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Bella Amore Britain’s Numbe r One


Leading Gloss Magazine

Features editor, Jade Leech interviewed Sandie Jones freelance journalist to the stars, to hear what it’s really like to be your own boss.ukand if Robbie Williams is December 24th 2010 just as charming as they say...


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Issue Number 245

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Interview Features editor, Jade Leech interviewed Sandie Jones freelance journalist to the stars, to hear what it’s really like to be your own boss and if Robbie Williams is just as charming as they say...

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here are many different ides on what is the perfect job, some think being a world known supermodel or a famous actress would be it. How about being surrounded by the latest boy band giving them neck massages while eating at a fancy restaurant? For freelance journalist Sandie Jones, that isn’t a’s her job. From interviewing the likes of Ozzy Osbourne and his fiery wife Sharon, to Kelly Brook, Westlife, The Backstreet boys and currently interviewing Karen Millen, there is no question that Sandie’s job is close to perfection. What exactly is a freelance journalist? As a freelance journalist, I write celebrity features and interviews for the likes of the Daily Mail, Sunday Times, Woman’s Weekly, Fabulous, etc. I need to track down celebrities, set up and conduct interviews with them, write up the pieces and file the copy to the


With o x xo S tars a y l l e K e v o L

Have there been any memorable moments in your career? I was the first journalist to interview Westlife (they were then called Westside, but changed their name later as they thought it sounded like an insurance company!) The band, East 17 agreed to be interviewed but only if I gave free neck and shoulder massages as I asked the questions! Ashamedly I agreed - a journalist will do anything for a story! And I once terminated an interview with Robbie Williams’ best friend, entertainer Jonathan Wilkes as when I got there he refused to answer any questions about Robbie, yet Now Magazine wanted 3 pages of Robbie gossip! It’s not in my nature to be hard-nosed, but there was no point in wasting his time.

Is working for a fashion magazine, everything you thought it would be? I don’t really work on the fashion side now. I’ve worked on Sugar as Deputy





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relevant paper/magazine.

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Editor and the wardrobe was always bursting with all the latest designs and accessories sent in from the fashion companies. It was a great perk to see all the shoes and clothes before they hit the high street. What is the best part of your job? I love meeting celebrities (especially ones that I really admire) and we often meet in the plushest hotels or restaurants. I can’t quite believe I also get paid for it - I’d do it for free!! What is the worst part of your job? I really don’t like writing up the transcript of the interview afterwards. I’m not very good at listening to myself and sometimes cringe at the things I say, but the whole interview has to be transcribed before I can even start to write the feature. How would you describe you’re job to aspiring journalists? There are very glamorous parts of the job, meeting celebrities, going to lovely places, and seeing your name in print is the best feeling in the world (even after 15 years!), but there is a lot of hard work that goes on behind the scenes. Celebrities are notoriously hard to pin down for interviews and their PR agents can be very difficult to work with, so you can expect to spend weeks setting one interview up. But if you like meeting interesting people and enjoy writing, then being a journalist is the best job in the world. Who has been your favourite person to interview and what were they like? I always get excited at the prospect of meeting my favourite people… most recently Dawn French and Paul O’Grady. I hold them in such high esteem and there’s always the worry that they’ll disappoint, but these two totally lived up to my

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expectations. They were warm, friendly and very funny...perfect interviews and both features were very well received by my Editor and the readers.

Is the industry as competitive as everyone thinks? I think the industry is incredibly hard to break into and I am a firm believer in ‘it’s who you know, not what you know’. But once you’re in and have built up a few good contacts, it’s relatively easy to stay in and keep working.

“East 17 would only let me interview them if I gave them a neck massage!“

How do you find time to balance both work and family life? I’m very lucky, in that as a freelance I can pick and choose when I work, which at the moment is around my 3 children. My youngest son is 3, so I am limited to what I can and can’t do, but I will normally go up to London a couple of times a week to do interviews and can then write them up once the children are in bed. It’s only when I get a particularly short deadline that things can get a little chaotic. The only problem with working from home is that my office is always open and calls are always coming in. Deadlines don’t wait for me to make spaghetti bolognaise for the children!! Once my little one starts school next September, I will be working from 9-3pm every day, so hopefully my family time won’t be so disrupted.

Interview What is your favourite part of newspaper/ magazines? Sadly, as a journalist I have lost the ability to sit and read a newspaper or magazine for what it is. I am constantly looking for opportunities and leads on celebrities, so I guess anything celebrity based is what I will look for first. If I wasn’t a celebrity writer, I’d be more interested in fashion and travel.

Is there anyone you would really dislike to interview and why? Although I love Jim Carey and Robin Williams I would hate to interview them. I’ve seen them being interviewed and they’re so erratic and off the wall that the interviewer doesn’t seem to know whether he’s coming or going I would worry that I wouldn’t be able to fulfil my brief because they wouldn’t be sensible for long enough!

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If you could interview anyone at all, who would it be and why? I would love to interview Robbie Williams, purely for personal reasons as I think he’s great and have put him on a pedestal for the past 15 years! I’m a bit of a groupie and go to all his concerts and I’ve met him a couple of times, hes lovely but I’ve only been able to mumble! So unprofessional! So it would be a huge test for me to see how I coped in an interview environment.

How to do you prepare yourself for interviewing celebrities? I do a huge amount of research before I go to any interview so that I’m fully briefed on the celebrity and what they’re all about. I like to ask them questions they haven’t been asked 100 times before so that takes some thinking about. I also check and double check my tape recorder as my worst nightmare would be to have a chat for an hour and have no recording of it! Where do you see your career in 5 years time? In 5 years time I’d like to think that I could be working more on the biography side of publishing - perhaps helping celebrities write their autobiographies. For more infromation on Sandie, visit her website at:

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Sandie dressed up for her Strictly Come Dancing Interview!

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Making Magazine DPS & Interview  
Making Magazine DPS & Interview  

For my university course, I had to produce a 1,500 word interview and dps. I was lucky enough to interview freelance journalist Sandie Jones...