Whilst in England in the late 90’s, Isla turned her talents to presenting children’s television, and landed a job on ITV series Scoop TV. She presented 19 episodes of the show, from July 1998 to September 1999, in the 3rd and 4th series of the show. Scoop was a children’s entertainment and factual show, with it’s presenters going on different adventurous activities and visits to learn about different occupations, sports, parts of history and much more … cue the title, The Scoop. Other presenters during Isla’s time on the show were current/future soap stars Lisa Coleman and Jeremy Edwards. The show was created by Patrick Titley; he also directed the most episodes, show-ran all three series, and persuaded Isla to get involved! Other directors of the show included Colin Nobbs, Jon Stephens, Richard Maude and Susan Walls. Each episode lasted around 20 mins, and the show was broadcast every week, for 10 weeks a series.
Presenting a television series was a new experience for Isla – “It’s my first presenting position and it is great. I’ve been rodeo-riding in New Orleans, dressed up as the Hunchback of Notre Dame and this week I’ll be trying medieval jousting at Leeds Armouries Museum.” She admits that she was “more relaxed” in her second series on the show, because “I knew I couldn’t have been that bad last year, or they wouldn’t have wanted me back,” she joked.
Isla was able to get involved in a wide variety of activities, including windsurfing, handling alligators (she had to take tape off their mouths), rodeo riding and ballet. One of her favourite moments of her time on Scoop was meeting fellow miniature Aussie star Kylie Minogue – “That was exciting because I think Kylie is wonderful. She’s really beautiful and a real role model. We are both small and proud of it,” Isla said. Even her brothers were impressed with what she got to do for the show,” as they were “seriously impressed” that she got to meet Jim Drake, the man who invented windsurfing. While she clearly enjoyed these fun adventures, they were not without a few fears! When she got the opportunity to stroke the mane of a fully grown male lion, she worried that lion would eat her because she was “so small”! Fortunately she escaped the experience intact, saying that she “overcame my fear and felt great!”
Not only did she get to try different activities, but Isla also got to travel the world for those activities. The show took her to Louisiana, California, Hollywood and Japan. She spoke highly of her experiences in Japan, calling it an “amazing experience! The people there are so polite and Kyoto was so clean and traditional. I felt really safe in the city. People leave their bikes on the street and they don’t get stolen!” She valued the culture lessons she learned in Japan too – at first concerned to see woman bowing to men, she was happy when she found out that the women handled the family’s finances, and even gave men pocket money! Another part of her adventures in the Orient that she particularly enjoyed, was fighting with ninjas – “Being a fan of the old Ninja movies I was really excited. I got to fight them and win! Plus I got to be very aggressive and pull Ninja faces.”
– Scoop won a BAFTA award.
– Isla got thrown out of a bar in New Orleans because she looked too young. She was 22 however, which is above the legal age for drinking in America. She and the crew were also refused entry into a gambling place for the same reason. Isla had left her passport in her hotel on both occassions. They were allowed back into the gambling place after she went back to get her passport.
– The book ‘How to get a job in television’ by Susan Wells has a very interesting chapter on a week-long foreign shoot for the show. You can read it online here or here.
Season 3 Episode #1
Original Air Date: June 24th 1998
Isla goes rodeo-riding in Louisiana. She also meets singer Kylie Minogue in Madame Tussauds, being measured for her wax model. Andrea visits the carnival in Rio De Janeiro and learns Double-Dutch skipping tricks in New York & finds out the history of the hot dog.
Season 3 Episode #2
Original Air Date: July 1st 1998
Isla takes lessons from a family of stunt artists in Los Angeles; she goes behind the scenes at the Pepsi Chart Show and finds out how to help a record get to Number One; Andrea learns the history of football in Brazil; she visits the Monkey Sanctuary in Cornwall, where monkeys are being trained so that they can be re-released into the Amazonian Rain Forest.
