Real people, incredible stories, beautifully told.
My features work spans extraordinary and moving real life stories, 'slice of life' long reads, case study collections and famous names. Interviewees have included prime ministers, sports stars and supermodels as well as the remarkable tales of many more people outside the public eye who hold great stories, most often brimming with purpose and emotion. Whether they are quick turnarounds or months-long projects, each one delivers an intricately-told story that engages and holds the attention of its audience.
My work is regularly commissioned by a host of national newspapers, supplements, women's magazines and news sites. I am a regular contributor to The Guardian's Saturday magazine (formerly Weekend,) The Times & Sunday Times, Vogue, Grazia, The Telegraph and many more.
For five years as the Manchester Evening News' politics correspondent, I broke agenda-setting regional and national stories and campaigns; interviewed prime ministers, leaders of the opposition, cabinet members, MPs and public figures; covered General Election, local election and referedums; provided analysis and coverage of major political events and party political conferences and profiled Greater Manchester's trailblazing devolution agenda. Highlights included national exclusives on minimum price alcohol, devolution, government spending cuts and a campaign, backed at the highest levels of government, on child poverty. At regional level, I am proud of campaigns to keep Sure Start centres open and challenge austerity on behalf of local communities.
I have experienced and reported from the front line of war, embedding with British troops in Iraq, Afghanistan as well as training activities in Belize and Germany. In Iraq, I reported from a ministerial trip to Basra in 2008, as the country emerged from its worst battles. In Afghanistan, I travelled to Helmand Province during the height of the conflict, in 2009. This was by far and away the most eye-opening experience of my journalistic career and gave me an opportunity to interview dozens of serving soldiers and Afghans and send multimedia dispatches back home, including national press exclusives. More importantly, it took me 300m further forward on the front line than 'hard man' Ross Kemp while Belize taught me how to survive in the jungle without a hairdryer.
I have covered more than my fair share of bread and butter news and court cases, being among the first on the scene for breaking stories including murders, major incidents and most notably the 2011 riots where I live covered the events from the streets of Manchester through the night.