When not reporting the news, Sam watches American football and drinks far too much tea. His star sign is Taurus (‘which tells you nothing’) and he alphabetises his bookcase (‘which sadly tells you everything’). His partner Tim is a fitness trainer, ‘which pretty much makes me a fitness trainee whether I like it or not…’
Read on to find out more.
Tell us a bit about yourself…
I spent most of my adolescent life standing backstage in dingy music clubs watching bands soundcheck. I was a drum jockey and couldn’t afford ear plugs so my hearing has never quite been the same.
After finishing college, I skipped university and got my hands dirty on a journalism training course at Portsmouth’s Highbury College. After struggling through the recession-induced dearth of jobs, I made it onto a weekly newspaper (Worthing Herald) and then got my big break working for one of the country’s busiest regional daily papers in my home city.
When I’m not working with words, I’m busy blasting heavy metal at the neighbours, stretching my legs on our glorious seafront or hiding away somewhere with a book.
What are your inspirations?
My city and all the people in it. I couldn’t write interesting stories if it weren’t for all the great characters I meet every day. These people do some wonderful, inspiring and often downright crazy things which always make for an interesting tale.
What is your favourite piece of work you have produced?
Hmm. Tricky. What’s great about being a news reporter is that every day brings something completely different and my work reflects that, making it very hard to pick a favourite! I’ve written about life on board an American aircraft carrier, got caught up in a media scrum with the President of Turkey and met Alan Titchmarsh. I mean, how do you follow that?
Seriously, though. I think my favourite piece was the story about Royal Navy sailors on board a warship who recorded their own tribute to Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You to celebrate the end of their time away from home. Funny story with a touching message and it went on to hit the headlines around the world.
Who is your favourite creative?
Again I find it hard to pick just one (Indecisive? Me?) but I really rate the work of all my colleagues. Their ability to consistently come up with gripping, amusing and exciting stories is a constant source of inspiration.
More generally speaking, I don’t think I have a favourite journalist but if I can one day make people laugh like Charlie Brooker can I will be a happy man.