Although she is relatively new to the television screen, she has succeeded in proving her talent and is now a household name. Famous TV presenter Lobna Assal agreed to an exclusive interview with Arabstoday, where she tells us about her talkshow "Al-Haya Al-Youm", and stories which make this young star even more interesting.
AT: Tell us about your entry into the media.
LA: I have a Bachelor's in Media, after which I worked for a year as a reporter and I liked it very much. I then worked as a TV presenter in Egyptian TV...soon I joined the "Al-Mehwar" channel, where I started presenting the "Oyoun Al-Mehwar" show. It was similar somehow to "Al-Haya Al-Youm" which I'm presenting now. Later, I decided to move to Al-Haya television, because I was offered a better chance there, as O was supposed to present the main talkshow of the channel. Al-Haya was also very popular and very well-organised.
AT: How do youy feel about the competition between your show and the other famous talkshows around the country?
LA: All talkshows discuss the daily social and political events in the country, what makes you different is your style and the way you discuss things. That is what makes you gain credibility and trust from your viewers. I'm happy that Al-Haya Al-Youm emerged in a very short period among the most successful shows in the country...a recent poll showed that Al-Haya Al-Youm was the most viewed talkshow in Egypt, especially during its coverage of the January 25 revolution. I'm never worried about competition, as every TV presenter has their own personality and style.
AT: The "Masr Al-Gadida" Show presented by Moataz Al-Demerdash in the same time-slot. Does it affect the popularity of Al-Haya Al-Youm?
LA: As I said before, I believe every show has its own style, so none affect the popularity of the other.
AT: Is there any restriction on your show from Al-Haya?
LA: You cannot put restrictions on a show which discusses daily events. As a presenter, I put my own restrictions on myself, which are committing to professional ethics and in-depth knowledge when talking about critical topics.
AT: But there's a difference between pre- and post-January 25 2011?
LA: In my case there was no difference, I was always free to express my views and I didn't have any restrictions except my own.
AT: Do you prefer to present the show without a co-host?
LA: This is decided according to the context of each episode...in some events it is better to have two presenters so we can enrich views. Jealousy is not very useful in work, and I think my partner Sherif Amer and I work well together. There are days when I present the show alone, as does Sherif.
AT: Did you have offers recently to move from Al-Haya channel?
LA: Yes, I had one from a Dubai channel but I have turned it down, I see no reason for me to leave Al-Haya. I built my success here and I'm very grateful for what they have done for me, I don't care too much about financial issues, I think I will be more comfortable here.
AT: Do you have something to say about the episode in which some Salafists refused to sit with you as you are a woman?
LA: It was a very strange attitude that I had never experienced before. There was a little confusion, but we got past it and completed the episode, they are free to do what they think is right, and I'm free too.
AT: How do you assess the general situation in Egypt now?
LA: I think Egypt will always be a secure country, we will soon get through this critical period, and I'm very positive about the future.
AT: Do you read the comments of your fans on Facebook?
LA: (Laughs) Actually I'm very happy with the comments, but I was astonished that somebody impersonated me on Facebook and was replying to the fans' comments as if they were me. That is funny, but I don't have much time to be on Facebook.