Well let's start from the beginning, it was the summer of 2013 and I had that sudden moment of realisation and then sheer panic that most university students eventually get - I had no industry experience and was totally unemployable post graduation. So I grabbed my laptop and sent off some emails to a few local publications and I was lucky enough to get a reply from Birmingham Mail, but not until the following Easter due to the high demand.
The time finally rolled around and I found myself waking up at 6am, putting my hair into a sophisticated bun and squeezing into Abbi's work clothes (she was blessed with a much sleeker frame than me). I hopped on the train and grabbed the Metro I felt like a proper adult. Despite being 20 years old I still felt a little like an intruder on the commuter's train!
I began the week writing short articles including one on the inspirational Stephen Sutton, a 19 year old boy from Birmingham who has terminal bowel cancer. Instead of being bogged down by it he instead made it his mission to complete a bucket list which entails 46 different tasks. He is doing everything from organising a giant game of pass the parcel to completing a skydive and even writing a book. His most famous challenge being to raise £10,000 for Teenage Cancer Trust, he has far exceeded this target and is well over the £3 million mark thanks to the support of not only the nation but people all over the world. His story is truly inspiring, if you would like to donate you can do so here.
I was also given the task of writing an article on some local twins who managed to achieve all of the Beaver badges (25 in total) at exactly the same time, making them the first in the country. Tracking down these twins for comment was almost as hard as tracking down the Queen, it took me almost the entire week! Find the article here.
Throughout the week I conducted telephone interviews, did article research, did original pieces and re-wrote press releases. Since I was in early primary school years all I have ever wanted to do was be a journalist and working in the Birmingham Mail surrounded by talented journalists only reaffirmed my dream and inspired me to want to work even harder.
Anyway... back to Hugh Grant! So Friday rolled around and I was quite sad it was going to be my final day, I sat down at my usual desk and began to turn on my computer and check my emails. The news editor then walked over and said "How do you fancy meeting Hugh Grant today?". I could have screamed!! I am a massive fan of Love Actually, About a boy and who could forget the amazing Bridget Jones films. In fact this year me and all my single girlfriends gathered on Valentine's day to play the Bridget Jones drinking game. This resulted in us all drunkenly singing emotional love ballads thanks to Hugh and Renee. It's a great game, I nearly forgot about my single status and so I highly recommend it! To actually see Hugh Grant in person was crazy. I had to retain my fangirling and take notes as my colleague interviewed him. I was shaking so much as I attempted to remember how it was I wrote words onto a page. Hugh Grant had come all the way to Birmingham to support his best friend Paul Dadge's charity, the man from this famous 7/7 photo:
The pair became good friends after both being victims of the phone hacking scandal and worked together in the Hacked Off campaign. As a favour to his pal Hugh Grant unveiled a new first response ambulance car which is funded and ran only by volunteers, this life saving work receives no government funding. Hugh being there gave the cause some much needed press. The BBC even managed to rock up to this fairly small event.
It was an incredible experience meeting someone as famous and talented as Hugh Grant. He was much nicer than the press make him out to be. He was charismatic, funny and posed for a photo with everyone who asked. You could truly see the friendship that he and Paul shared as well, they were lovingly bantering each other through the course of the whole event.
Here is the story about the event that went in the Birmingham Mail...
You can also read it in full here.