The QT

Friday 14 June 2024


Peter Barron
Peter was Editor of the Northern Echo for a record-breaking 17 years before leaving to set up his own business Peter Barron Media in 2016. He was awarded the MBE in 2013 for services to journalism and North East life. He is an accomplished writer, presenter, broadcaster and after-dinner speaker as well as a children’s author.
Kate Fox
Kate is a writer, performer and broadcaster who sometimes describes herself as a stand-up poet and is a regular on Radio 4. She previously worked as a reporter, bulletin reader and desk editor at Metro Radio and Galaxy. One of her first workshops included Sarah Millican who Kate encouraged to pursue a career in stand-up.
Chris Jackson
Chris Jackson is an award-winning journalist and broadcaster who’s been on the airwaves of his native North East since the mid 80’s. From presenting news shows on Radio Newcastle to reporting and co-presenting Look North and then fronting the hugely popular regional current affairs show Inside Out. After 34 years at the BBC Chris left to work as freelance TV and video producer and champion of the importance of strong regional journalism.
Tony Henderson
Tony Henderson is an award-winning and long-serving environment editor of The Journal who has spent decades charting life and events in the North East, with a special interest in the region’s heritage, history and the natural world. Apart, that is, from a sweltering spell charting life and events in South East Asia before returning from exotic Asian climes after missing his allotment, fresh broad beans, St James Park and the alternative Phoenix Nights reality of working men’s clubs.
Arlen Pettitt
Arlen Pettitt is a freelance writer and policy consultant, based in North Tyneside. He has worked in policy, communications and public affairs for more than 15 years, working with local government and the financial services and higher education sectors. He spent six years with the North East England Chamber of Commerce, campaigning on behalf of the region’s business community and leading on research and insights work. He now supports North East organisations with policy impact and engagement as an independent consultant, and is the author of the weekly Wor Room newsletter on policy issues in the region.
Beth Neil
Beth Neil started her journalism career at the Chronicle where she became Chief Features Writer. She then worked at the Daily Mirror as a Features Writer for several years before moving into magazines. As Assistant Editor at Fabulous magazine, she won the Press Award for Interviewer of the Year. In 2021 she moved back to the North East to go freelance and now writes for a number of titles, ghostwrites celebrity memoirs, works as a media trainer for TV talent and teaches journalism at Northumbria University.
Andy Taylor
Andy is from Cullercoats and is best known as a guitarist with Duran Duran and Power Station. He is a songwriter and record producer and someone with a keen interest in politics, social justice and world affairs.
Bob Hudson
Bob Hudson is Visiting Professor in Public Policy at the University of Kent. He has held academic posts at Leeds, Glasgow and Durham and has been researching and writing about a range of public policy issues for over 50 years. His most recent book - Clients, Consumers or Citizens: The Privatisation of Adult Social Care - is published by Policy Press. Bob was born and raised in Sunderland and lives in Durham. His hobby is watching Sunderland AFC playing fast, flowing and fluent football. It’s an intermittent pleasure.
Pam Royle
Pam was a main presenter for ITV Tyne Tees from 1989 until her departure in March last year. Career highlights include being part of a BAFTA-winning team behind the coverage of the Cumbrian shootings in 2010, winning three Royal Television Society presenter of the year awards, and a Variety Club silver heart for ‘outstanding contribution to TV and charity’.
Professor Katy Shaw
Katy Shaw is Professor of 21st-century writing and publishing at Northumbria University, UK and Director of the UKRI/AHRC Creative Communities programme. Her research interests include diversity and inclusion in the creative industries (the subject of her 2022 TED talk) and the redistribution of the creative industries from the capital to the regions and nations as part of the ‘levelling up agenda’. She can be found on Twitter @profkatyshaw
Jane Imrie
Jane Imrie is a freelance content writer and communications consultant. Formerly editor at one of the region’s most prominent business news platforms, as well as leading content in both cultural and corporate PR, Jane has a wide range of writing experience including news articles, interviews, blogs and opinion pieces. Her main areas of interest are business, arts & culture and social issues.
Rob Lawson
Rob Lawson OBE was a newspaper editor for many years, leading the Sunderland Echo and Shields Gazette – he was also editorial director for North East Press. Rob now runs his own PR consultancy. He is also Chair of Hull College and a National Leader in Governance in the FE sector. Rob was awarded an OBE in 2021 for services to education.
