When Network Nine television personality Steve Jacobs confesses he's had a big week, he is referring to kilometres travelled.
As the weather presenter for the Today Show, Wollongong-born Jacobs spends most of the year on location, delivering live broadcasts from around the country and often overseas.
Jacobs, 45, is speaking by phone from Melbourne, having returned from several days of presenting duties in the Northern Territory, in which the Today Show production team clocked up 3000 kilometres as part of the Black Dog Ride to the Red Centre to raise awareness of depression and suicide prevention.
On top of the travelling, Jacobs' mornings start at 4am, in preparation for the show's 5.30-9am broadcast.
"There's no such thing as normal working hours in our job," he says.
"Some days we might work for 16, 18 or even 20-hour shifts if we are travelling overseas and trying to get to places.
"Other days, if we are lucky, we finish at 9am and we might get a day at home, but that doesn't happen very often because we are on the road 300 days of the year."
Jacobs, who became a father for the first time in May 2011 to Isabella with his wife, Sydney-based weather presenter Rose Kelly, says he is able to keep up the hectic pace because he genuinely enjoys his job.
"It is the best job in the world so you put up with the tiredness and the long hours because there is so much of an upside," he says.
"It's really great fun. I've always loved doing live TV so the chance to do a 3½-hour live show every morning in which my brief is: 'Go and have fun' is kind of the job to die for."
Long stints away from home in Sydney's east are also made bearable by the fact that Rose and Isabella occasionally accompany him on work gigs.
Jacobs says the challenge of presenting live segments at such an early hour in the day is finding activity, and people to talk to.
"As you could imagine, there's not a lot happening at 5.30am most days," he says.
"In terms of my preparation, I get the brief the day before and chat to people in the morning, and then go over what we are doing, but most of it is ad-libbed.
"We've got a really good crew and for some reason we seem to have a lot of energy and be in a funny mood at that time in the morning.
"We throw around ideas and one-liners, and we are all laughing with each other and it comes across on camera. We have a lot of fun."
This year the Today Show is celebrating 30 years on the small screen. Jacobs has been presenting the weather since January 2005, following a year as the show's motoring reporter.
The ability to think on his feet in front of others was a talent that Jacobs first honed as a child when his father, the late Max Jacobs, took him to the Wollongong Dutch Club. Dutch-born Jacobs snr was a compere and comedian at the club and encouraged his son to get up and perform.
Speaking off the cuff and working in front of a camera has always come naturally to funny-man Jacobs who, as well as acting and hosting, has also worked in entertainment as a writer, researcher and producer.
"With live TV, No 1 you have to be yourself because if you're doing this job every day you can't put on a front," he says. "You need to be comfortable with who you are and really enjoy what you do, which I do.
"And then comes the whole ad-libbing side of it. You have to be lucky enough to think quickly and come up with ideas, and what I love about live TV is that it really is like walking a tightrope without a safety net - if things are working, they're working and you roll with it, and if they're not working you need to change tack and come up with something different and make it fire."
Jacobs has been to some amazing locations for his Today Show job, including memorable visits to Vanuatu, New York and the south of France. His most challenging week was presenting in five cities - Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris and Madrid - in five days.
"It involved adjusting to several different time zones and sleeping on planes, instead of in hotels," he says.
"It was really full-on, it was like a Where's Wally kind of thing. At the end of that I think I slept for 16 hours straight."
Despite all the globe-trotting, Jacobs says his favourite broadcasts have always taken place in small Australian towns.
"We've been in some country towns which might only have a population of 500, yet 1000 people have turned out in the morning because they want to be a part of the broadcast and promote their town to the rest of Australia," he says.
"I find we get the best response when we are in the smallest places, which is really quite extraordinary and it demonstrates the backbone of the people - they come out and they put in the effort."
There have also been many serious moments when Jacobs has found himself in the middle of a weather disaster. He was on the scene when severe tropical Cyclone Yasi made landfall in northern Queensland in February 2011.
"That was absolutely, phenomenally scary and the effects of it were just devastating," he recalls.
Jacobs landed a job at WIN Television's Mount St Thomas studios in 1985 straight after finishing year 12 at Keira High School. His parents, Max and Annette, always maintained he got his audition through a connection at the Dutch Club.
Jacobs discovered the veracity of that link only recently.
"We were driving through the outback last week - some 27 years after I started in the industry - and we were in this tiny little country town, and we stopped for a coffee," he says.
"This guy was standing in the line behind me at the cafe, and he said: 'Stevie, hi, do you remember me?"
"It was this guy from the Dutch Club in Wollongong and I finally discovered last week, after all this time, how my career started. This guy, Bob [van der Meulen], had a family member working at WIN TV and they called him up and asked if his son was interested in doing some television. His son wasn't interested but he said: 'I know this other kid from the Dutch Club'." ■