Today, my life was changed. For once, I could clearly see the end to a long pathway of suffering that I had embarked upon for countless days of my life, nervously edging through as the days loomed closer and closer until someone would ask: ‘What do you want to be when you’re older?’ And today, I present to you my answer. A journalist. Why? Well, here is my answer to that: a mesmerising, marvelous and simply indescribable talk held by the one and only legendary radio broadcaster: Iain Dale. 

Today, the students of Oaks Park received a great luxury in the form of a talk by Mr Dale. Iain Dale is a renowned journalist who works for the LBC, hosting their drive-time show and ‘Sunday Politics’, shows which are adored by the 2.5 million listeners every week (one of which is my own father)! To date, he has won ‘Radio Presenter of the Year’ twice, an awe-inspiring feat considering he only transferred to journalism in the 2000’s; so of course, his talk left us with nothing but intense admiration. He spoke of journalism, university and, of course, politics, with such incredible passion and vigor that my history teacher proclaimed it as the ‘best talk that our school has held so far’, outclassing the likes of scientist Lord Winston and ‘Dragons Den’ presenter Evan Davis. His speech reached out and reeled in each and every audience member, inviting us to participate as we debated the Conservative government, the benefits of journalism undergraduate schemes and the ordeals that book publishing brings. It truly was a pleasure to have this privilege of being able to experience the glorious journey that such an inspiring journalist can take you on in the space of 60 minutes. 

I personally received the honour of being able to interview Mr Dale in my own ‘Question Time’, which I can honestly say I thoroughly relished. I firstly asked him about which British political issue he believed to be the most important currently, to which he replied (you guessed it) ‘Brexit’. He declared that Brexit was quite exciting, ‘no matter the side of the argument you’re on’, to which I completely agree with and found it rather refreshing to find someone with similar views. However, as tends to come with politics, we disagreed about the involvement of the youth in politics, to which he stated that youths are becoming ‘increasingly heard’ regarding their opinions on politics, to which I strongly disagree as any publicity that we youths gain is generally negative, thereby reducing our involvement significantly. We debated about this before moving on to my final question which moved away from politics and more into the journalism sector: ‘how can I emulate your success?’ Mr Dale kindly gave me subject-specific advice about the different ways to enter journalism, and we had a lovely conversation. I can truly say that it was a joy to meet him and I wish him the best success in the future.

By Duniya Jan