Season 3 Episode #3
Original Air Date: July 8th 1998
Isla goes behind the scenes on the YTV soap opera Emmerdale to see their brand new village at Harewood; in New Orleans she becomes the Prom Queen at West Jefferson High School and finds out about the preparations that go into High School Proms in America: Andrea goes up the World Trade Centre skyscraper in New York, in the inspection hoist; she meets Hugh Manson who makes hand-built guitars for rock bands including the Levellers, Oasis and Led Zeppelin.
Season 3 Episode #4
Original Air Date: July 15th 1998
Andrea gets her skates on with the cast of Britain’s fastest stage musical “Starlight Express”; she finds the only place in New York where you can legally spray-paint graffiti on the walls; Isla learns to duel at the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds.
Season 3 Episode #5
Original Air Date: July 22nd 1998
Isla goes to Hollywood and meets top Foley artist John Roesch who tells her some secrets of sound effects for films; she dives off the second highest Olympic diving board: Andrea meets Pepi Lemar who taught the Spice Girls to sing, and does a turn with boy band Universal; she spends the day as a lion mascot “Roaring George” for England Monarch’s football team; and a scoop on the history of high heels.
Season 3 Episode #6
Original Air Date: July 29th 1998
In today’s installment Isla gets down and gets dirty as she helps release 24 five foot long alligators back into the wild off the side of a boat. Plus, she meets the amazing white alligators of Louisiana which are blonde with blue eyes, and only 18 of them have ever been found. Find out how alligator farming regenerated the wild population, and how a farmer collecting eggs found the nest of white babies. Isla is then transformed into the Hunchback of Notre Dame courtesy of Northern Ballet Theatre. She is put through her dancing paces by Quasimodo and Esmerelda on stage at the Leeds production, which will soon be on in Sheffield and Manchester. Andrea learns about how hot air balloons are made, incl an enormous Smurf balloon. Meanwhile Andrea zooms around Elmsford Raceway in New York as she tries the fastest motor sport on the planet – Slot Car racing. The cars go at scale speeds of over 2000 miles an hour – Scalextric on steroids! She also meets up with world champion Andy Wasserman who gives her a few tips.
Season 3 Episode #7
Original Air Date: August 5th 1998
Isla visits the Louisiana Superdrome – the world’s largest indoor sports arena, in New Orleans; she investigates the work of art detectives at the Tate Gallery in London; Andrea meets Lactomia, the international youth percussion band based in Salvador, Brazil; she goes behind the scenes of the musical “Dr Doolittle” to see how the animal puppets are made, and meets the star Phillip Schofield; a report on bananas.
Season 3 Episode #8
Original Air Date: August 12th 1998
Isla tries surfing at Huntington Beach in California; she visits Bourbon Street in New Orleans, the birthplace of jazz and pop music; Andrea learns survival techniques from the Royal Marines on Dartmoor; she reports from the set of a soap opera at TV Globo in Brazil; Isla tries Kabbadi, the world’s oldest sport.
Season 3 Episode #9
Original Air Date: August 19th 1998
Andrea spends a day as personal assistant to Peter Andre; she goes to Brazil to learn about Capoeira – a martial art disguised as a dance; Isla joins Britain’s world champion kit ballet team Skydance; she meets a new signing for West Ham United – Harry the Hawk who will cure the pigeon problem at the ground.
Season 3 Episode #10
Original Air Date: August 26th 1998
Isla visits famous movie locations, including Graystone Mansion, Batman’s house, and the house used in the film “Paulie”; she reports on a poker game on board a floating casino on the Mississippi River : Andrea looks at endangered sea turtles in Brazil.
Season 4 Episode #1
Original Air Date: July 20th 1999
Jeremy has a day out with a Wildlife Inspector in Miami, USA, and meets some dangerous animals. He also visits a company in Britain that makes many of the props required for feature films & television programmes. Lisa has a go at Sumo wrestling for women, in Japan. Isla gets some tips on how to get into the movies & short cuts to fame, in Hollywood.
Season 4 Episode #2
Original Air Date: July 27th 1999
Isla meets Japan’s answer to the Chuckle Brothers and learns how to laugh Japanese style. Jeremy uncovers the secrets of Universal Studio’s amazing new Spiderman ride. And Lisa visits an owl sanctuary that nurses wounded owls back to health, and braves the rapids at Nottingham’s Water Sports Centre, with top slalom canoeist, Heather Corrie.
