A Day In The Life Of...

No. 1 Magazine - - FRONT PAGE -

Ali Kirker, 48, has been a Lead Re­porter at The Sun­day Post, based in Dundee, for nine years

I’ve al­ways en­joyed writ­ing and started do­ing it in my spare time from a young age. When I was about eight I won a na­tional prize for writ­ing and so thought I might ac­tu­ally be on to some­thing. I kept it up and then, when I was a teenager, my ca­reers teacher at school said to me, “You’ll never make it as a writer.”that only con­vinced me even more to keep go­ing. I got into jour­nal­ism straight af­ter school work­ing on­the mag­a­zine, Jackie. It was my ab­so­lute favourite mag­a­zine at the time so it was re­ally my dream job. Years later I was work­ing as a free­lance writer when I was ap­proached to take a tem­po­rary po­si­tion at The Sun­day Post cov­er­ing a six-month pe­riod of ma­ter­nity leave. That was al­most nine years ago! You never know what this job will bring, I love the con­stant va­ri­ety. On the day the Naked Ram­bler ( pic­tured right) got re­leased from Perth Prison, I went look­ing for him. I spent hours walk­ing through fields and woods. In the end I gave up. I was just get­ting back into my car and he came wan­der­ing round the cor­ner look­ing to­tally re­laxed. I walked through the whole of Kin­ross with him and the re­ac­tion he got was amaz­ing – he was treated like a rock star. I re­mem­ber think­ing I can’t be­lieve this is what I get paid for! The hard­est thing about work­ing for a na­tional news­pa­per is hav­ing to talk to griev­ing par­ents who have lost a child in ter­ri­ble cir­cum­stances. Some ex­pe­ri­ences on this job re­ally stay with you – for in­stance, speak­ing to Pam Ross, whose daugh­ter Joanna was mur­dered in the Dun­blane mas­sacre. You won­der how peo­ple ever cope. I get up ev­ery day just af­ter 6am, I could get up later but I like to have time to read, watch and lis­ten to the news. My rou­tine is pretty much the same ev­ery day and it goes like this; tea, shower, read, tea, hair, make-up, tea, try on about three out­fits and re­alise I hate all my clothes and have ab­so­lutely noth­ing to wear, tea. And all while keep­ing an eye on the news and tut­ting about the state of the world! Thank­fully, in the morn­ings, I only have to get my­self ready. My youngest son, Ben, is 17, so he’s pretty in­de­pen­dent. I usu­ally get to work just be­fore 9am and then have a morn­ing con­fer­ence. The rest of my morn­ing is used up with re­search, com­ing up with ideas, writ­ing fea­tures, check­ing so­cial media and in­ter­view­ing peo­ple. In fact, that’s one of the parts I en­joy the most – get­ting to in­ter­view re­ally in­ter­est­ing peo­ple with a story to tell, it’s fas­ci­nat­ing meet­ing so many dif­fer­ent peo­ple. When I think back over my ca­reer

‘The day the Naked Ram­bler was re­leased from Perth Prison I walked with him all through Kin­ross’

it’s hard to choose one high­light, but it’s prob­a­bly work­ing with great peo­ple – some have be­come life­long friends. Some­times by mid­day I’m right in the mid­dle of some­thing such as a fash­ion fea­ture or more in­ter­views, so don’t stop for lunch, but if I do have time, about 2pm I’ll grab some­thing to eat. Some­times it’s just a gi­ant bag of crisps if I’m hav­ing ‘one of those days’. I try to have a proper lunch out with friends at least once a week. I’m a firm be­liever that a great gos­sip is good for the soul! If I’m hav­ing a tough day and things are go­ing wrong, I al­ways turn to my friend Dawn who is part of the team. We have a wee rant to each other on a bad day and usu­ally end up laugh­ing. We can put the world to rights in 10 min­utes! I usu­ally leave work at about 5pm – some­times 7 on Fri­days and it’s around a 45-minute com­mute home. Then I’ll have din­ner with my hus­band and any of our three kids who hap­pen to be home. My fam­ily and friends are ac­tu­ally quite in­trigued by my job, they all love to quiz me about who I’ve met and what they’re re­ally like. My mum also tells me about sto­ries she’s read in The Sun­day Post in great de­tail and I end up say­ing to her, “I’ve al­ready read it – I work there!”. Of course, like ev­ery­one else, when I was start­ing out there were a cou­ple of faux pas. Once I spoke to a pop star on the phone and when we’d wrapped up the in­ter­view I shouted across the of­fice that he was a ‘to­tal idiot’. Ex­cept I hadn’t hung up prop­erly. Oops. If I wasn’t a re­porter, I’d ei­ther be a sex ther­a­pist, a psy­chi­a­trist or a prize-win­ning nov­el­ist. Lots of jour­nal­ists think they’ve got a book in them – I’m no dif­fer­ent. I’d love to be a sto­ry­liner on a soap opera, too. Or an odds-set­ter for a book­ies. The list is end­less!

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.