Cheque-ing for a new beginning

The summer of 1998, Scotland have the honour of playing Brazil in the opening game of the World Cup in Paris, the Spice Girls classic ‘Viva Forever’ is knocked off the number 1 spot by Boyzone classic ‘No Matter What’, and a cub reporter makes tentative steps on the road to a career in newspapers. With dreams of emulating Woodward and Bernstein, a younger, less optically challenged version of myself turned his back on the factory floor where I was working, and took up the offer of shifts at the Scottish News of the World. This was it. A chance to get in the door at the biggest selling newspaper in the world. To show my nose for a story and ability to root out a good lead. There was investigation that first week. Dressed as Sheerluck Holmes, correct spelling, complete with fake ‘tashe, deer stalker, and tweed suit, I was dispatched to run around the West End of Glasgow with a giant novelty cheque. A reader had scooped £35,000 in competition but failed to fill in his details correctly, queue photocase book starring a now slightly less enthusiastic cub reporter.

Last week after almost 20 years I hung up my note pad and jumped from journalism into the world of PR consultancy with 3x1 Group. Looking back over the course of my career as a frontline reporter sadly some things have changed. Scotland has’t made it to a major tournament since, preferring instead for glorious failure before they even get passed the qualification group stages. But some comfort can be found in continuity, earlier this month it was revealed Louis Walsh’s Boyzone would be hitting the road again. However, one thing remains worryingly unresolved. My first week at 3x1 is not yet complete and with my investigative skills not yet dulled I’ve noticed a giant novelty cheque in the office. Is it time to dust down the deer stalker? Will I be forced to gallop down Gardner Street, tweed cape flapping in the background? Surely it can’t happen twice…