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Reporter Profiles

Steve Blears

Steve Blears

North of England reporter

Where are you from?
Originally Manchester but because I cover stories for Newsbeat in the north I live and work in Leeds at the moment.

What were you doing before Radio 1?
All sorts of jobs before becoming a journalist. I was a motorbike dispatch rider, jeans salesman and worked in one factory bottling Co-op cola and another recycling drums of chemical waste.

Best part of the job?

I get to work with, meet and report on all sorts of different people, some are very nice, others are just evil.

Worst on air moment?
Once I burped while reading the news.

Three words that describe you:
Usually quite friendly.

Advice to anyone who wants to get started in journalism:
Work in TV, the money is better than radio and newspapers.

Where would you like to be in 10 years' time?
I guess I'm supposed to say I'd like to be a really successful journalist, on TV or maybe writing a few heavyweight books with me looking stern on the cover. I really haven't got a clue. I'd like to be a lottery winner like everyone else! A multi-millionaire, with a big house on the beach. I'd like a Ferrari, a Hummer and a blinged up Rolls Royce with those hub caps that keep spinning. Also how about a plasma screen TV in every room! 

If you could be famous, what would you be famous for?
It would be really cool to be one of those nearly famous people. Like the person who invented the light bulb but then realised Thomas Edison got there first. Or the second guy on the moon. I've met lots of famous people for Newsbeat; David Beckham, Gwyneth Paltrow, Elle Macpherson, I'd rather stay on this side of the mic.

My top three albums ever are:
They all remind me of fun times with friends.
Violent Femmes - Violent Femmes, they are the original unplugged rockers. Me and my mate Phil used to rock out to this one in his mum's living room over a bag of Hula Hoops on our lunch break from school. 
NWA - Straight Outta Compton, an absolute classic. We used to drive down my mate's village high street with this one full blast in his dad's Rover, very urban! Lots of nodding.  
Happy Mondays - Hallelujah, rave on! Back in 1990 I had baggy jeans and long hair. Any band which has a guy called Bez who just dances about at the front in a weird way demands respect.

Who's your favourite news reporter?
The BBC's LA Correspondent David Willis. One minute he's schmoozing with celebs at the Oscars, next he pops up still smiling in a tank being shot at somewhere in the desert. I worked with him during the Michael Jackson trial in California.  The guy is a legend and doesn't take himself too seriously.

If wasn't a news reporter I'd be...
This is a tough one. When I was at school they ran a computerised career suggesting programme on kids in my class. It totally randomly came up with "You'll be good at working with horses" as one option! Maybe I've lost my way.

I spend my time off...
You might think all journalists need a degree. But I've only just graduated from the Open University with a degree in art history. That's taken up a lot of my spare time for the past six years. I decided to do it because I dropped out of uni at 19. Now that's out of the way I'm developing good spare time wasting skills. Sitting on the sofa, going down the pub that sort of thing.  



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