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Political journalist Jim Hancock visits BGS

On Monday 18 March we welcomed Jim Hancock Bristol Grammar School, for a talk and question and answer session on his career as a political journalist and his ongoing involvement writing, broadcasting and lecturing in current affairs and the impact of social media on today’s politics. During his long and varied career Jim was, among many other things, political editor for BBC North-West and for Granada (the original North-West franchise for ITV). He has interviewed every prime minister from Harold Wilson (1964–70 and 1974–76) to Boris Johnson (2019–22).

His session at BGS was very well attended by students interested both in Politics and Journalism who listened enraptured to his anecdotes ranging from his narrowly escaping the Brighton bombing at the Conservative Party conference in 1984 to an impromptu interview with prime minister Theresa May after spotting her across a coffee shop. He then proved himself an avid and superbly well-informed observer of contemporary political developments (despite having ‘formally retired’ from journalism in 2006) by expertly fielding questions on the recent Tucker Carlson/Vladimir Putin interview, the implications of the rise of Reform UK and how best to secure a face-to-face interview with a politician in today’s 24-hour real time news cycle…and many, many more.

For his part, Mr. Hancock was hugely impressed with the calibre of the questioning from the students in attendance and has already offered to come in again next year. This should provide a significant boon in the ongoing quest to promote political awareness and engagement across the school community.