When, the Head of the Journalism Department at Harlow College, Sue Barr, told me, and one of my class mates, Elliott Mees, to come in on Monday (19th May 2014) to interview a minister, we never knew that that “minister” would be THE David Cameron.
We arrived early in the morning to prepare some juicy questions, not knowing who the ‘mystery guest’ was. With hints from several college officials we initially thought it was the Education Minister, Michael Gove – and even that had us nervous. We came up with a few – admittedly, rubbish – questions before running them past our tutor.
Between thinking about what to ask our mystery guest and getting over our nervousness (we had never done anything this big before, you see), we were interviewed by BBC 5 Live and anyone who heard us would have probably known how our minds went blank when the broadcasters asked us who we would vote for.
I’ll be honest: the atmosphere in our university-slash-college, the adrenaline rush and the ferocious heat of the day made me feel dizzy. And then we were told that it wasn’t Gove who was coming, it was David Cameron.
You can say I sound cheesy, but I had always dreamt of meeting someone as famous, never knowing it would actually come true. At that moment in time, it was not about Conservatives or Labour. It was not about whom I would vote for and who I disliked as a politician more (because frankly I don’t know enough about any of the parties to make a judgment). It was just about the fact that I would be meeting, yes, the Prime Minister of this country.
The problem was, though, that we had to scrap all our education questions and think of some new, equally shitty, questions before he arrived. I like to be a bit of a risky journalist, rocking the boat and trying to get some emotion out of people so we went with what would have Cameron sweating: UKIP.
The rush started to arrive and we first got to shake hands with Robert Halfon, MP for Harlow, Essex. He mockingly told us how he was sorry about not getting Michael Gove to come and that we would have to do with David Cameron.
It was a blur after that. I admit I squealed (very un-journalistic of me, I know) but it was only once and he was a fair distance away from me. Before I knew, we were sitting right across from him, so close that I could’ve touched him if I wanted to. In the next five minutes we were able to get some good quotes, a few flashes and smiles for the camera and that was it.
I instantly bombarded Twitter, Facebook, Whatsapp and messages to tell my friends the exciting news.