A graduate of the University of East Anglia, McDermott began her broadcasting career in the 1970s as a continuity announcer and newsreader for Westward Television in Plymouth. While at Westward, she made an attempt at a singing career under the pseudonym of 'Helen Barnes'.
McDermott joined Anglia Television in 1979 as an announcer and newsreader. While working as part of the announcing staff, she devised the idea of utilising a puppet during the regular children's birthdays' slots, based upon her previous work at Westward alongside station mascot Gus Honeybun. The puppet BC (or Birthday Club) went on to become a fixture on Anglia for 22 years.
McDermott left Anglia's presentation department when in-vision continuity was phased out at the station in the late 1980s. She later became one of the chief anchors for the East sub-regional edition of Anglia News between circa 1990 & 2001 and continued to work on a range of other regional programmes.
McDermott was also previously a presenter at 99.9 Radio Norwich, but left the station in 2010 following budget cuts by station owners Tindle Radio. In January 2011, she joined BBC Radio Norfolk in Norwich as presenter of the weekday 11am to 1pm slot from Monday to Thursday. In January 2012, her programme was dropped from the BBC Radio Norfolk schedule.
- The TV Room Plus - Anglia TV announcers' profiles
- Listen to Helen McDermott's hit record, letstalk24.co.uk, 11 March 2008
- The Continuity Booth - BC, archive.org
- BFI profile - Helen McDermott
- 99.9 Radio Norwich - Helen McDermott
- "BBC Radio Norfolk changes its schedule in the New Year". BBC News. 20 December 2010. Retrieved 12 January 2011.
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