We ask a local personality a set of probing questions …
David Blackmore gave us a fascinating insight into the life and loves of a local West Norfolk reporter.
What’s it like to be David Blackmore?
It’s very busy. Working for the Eastern Daily Press as a journalist is a 24 hour job. You can be working every hour that God sends. It’s a very busy life, and I do often have to be reminded to pull back the reigns a little bit if I’m too busy.
Where do you live?
I live just down by the hospital on the new King’s Reach estate. It’s got a great community feel down there – lots of kids, lots of play areas – and it’s a really nice place to live.
How would you describe yourself?
I’m passionate, determined and confident. I would do anything for the friends and family that I love. I like to feel I’m funny, although some might disagree with that!
Which News stories do you enjoy covering the best? Good or Bad?
All the good news, charity events, people doing extraordinary things for great causes. And then you have the people who have come back from an illness and have really done something extraordinary. Those stories are always the best, and easiest to write, bcause there’s so much you can use.
The bad news stories are always difficult to write, but a lot of the bad things that happen do impact so many people . If there’s a crash on the A47, the people coming in that town will know about it. It’s a duty of the press to report on it. Sensitively is always the way I approach those kind of things.
Is there any story that sticks in your mind?
The stand out story for me is the saving of RAF Marham. That was a good couple of months of my life soaking up as much as I could about the story, and really going to town with it. We started off in November launching a campaign saying you’ve got two weeks to raise the profile as much as possible. We had to do a double page every day, and we got 37,000 signatures and it was saved.
South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss reminded me of the fact that every time I did a story she always showed it to David Cameron!
Have you always worked in Journalism?
I worked in a pharmaceutical warehouse for UniChem. I was up to small team leader by the time I left in my late teens. I would probably be earning a lot more money than I am now! But I just didn’t enjoy it.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I enjoy the fact that I can get up and can never tell what I’ll be doing that day. There’s always news to go out and get. Every day I wake up and can’t wait to get into work . There’s a great team working at the EDP and they all have a passion for news, and it all rubs off on everyone else.
What do you do to relax, away from work?
I will go for a run or cycle up Knights Hill. I have a passion to find out more about my family history. I do like to delve into it, particularly my father’s side. I love watching and playing sport. Given the choice, sitting on Brancaster Beach on a glorious day would be my perfect way to relax.
I believe you have just become father. How does that feel?
I’m absolutely delighted to be a father. It was a bit of a shock to the system the first few days after she was born but I think I’ve settled nicely into my new role and I cannot wait to watch her grow up and flourish in Norfolk.
What’s your favourite place in Norfolk?
One of my favourite places is the Hare Arms at Stow Bardolph: On a summers day, sat in their beer garden. Sandringham is also one of my best places, taking friends and family for walks there.
What type of music do you like?
Being a Hospital Radio Lynn presenter I kind of dabble in all sorts. I was brought up listening to Motown artists like Diana Ross and Lionel Richie, so I’ve got a real soft spot for them. Other than that I like The Killers, Kaiser Chiefs, Razor Light and other indie rock bands. I’m also a fan of Oasis and Coldplay.
Favourite song / piece of music?
Are You Gonna Be My Girl? by Jet always takes me back to some good days when I was younger.
Growing up, my favourite books were the Adrian Mole books, and I would definitely still read them. I saw a lot of similarities between myself and Adrian, and it inspired me to start writing my own diary. I enjoy reading autobiographies of people like Chris Evans and Richard Branson, people who have made something of their lives.
I like ‘gritty’ films – The Godfather, Scarface, Good Fellas, Casino – I can watch those over and over again. I also like the occassional rom-com.
You do quite a lot of sponsored stuff for charity – tell us about that.
Being a West Ham fan, Bobby Moore is an absolute legend. I saw an advert in one of the match day programmes to do a 5k run for the Bobby Moore Fun and I just loved it and raised a little bit of money. Then I had a call saying how would I like to be involved in an international project, going abroad to help rebuild a school, and I absolutely loved it from start to finish.
That was the most amazing experience in South Africa, to know my friends and family had helped me raise this money to help send me out there to do manual labour, to meet these children in such a poverty stricken village and just give something back. I then did another project in Namibia.
Next I did a charity bike ride from ‘king’s Lynn to Calais’ and I was overwhelmed by the realisation that not only did I do it, but people were cheering me on. I did another with my friend Ian Burt from King’s Lynn to Great Ormond Street, raising money for the hospital. People were so generous!
I also ran GEAR, rasing £600 for the Norfolk Hospice, who do incredible work, and are building a new hospice at Hillington. I’ve been blessed that my company Archant have supported me in every charity event, always matching the money I’ve raised. Since 2009 my friends, family and the people of King’s Lynn have helped me raise £15,000 for charity.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
I want to continue my work in journalism. I would love to be on TV, reporting on major sporting events.
What vegetable are you?
A jacket potato. They are tough on the outside and soft on the inside, just like me. I used to eat so many of them my mum said I would end up looking like a jacket potato! You can’t beat a nice crispy jacket potato with some cheese and beans!
If you could be someone famous who would you be?
Chris Evans. He is so inspiring to me. To have built himself up from nothing, to have lost it all and then build it all up again is just incredible. Also TV presenter Jake Humphrey, who travels around the world in his work.
What superpower would you choose?
I would like to be super-speedy so I could have more time, and also be invisible.
What things would you like to be remembered for?
As a person who made the most of every opportunity and always had a good time, and for making a difference around the world.
As told to John Beck.