Business East Sussex is holding the John Young Newsroom next week and we caught up with the TV reporter with nearly 30 years’ experience of hitting deadlines and making sound snap decisions to ask him about what he does and why his session is so unique.
How long have you been on television?
I’ve been lucky enough to be on TV since 1992 — my first TV report was about a wonder race horse in Cumbria that was going to cause a sensation that year. Unfortunately it didn’t. But I’d made my debut as the new Cumbria reporter for BBC Look North.
What’s the thing you love about your role the most?
The surprises. Often you wake in the morning not having the faintest idea what subject — serious, light, controversial, heart breaking — you’re going to be dealing with that day. I think it’s known as ‘pivoting’ in the business world.
What is the most memorable story you have worked on?
A light aircraft that crash landed on a mountain-top in mid-winter. My cameraman and I climbed for two hours with a tripod and camera. I’ll never forget seeing the victim’s shattered brief case in the snow. A reminder that what’s a news story to a reporter is often heartbreak to a family.
What is the best/worst moment you have had during your TV career?
Worst: realising the studio presenter was ‘throwing’ to me for a live insert four minutes early, with a question I couldn’t possibly answer.
Best: my partner telling me that evening that he’d not noticed.
What do people get out of your course?
An exhilarating confidence boost they can take back the next day to their own workplace. TV News is a great theme to get people to speak their mind, hit some deadlines, deal with a few dilemmas, stick to their guns … without having to fret about being responsible for it all. And it’s a lot more fun than training by PowerPoint.
What gave you the idea for it?
Being asked by so many schools and organisations to come and talk about TV News. I decided I could do better than ‘talk’ — so came up with some games. My “Den of Decisions and Deadlines” and “Newsroom Bootcamp” is the result! It’s also a great game for an AGM or After Dinner event … far more fun than a speech!
To book your place at this exclusive, informative and entertaining course with a difference, which takes place at Business East Sussex, 8th Floor Ocean House, 87-89 London Road, East Sussex, TN37 6LW from 9am to 2pm on 12th October, please visit: https://tinyurl.com/y82o4nrn