Kit dressing up and as a real police officer

Playing cops and robbers taught me a lot

Realising a boyhood dream was a shocking wake-up call

It has been one hell of a year for Britain’s police service. Our boys and girls in blue have been in the spotlight like never before. They’ve had to respond to an unprecedented onslaught of terrorist activity, with one officer paying the ultimate price in the line of duty.

Their heroism and professionalism in responding to the five attacks since March has led to calls for a rethink of the cuts to both police budgets, and officer numbers, that has affected every force in England and Wales since 2010. It’s also, according to an end-of-year survey, resulted in an increase in public confidence in our police.

But at the same time, another study has found that almost half of Brits can’t remember seeing a bobby on the beat in the past 12 months. An indication, perhaps, that the police’s high-profile and effective response to national emergencies has in part masked the gentle erosion of community policing and the immense pressures on ordinary frontline officers.

For me, this year has convinced me to finally get round to writing this blog post. Something I’ve been thinking about doing ever since I handed in my warrant card just over 16 months ago. I wanted to reflect on my time as a police officer: the things I saw, the people I met and how it changed my outlook on policing, and wider society, forever.

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Playing Boris Johnson: My year pretending to be journalist

As I stood on the stage of Wembley Arena last week, impersonating Boris Johnson in rehearsals for the BBC EU referendum debate, it struck me just how many unexpected experiences I’ve had during my year as a trainee Broadcast Journalist. Here I was under the hot studio lights, on a massive Starship Enterprise-style set, being cross-examined by the real David Dimbleby with the Head of BBC News James Harding sat in the front row looking on intently.

As the rehearsal ended and the stand-in debaters were ordered off the stage, a sound man approached me to help remove my head-set mic. As he did, he winked and whispered: “So, you’ll be the next Prime Minister, then?” I laughed and quickly replied. “Oh no. I just want to be a journalist.” Because unlike the sound man, I wasn’t being paid for my BoJo impression. I was on placement. Continue reading

Jo Cox’s murder made me think of my MP

Like many up and down the country, I have been shocked and upset by the senseless murder of Jo Cox; a promising, young MP trying her best to serve her local community and do good for people here and aboard.

On a long train journey back to London today, as I listened – teary eyed – to live radio coverage of a vigil for the Labour MP, I began to think of my own local Member of Parliament.

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Orgasms, autocues & knitwear: Being taught to make the news

I’ve made it to the half way point of my year-long Broadcast Journalism masters at City Uni. And, like most good things that you’ve dreamt of for a long time, it’s going bloody quickly!

So while I was enjoying my six weeks Christmas break, I got thinking about the most memorable things I’ve learned so far (after wondering exactly what my £9,000 fees were being spent on while I was off). So here’s my top ten nuggets of knowledge on being taught to make the news… Continue reading

Kit skydiving - August 2015

Leap of faith: Why I’m quitting my job in PR to train as a journalist

Last week I jumped out of an aeroplane at 12,000 feet. I also quit my cushty full-time job in PR to go back to uni to train as a broadcast journalist. I’m still trying to work out which was the biggest leap of faith.

Sure, jumping out of a plane was pretty bloody scary! But as I looked out of the window of the small, cramped propeller plane as it banked heavily to climb from 0ft to 12,000ft whist remaining over a tiny airfield, I began to wonder whether it was really much worse than plucking up the courage to ask my boss for that ‘private chat’. 

There was no doubt that free-falling through the sky at 120mph for 50 seconds before the parachute kicked in would be stomach churning. But at least it would be over quickly. A career change is an entirely different proposition. Made even harder when you’re not quitting to go to another job but to go back to school.  Continue reading

Election 2015: How I bagged personal visits from my local candidates using Twitter

How one election leaflet, a diary mess-up and a tweet led to my local Tory and Labour candidates jostling for the chance to pop over to my place for a chat.


The mediocrity of this year’s General Election campaign was brought into sharp focus by #Milifandom (above). The extent of the coverage it received just shows how desperate the media were to inject some excitement and scandal into a thoroughly uninspiring and stage-managed campaign. Maybe it was because of this, and the relentless monotony of commuting to an office job in London, that meant I didn’t quite wake up to the fact we were about to pick the next UK Government until last week! Last Wednesday (29 April), to be precise.

The exact moment was at 7.20am, as I was making my usual fast-paced dash to the station for the morning cattle train to the capital, when an older gent wearing a bright red rosette thrust a Labour leaflet into my hand. If I could go back now I would kiss that party activist on the forehead because that leaflet started a series of events that roused me from my commuter-stupor and awakened my inner politics geek, which I can only presume had been in hibernation since I picked up my BA Politics in 2012.

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Polling card

No time for pleasantries, there’s an election on!

For as long as I can remember, I have been banging on about starting a blog but have never quite mustered the energy, determination or self-indulgence to get it from brain fart to cyberspace. Well, here it is, my long-awaited brain fart on the interweb in sparkly technicolour!

I’m 24 and currently working as a public sector press officer but still dreaming of one day living the (slightly less well paid) dream of becoming a broadcast journalist.

You can find out more about me here or via whichever social media platform you prefer.

And that’ll have to do for introductions, I’m afraid, because unless you’ve been locked in the Duchess of Cambridge’s womb for the last nine months, you’ll have noticed there’s a General Election on and it’s pretty bloody important!