I lecture part-time and continue to work as a freelance journalist for national newspapers and magazines.
As a journalist, I have reported from the front line of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and interviewed some of the country's best-known politicians, public figures and celebrities. I get a buzz from telling real-life stories and crafting feature-length reads that allow me to connect with an audience through words.
I have written for The Guardian, Grazia, The Telegraph, The Sun on Sunday and The Independent. I started on a daily paper, The Bolton News, and spent most of my career on the Manchester Evening News where I reported on breaking news, court, fashion and features, defence and, for five years, ran their politics coverage. The job gave me the opportunity to cover major national and regional news events and break agenda-setting stories and campaigns.
My favourite indulgence is an hour to myself to read my Vogue subscription.
I think being a journalist is a privilege - one that you work extremely hard for on a steep learning curve. I have enjoyed a diverse career and learnt an awful lot which I want to share with the next generation of journalists.
It is more important than ever that, as journalists, we are quick learners, commercially-minded and adapters to new technologies but these must all be underpinned by the essential skills required of great journalists who work with integrity and inquisitive minds. I want our students to achieve that.
I will teach you as real journalists, equipping you with the tools to do the job as you learn, in what I hope will be an interactive, engaging and inclusive way.