Yarl’s Wood detention centre is a secretive but notorious place where people are held without charge for year after year, not knowing what is going to happen to them. They often crack. The only way to find out what was going on in there was to go in myself. It wasn’t easy.
“Go to see the body of Nelson Mandela lying in state,” the editor of the Sunday Telegraph said. “Tell us what it all means.” What was it like? Overwhelming.
Beachy Head is a place of stunning beauty, but it also draws people who are desperate and looking for an end. The Chaplains are a group of people who patrol in all weathers, day and night, saving lives. They avoid publicity, but in the summer of 2014 I became the first (and only) reporter allowed to see their work at first hand.
The Full English is the one meal that England does really well, but what does it say about us? I undertook a road trip around the country exploring the meaning of modern Englishness through the medium of breakfast, from silver service to the Full Muslim in Bradford, for the Sunday Times. Very revealing it was, too.
“He won’t talk to anyone, he never has,” said the manager of British wrestling superstar Kendo Nagasaki when I requested an interview. So I asked if I could get into the ring with him instead. “Are you sure?” The manager was surprised and I was seriously spooked when Kendo turned up in full mask and regalia, with good reason. He took me apart. It still hurts.