Season 4 Episode #3
Original Air Date: August 3rd 1999
Lisa visits the famous set of another drama – Coronation Street – to meet the archivist who knows every last detail of the soap since it began 30 years ago. Isla trains with Japan’s top Ninja stunt fighters to become the world’s first ginger ninja. Jeremy travels to Miami to play Jai Alai, the oldest and fastest ball game in the world; and Isla swings her hop as she cuts a rug with the latest dance craze to sweep the States.
Season 4 Episode #4
Original Air Date: August 10th 1999
Jeremy visits a top secret elephant sanctuary to see how an American circus is saving the Asian elephant. Isla finds out about the history of windsurfing and meets the man who started it all and uncovers the mysteries of Japan’s most precious dolls. Lisa hits the streets to help ace magician Dominic Wood perform some amazing street magic.
Season 4 Episode #5
Original Air Date: August 17th 1999
Jeremy tries the new sport of mountain boarding, and meets horse whisperer Kelly Marks. Isla learns about music for the movies in Hollywood. Lisa meets an origami expert in Japan.
Season 4 Episode #6
Original Air Date: August 24th 1999
Isla visits a top secret Japanese research lab to meet the pet of the future – the intelligent, purring, robo-cat! Lisa experiences the rough and tumble sport of “muni-cycling” – a kind of cross between uni-cycling and mountain biking! And in Japan she discovers the strange story of “bonsai” – the art of creating perfect miniature trees and landscapes. Jeremy gets dressed for the part in the largest movie costume store in the world – Angels in London. He models famous outfits from films including Titanic, Velvet Goldmine and Shakespeare In Love.
Season 4 Episode #7
Original Air Date: August 30th 1999
It’s puppet glove for Isla today when she meets icon Flat Eric who gives her a tour round Jim Henson’s Creature Workshop in London. Then in Japan, Isla has a go at the dance karaoke craze that’s sweeping the video arcades. Jeremy’s scoop is at a bell foundry and he says: “Believe it or not, this was my most interesting assignment. There were two tons of molten metal, and all that liquid and the power of the furnace was so cool!” Meanwhile Lisa risks her neck, as well as her stomach, when she tries the extreme sport of “zorbing” – where basically you roll down a steep hill strapped inside a giant inflatable plastic ball. Lisa says, “Zorbing was totally freaky in every way, I’d never seen anything like it. It was like rolling down a hill out of control in a huge crystal!”
Season 4 Episode #8
Original Air Date: September 7th 1999
Isla meets the Hollywood actors who work for peanuts – the animals who are trained to work in movies. She meets Louie the orangutan, Benjie the dog and Crystal the leopard, who attacked the sound boom thinking it was a rabbit on a stick, and decided to kill it! Jeremy plays a live duet with a long dead pianist, using amazing new technology that re-creates playing styles from old recordings. Then in Japan, Lisa spends a day with the world famous Kodo drummers, and gets a lesson in rhythm from their senior percussionist.
Season 4 Episode #9
Original Air Date: September 14th 1999
Isla goes behind-the-scenes of the brand new James Bond movie, to find out how they create larger than life special effects from tiny models. In Florida Jeremy braves alligator infested swamps to get some tips on wildlife photography from expert Oscar Thompson. Then back in the torrential rain of Grantham in England, he takes a go-kart for a spin (literally) at speeds of up to 70 miles per hour! And, in her last report from Japan, Lisa tries her hand at “Naginata” – a violent Japanese martial art that’s practiced exclusively by women. Lisa said: “I’m not a very sporty person but I really enjoyed Naginata – it’s the first sport I’ve ever been good at! It’s a bit like Kendo with a huge stick, and you have to run around a lot and shout.”
Episode Guide Source: IMDB.com
Other Presenting Work
A few sites list Isla as having presented segments on GMTV Kids in 1997, and the VH1 show Spice in 1999, although we have no further details, or even confirmation, that she did.