Loujane Alasi
Libyan-born and Geordie-bred, Loujane Alasi (She/Her) is a communications professional and freelance journalist. She holds a Masters in Media and Journalism from Newcastle University and a Bachelors in Architectural Technology from Northumbria University. Her professional career spans the built environment, non-profit, and media sectors, where much of her work has focused on promoting and advocating for communities, raising aspirations and widening participation. She is currently a sitting Non-Executive Director at Newcastle Creates, the cultural compact for Newcastle.
Michael Chaplin
Michael is an award-winning theatre, radio, television and non-fiction writer. He is also a former newspaper reporter and television producer and executive.
Emma Chesworth
Emma Chesworth is an experienced North East based journalist having worked as a reporter on a regional daily newspaper and also on both BBC and independent radio stations. Now freelance, Emma writes news and features for a host of regional and national publications. Passionate about the North East, Emma is always keen to champion the ‘ordinary’ people who do ‘extraordinary’ things day in day out to make our region a better place.
Paul Robertson
Paul is an experienced and highly respected journalist and was Editor of the Evening Chronicle for nearly 10 years before leaving to set up his own business, Paul Robertson Media. He recently took early retirement after spending three and a half years as Head of Communications and Engagement with Newcastle City Council.
Paul Linford
Paul Linford wrote about North-East politics for The Journal, first as its Westminster-based political editor then latterly as a weekly columnist, for 18 years from 1997 until 2015. As well as contributing to The QT, he is the proprietor-editor of the journalism trade website,
Bethany Usher
Dr Bethany Usher worked for regional and national newspapers and is now Director of Education for the School of Arts and Culture at Newcastle University. She is the author of Journalism and Celebrity (2020) and Journalism and Crime (2023) and researches the political, social and cultural purposes of the press from their earliest origins to the current day.
Michael Hamilton
Michael Hamilton began his career as a reporter on the Evening Chronicle then moved to Tyne Tees Television as press officer for Channel 4 music show, The Tube. He went to Fleet Street to work for The Sun, The Times, and Sunday Express, before moving back to the North East. In 2014 he co-wrote, edited and published the best-selling book My North East by its Famous Sons and Daughters for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.
Huw Lewis
Huw Lewis has been hanging around orchestras and opera houses for 40 years. He deepened his love for the great tunes during long summers camped out at the Proms, plus three years working in the classical departments at some of London’s biggest record stores. He now works at Nexus in Newcastle, a short Metro ride from the best concert hall in the world.
Keith Hann
Keith Hann is a Newcastle-born and Cambridge-educated PR consultant and writer, with a long track record of failure as a historian, investment analyst, corporate affairs director, dieter and womaniser. He finally married late in life – thanks to his former column in The Journal – and is usually mistaken for the grandfather of his two young sons.
Emma Wass
Emma is an award-winning journalist who has worked in local and regional news in the North East since 2013. She started her career in BBC local radio across Yorkshire and then moved up to Radio Newcastle as a reporter and producer on the Alfie and Charlie breakfast programme. She went on to present the evening bulletins on Look North and to become a producer in the BBC’s factual programmes department for Inside Out North East and Cumbria, winning two RTS awards. Emma is a linguist with a passion for travel and the arts, and currently teaches Spanish alongside her journalism work.
Hannah Davies
Hannah Davies is deputy chief executive of the Northern Health Science Alliance (NHSA) and executive director of Health Equity North. Since 2018 she has spearheaded the NHSA’s health inequalities work and is co-author on reports including: Health Equity North 2023, Child of the North, A Year of Covid-19 in the North, and The Parallel Pandemic: Covid-19 and Mental Health. She is a former award-winning journalist and current research associate at Newcastle University.
Henri Murison
Henri Murison is chief executive of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership. Since his appointment in 2017 he has established the NPP as the business-led organisation which convenes the North together. From having made the case consistently for both HS2 to the North alongside Northern Powerhouse Rail, to challenging for a better deal for the most disadvantaged from the education system, his team are focused on how government, business and partners can drive the North’s ambitions. Before joining the Partnership, he worked in senior research and policy roles in policing and financial services, and as a former senior local government figure in Newcastle remains a commentator on regional and wider industrial policy. Since 2020 he has also served as a member of the Royal Society Science, Industry and Translation Committee, as well as last year being appointed to the Court of Newcastle University.
