BY the age of 14 I knew I wanted to be a journalist. Not only that, I knew I would be a journalist. I know – smug and precocious.
What I hadn’t anticipated however was that I would carve out my career in local newspapers.
Back then, at St John’s RC Comprehensive in Bishop Auckland, I had my sights set on London. Not aiming for the cut throat world of the nationals, or the prestige of the BBC, but London was where the glamorous world of magazines lay and my teenage dream was to join the ranks of Smash Hits, interviewing Take That every other week.
So from County Durham I suppose I made it half way to the capital, but I’ve never felt I only achieved half my ambitions.
And I put that down to being lucky enough to find out about and be accepted for a journalism apprenticeship opportunity before I took up a university offer.
From the age of 19 I was actually out there doing it – not dreaming about it, or working towards it or hoping for a big break. Looking back, I suppose I’d already been given that break – an apprenticeship with value.
Obviously my employer at the time got their money’s worth (or so I like to think) and benefited in a number of ways.