I had a very fine time doing this interview. I think it shows.
I have a special affection for the Northern Echo. It’s our local paper in my home town of Darlington, and I did some work experience there in the late 80’s. The editor lived next door to us at the time, probably why they let me in. I was working in the picture library, all fat manilla files bursting with glossy 10x8s. I remember the local MP’s file was particularly large. The head of the library told me his mother kept ringing up to complain they had no decent pictures of him, and sending them more.
I sort of know how he must have felt now. I got on the front page of the Darlington and Stockton Times, because my Dad rang up the news desk and told them he felt they should know I was in town.
Think that’s the fourth time I’ve been in the papers in Darlington. First was when my grandmother fed a stray cat, who then brought round five kittens on her next visit. I was 8. We kept one of the kittens. We called her chat and she allowed us to feed her until she was 16. Second time was when I got a silly number of GCSEs and had the standard swot-shot done. Dad liked it and kept the picture in his office till he retired. Last time was last year when I went to judge the speech competition at my old school, Hummersknott. If we keep this up I’ll have a file as thick as the MP’s one day.