Jack Arthurs
Jack Arthurs is a musician and songwriter based in Newcastle. He has released two critically acclaimed solo albums, Treasure House and Only Dreams Are True. Born in York, he studied English at Newcastle University and has worked at Granta Magazine, The Poetry Society, Poems on the Underground, IRON Press, Stand Magazine and the Wordsworth Trust.
Sarah Sinclair
Sarah Sinclair is a news and features journalist in the North East specialising in health, people and drug policy. She is a former reporter at the Sunderland Echo and Shields Gazette and is now a regular contributor to Forbes as one of the few UK journalists covering the emerging medicinal cannabis industry.
Graham Soult
Graham Soult is a well-known High Street champion who founded and runs the Gateshead-based retail consultancy, and is chairman of Durham Business Group. Described on BBC Look North as “the region’s best-known retail expert”, and by ITV as “a North East Mary Portas”, Graham features frequently on TV, on radio, and in the press, including BBC News, Channel 5, LBC, The Guardian and Retail Week, and is a regular writer and keynote speaker on retail and High Street issues.
Alastair Bonnett
Alastair Bonnett is a Professor of Geography at the University of Newcastle and lives in Heaton, Newcastle. His travel and academic books have been translated into 19 languages and include Off the Map, Beyond the Map, The Age of Islands, Multiracism, and How to be Original.
Dave Robson
Teessider Dave spent 28 years at the Evening Gazette where his roles included reporter, news editor, columnist and editor of Remember When magazine. He is chief writer of Tees Business magazine and presents the 8-11 Morning Mix programme on Redcar-based community radio station Zetland FM. Boro fan Dave's career highlights include being named North-East Columnist of the Year in 2010 and being locked in a room with all five members of Take That.
Jacqui Hodgson
Jacqui Hodgson is a former BBC Editor and worked in the North East as reporter, correspondent, presenter and producer for 35 years. Jacqui edited the TV current affairs programme Inside Out for more than thirty series – alongside exec producing documentaries for BBC 1, 2 and 4. She now works as a freelance journalist, host and trainer and is a trustee at The Glasshouse International Centre for Music. Born in Durham, she now lives in Northumberland.
Andy Cooper
Andy Cooper is a former TV Editor at BBC Look North where he ran the newsroom in Newcastle for eleven years. Prior to that he was Head of News at ITV Meridian based in Southampton. He began working in TV regional news at the age of 24, with spells in Maidstone, Kent and Southampton. Before that he worked on the Southern Evening Echo newspaper as a reporter, again in Southampton.
Ian Lamming
Ian Lamming has been a journalist for the past 40 years working around the globe on stories ranging from crime to Formula 1. After being a staff journalist on regional and international publications, including The Northern Echo and Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post, he has freelanced for national newspapers and magazines ranging from the Sunday Times to Country Living. He now runs a successful media business with his partner Sarah French which specialises in feature writing, particularly around motoring, travel and leisure.
Jane Hall
Jane Hall is a former features editor of The Journal. During a long and varied career as a journalist there is little she hasn't been asked to report on, from pig racing to jumping cows, parish council meetings to real-life cannibals (the two are not necessarily linked), fashion to celebrity interviews, consumer issues to personal finance, travel to technology, business to food and drink, and everything in-between. Some of her writing has even garnered her an award or two. She has experience working for weekly, daily, and evening newspapers, as well as magazines, both in the UK and Australia. She now works as a freelance feature writer.
Jamie Hardesty
Jamie is a tech journalist and communications specialist who worked as a regional business journalist before specialising in tech and going on to be Editor of bdaily. Passionate about policy, research, inclusivity and economic regeneration, Jamie joined Tech North and Tech Nation to help grow the North East tech sector. He has published multiple reports on the North East tech sector in the last decade and is vocal about ecosystem needs and achievements. He has been Editor of the Newcastle Tech Digest since 2020 and is Director of Communications and Ecosystem Development at Sunderland Software City.
Chris Stewart
Chris Stewart is the multi award-winning former chief reporter for BBC TV North East & Cumbria. Before his broadcasting career, he was a newspaper reporter for local, regional and national titles. Originally from Wearside, he now lives in the Tyne Valley and works in media consultancy.
Harry Pearson
Harry Pearson is the author of The Far Corner, The Farther Corner and 10 other works of non-fiction. A long-time columnist for the football magazine When Saturday Comes, he grew up on the edge of Teesside and has lived in the Tyne Valley for thirty years.

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