher, her most interesting students were a monk and a nun. You could say that divine intervention gave her the break that came next, as she auditioned on a whim to be the new TV presenter for Channel 4. Her natural charisma and comfortable style won the producers over and by the end of 2009, she had begun a brand new entertainment career.
With just her own exuberance and stylistic insights to go on, Jameela Jamil was handed the keys to Channel 4 and her new role as a T4 presenter. Initially in the shadow of one Alexa Chung, Jameela stayed comfortable and fit in nicely as a cohost of Freshly Squeezed with Nick Grimshaw before taking the leap into a broader role through other T4 activities. Schmoozing with and interviewing top celebrities became one of her endeavors and, at first, it didn’t come easily. Her first interview with Denzel Washington had her drenched in sweat and fumbling words, while she also took a tumble during her appearance at the premiere of Bruno. Fortunately, Jameela emerged victorious over the jitters and has since mingled comfortably with the likes of Jennifer Aniston, Zac Efron, Drew Barrymore, and Johnny Depp.
Now comfortably entrenched with the T4 crew and its loyal audience, Jameela Jamil is enjoying her role as a presenter and semi-trendsetter. With no stylist of her own, she’s able to pick her own wardrobe — which changes based on her mood, but often strays toward her favorite style period of the 1950s and ’60s. As far as her presenting duties go, they have expanded in 2010 to include the teen pop fest Koko Pop. In addition to that, she was asked by Nokia to serve as a celebrity judge for a special contest allowing the winner to cover six international events as a budding entertainment reporter. The honor to judge was fitting for Jameela, symbolizing both her emerging popularity on British television, but also her obvious talent as a television presenter and entertainment personality. Rather than just being “the new Alexa Chung,” Jameela Jamil has truly come into her own.