How (not) to make an impression with the Secretary of State...

Just so you know: this page was imported from my old blog. Some pages were rather mangled in the process; my apologies if things don't quite look right.

Just a quick footnote: I had the pleasure of meeting not only the University Vice-Chancellor (i.e. University top bod) John Craven yesterday - and for once it wasn't to receive what amounts to a bollocking for printing articles of questionable veracity in Pugwash News - but also the Secretary of State, John Denham.

News editor Jacob Leverett was given the potentially career-defining opportunity of interviewing the minister, with a clean-slate interview (i.e. we weren't proscribed any questions), and Jacob, after the inevitable nervousness, handled the task with aplomb. At one point I thought there was going to be a punch-up - you'll be able to see what I mean in the video - but overall, the interview, which we video'd and recorded - went very well indeed.

Throughout the interview, I was sat off behind camera and, as the grilling drew to a close, and realising the need to get a photo of the occasion, I grabbed the only camera to hand: Jacob's Nikon D-something-or-other (D40 perhaps? I dunno...). I managed to turn it on and ask, in my best "meeja-related-person" voice, "ehhm, could I ask you gents to pose for a very quick photo please?".

Both Mr Denham and Mr Leverett agreed and, putting on their best grins/grimaces, turned to the camera. Yes, I managed to take a photo... But no, I hadn't got as far as figuring out how Jacob's damned flash worked.


Of course, I bravely soldiered on and did my best to give the impression that I knew exactly what I was doing, and that my command of the camera's manual configuration meant I didn't need such paltry technological aids as a flashgun... Until Jacob shattered my carefully-crafted illusion with "You have no idea how to operate my camera, do you Alex?"

"Err, no... Not exactly" I replied.

Bugger. Again.

Still, I think you'll agree the photo below is singularly one of the most impressive pieces of photography this year:

John Denham and Jacob Leverett

... ahem. You can read the University's more coherent take on the visit here, or read our teaser article-thing here. Or you could check back on Monday to see the video of the MP's interview, in our news section.

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