There are a number of hurdles your must jump on the rather frightening but totally exhilarating journey to becoming a journalist.
And tonight I feel like I’ve just jumped my biggest hurdle to date; doing my first celebrity interview. For me, this was with Charlie Brooker.
I use the term ‘celebrity’ loosely here, as even he said, in the interview, that he doesn’t consider himself a celebrity. But to me, he is certainly a celebrity. And therefore a completely terrifying person to interview on a Wednesday night.
I read his Guardian column avidly every Monday. If you haven’t ever read any of his stuff then click here and take the time to enjoy some of this laugh-out-loud hilarity. Some may find it a little too angry, but for me this is witty, honest journalism at its best.
I’ve also seen Brooker on TV a number of times which resulted in the whole ‘wow he’s a real person!’ ridiculous shock when he first appeared before us.
I say ‘us’ because the reason this whole interview came about was because I attended Brooker’s talk at Waterstone’s Piccadilly this evening, which marked the launch of his new book ‘The Hell of It All’. However, I don’t actually think the book was mentioned once during the entire talk.
Quotes from talk and interview
In the talk he was interviewed by his colleague Lucy Mangan. Most of the chat was about how Brooker sees different elements of the media. To see the article I’ve written on his thoughts about this and for snippets from the interview click here.
He also discussed how he feels about some of his more inflammatory writing. One such example is a now infamous column he wrote about President Bush. “That was stupid” he said tonight. He told us that he was constantly receiving emails on publishing this article and that in one someone had told him they had a sniper rifle and that they would be able to “smuggle it through customs” and use it against him.
But, ever seeking out the positive, Brooker added that this was in fact a particularly character building experience. And that now he is able to read all manner of abuse about his other writing and it rarely bothers him at all. Clearly this must be another hurdle I may have to consider jumping one day.
Finally, during my interview at the end of the talk with Brooker, I manged to mix two of my favourite media-related things tonight. I asked Charlie Brooker who his favourite contestant is on this years X Factor; “Stacey”, came the resounding answer; “and it’s so funny how the public are voting the twins in every week, just to annoy Simon Cowell”.
So, there you have it, it might not be world-changing stuff, but it is my first big celebrity scoop; Charlie Brooker’s tip-off and opinion on The X Factor.
By Sophie Hudson