CV: Tom Bradby - Political Correspondent, ITN
Monday 26 January 1998
I also helped start up a student supplement for The Scotsman, and did a lot of work experience with local newspapers. In my first summer vacation, I worked for a free local paper called the Manchester Metro News, where I was so clueless that I'm embarrassed to think back to it now. But I did learn to touch type, so I was a bit better when, at the end of my second year, I worked on my own local paper, the Portsmouth Evening News. And, when I came to apply for jobs, I think everything I'd done - particularly things like The Scotsman supplement - really helped.
I thought I'd end up in newspapers. I was offered jobs by The Scotsman, The Times and The Sunday Times. But I also applied for the ITN training scheme, and was accepted. What made me choose television over newspapers ultimately is that it is a very powerful medium - you get 7 or 8 million people watching News at Ten. I also thought the performance aspect of it would be fun, and that I would enjoy working with a team. And the trainee scheme was very good; I was given all kinds of opportunities. I went to Tibet and did some secret filming, pretending to be a tourist, and then to Belfast.
I suppose that was my first big break at ITN. The producer there had just left and rather than replace him, they just left me there for three months - there was an election coming up and they needed people elsewhere. It was very busy, and I ended up doing my very first News at Ten piece - on Michael Mates being appointed Northern Ireland security minister - because one day everyone else was doing something else down in the south of Ireland.
The difficult thing at ITN is working your way across to being an on- screen reporter, and I think at one stage I was working almost every single day for six months to that end, producing during the week, and reporting at weekends. But in 1993, when I was 26, they made me Ireland correspondent - ITN's youngest ever.
When I got the job, there was a certain degree of boredom, because the conflict had been going on for over 25 years, and it was a very depressing story. But, in my first or second week, the first inklings of the peace process emerged, and it became this absolutely huge story. I was on News at Ten night after night, and I was out meeting intelligence people, terrorists, and politicians, trying to make sense of this incredibly complex picture. A high point was Bill Clinton's visit in 1995, which was perhaps the most incredible story I've ever reported on.
But, after almost three years, I thought I'd been in that job long enough. And ITN wanted me back in London, as a general election might be called at any time. When it came, I covered John Major's campaign, and it was very difficult to report on: it looked so hopeless for the Tories, but of course I couldn't say that they all thought they were going to lose. The day after, I said to a senior guy from Tory Central Office: "You didn't really think you were going to win, did you?" He said: "I always try and tell the truth to journalists, but you can't do that in a campaign when you think you're going to lose."
Since then, I've been abroad quite a bit. And I've just had a novel published, which I started writing while I was in Ireland, as a hobby. But ITN remains my priority - I'd like to go abroad again - so now I'm working to that end.
Tom Bradby's novel, `Shadow Dancer', is published by Bantam Press, price pounds 12.99.
General Election 2015: Tories sack candidate who said she would never support 'the Jew' Ed Miliband
Bali Nine executions: Indonesia confirms killings of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran will go ahead
The four utterly contradictory polls that tell the story of this election and why it is pointless trying to predict the outcome
General Election 2015: Prospect of Labour-SNP coalition makes one in four voters less likely to support Ed Miliband, says survey
Baltimore riots: Furious mother marches her son home live on TV
- 1 Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
- 2 'Do not give them a reason': Baltimore man divides police and rioters in hope of avoiding violence
- 3 X Factor in crisis as numbers of people auditioning plummets
- 4 Baltimore riots: Furious mother marches her son home live on TV
- 5 General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
£65K - £75K (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Creative Director...
£40 - 48k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Manager to join...
£20-30K(DOE) + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a PR Account M...
Competitive (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: One of the UK’s largest and most s...