PODCAST: Interviewing difficult subjects with Richard Balls
On how to approach, interview and write about high-profile figures

In this episode, our Senior Communications & Marketing Manager Steph McKenna speaks to news journalist turned non-fiction writer and biographer Richard Balls about interviewing difficult subjects.

Richard is the author of three books: A Furious Devotion: The Life of Shane MacGowan; Be Stiff: The Stiff Records Story, and Sex & Drugs & Rock ‘n’ Roll: The Life of Ian Dury. In this conversation, he talks about using the experience and techniques acquired through a 20-year journalism career to inform the way he approaches, interviews, and writes about high-profile figures such as Shane MacGowan, whose life story is as much fiction as fact!

How do you secure an interview with a reluctant subject? What do you do when an interview isn’t going to plan? And what ethics or responsibilities are involved when writing about someone’s complex, contradictory, or unacceptable behaviour? Richard covers all this and more on the podcast.

Edited by Omni Mix

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