My name is Ian Wylie and I am a former Fleet Street reporter, writer, editor and TV specialist now working as a freelance journalist based in Northumberland.
Having written for a range of UK national newspapers, I now work with ITV on the interviews for many of their drama press packs / production notes.
Until October 2009 I was the London Editor & TV Editor of the Manchester Evening News / MEN Media, based for the last 12 years in my west London home office after decades in both Fleet Street and Farringdon Road.
I’ve written about television for many years, concentrating almost exclusively on it since 1997, interviewing thousands of people along the way, including a poignant last interview with Jill Dando exactly a week before she was murdered.
I regularly interview actors on the sets of Britain’s top TV dramas across the UK and Europe, as well as interviews in London and elsewhere after their work is done.
Plus writers, directors, producers and TV executives via – to name a few – Vera, Cold Feet, The Durrells, The Ipcress File, Grace, Unforgotten, Endeavour, Downton Abbey and the cobbles of Coronation Street.
And as a Fleet Street news and features reporter I’ve covered many of the top stories of the last 35 years. Scroll down the page for the full story.
Current and recent projects include ITV cast and production interviews for Litvinenko, with David Tennant, The Ipcress File, with Joe Cole, Tom Hollander and Lucy Boynton, No Return, with Sheridan Smith, Hillsborough drama ‘Anne’ with Maxine Peake, Endeavour series 8, the Stephen Lawrence drama ‘Stephen’, with Sharlene Whyte, Hugh Quarshie and Steve Coogan, Vera series 11 (2021 / 2022), Grace, Finding Alice, The Sister, Too Close, Coronation Street’s 60th anniversary in December 2020, Flesh and Blood, Liar 2, Honour with Keeley Hawes, Quiz with Michael Sheen, McDonald and Dodds, Wild Bill with Rob Lowe, The Durrells 4, Cleaning Up, Grantchester 4, Torvill & Dean, Cold Feet 2019, The Widow, Cheat, A Confession, Deep Water, the 2018 seven-part adaptation of Vanity Fair, Dark Heart, Endeavour 2018, Butterfly, Maigret in Montmartre, Hatton Garden, Bancroft, Next of Kin and Innocent.
In the summer of 2015 I was honoured to be asked to write for the BAFTA brochure for the London event when Downton Abbey was presented with a special British Academy Award. Click on the link below to read:
Hosted by Jonathan Ross, the evening was attended by most of the Downton cast, past and present, including Dame Maggie Smith and Dan Stevens. It was also recorded for broadcast on ITV at Christmas 2015.
Other relatively recent work for ITV includes Vera series 10 (2020), Little Boy Blue, Grantchester 2017, Fearless, The Loch, Harlots, Safe House 2, Cold Feet 2016 and Cold Feet 2017. (I have interviewed the cast of Cold Feet before every single series, dating back to 1997)
Plus Brief Encounters, Paranoid, Unforgotten 2, The Level, Tutankhamun, HIM, The Halcyon, In Plain Sight, interviews on location in Budapest for Maigret, starring Rowan Atkinson, in Corfu for Keeley Hawes and co filming The Durrells, Jericho, Marcella, Julian Fellowes’ adaptation of Doctor Thorne, Beowulf, Churchill’s Secret, Home Fires series 2,, Houdini and Doyle, Prey 2, Unforgotten, Peter and Wendy and Jekyll and Hyde.
And The Trials of Jimmy Rose, Midwinter Of The Spirit, Black Work, Code Of A Killer, Safe House, Home Fires, Cilla; Grantchester; ITV Encore (Interviews with ITV Director of Television Peter Fincham and Broadchurch Producer Richard Stokes); Chasing Shadows; The Great Fire, the concluding 2015 series of Foyle’s War, which included a guest role by Frasier star John Mahoney, Mrs Biggs, Prey 1, The Bletchley Circle Series 1 and Series 2, Mr Selfridge Series 1 and Series 2, Lucan and Scott and Bailey.
I spent a week on set at Stern Studios in Budapest (June/July 2011) with the cast of Titanic – ITV1’s major drama series screened worldwide in March and April 2012. Commissioned by ITV to write the global press pack, I was given the most access to filming, the incredible set, cast and production team compared to any other journalist. I completed 25 one-to-one interviews, including 17 principal cast members, writer Julian Fellowes and several key members of the production.
Click here to read my 25 interviews in the ITV Production Notes.
I also played the role of Man Trying To Hide Behind Church Pillar at the wedding of Tom Barnaby’s daughter Cully in Midsomer Murders.
And did much the same as one of just 28 reporters from all over the world invited into Westminster Abbey for the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
They even sent me a slice of their wedding cake.
The Life of Wylie blog started in the summer of 2006, when I took a fortnight out to report on the tennis at Wimbledon – an event I covered for several years as an associate member of the Lawn Tennis Writers’ Association.
I wrote this for Press Gazette about my working week at SW19.
This blog has (December 2021) recorded over two million page views since it was moved to the WordPress platform and has many loyal readers who spread my work across the web.
So TV has become my speciality. But that’s not the full story…
During my journalism career to date, I have been lucky enough to be present in the front row at many moments of history.
That includes being the lead reporter sat just a few metres away from Charles and Diana during their wedding at St Paul’s Catherdral and a similar role for Diana’s funeral at Westminster Abbey.
As a member of the Parliamentary Press Lobby for 30 years, I covered several general election campaigns – I was standing opposite the door of No 10 when Tony Blair walked in for the first time as Prime Minister – and helped lead MEN Media coverage at Westminster of the MPs’ expenses scandal.
And, sadly, arrived very early at the hospital when, then, Labour leader John Smith died.
Having interviewed him at Lambeth Palace before his departure for Beirut, I covered the story of Terry Waite’s near five year Middle East captivity and was at a very wet and windy RAF Lyneham to witness his eventual return and memorable speech in a chilly aircraft hangar.
Not forgetting decades of covering all things Myra Hindley, London bombings from IRA to 7/7, many Old Bailey trials, starting with the Yorkshire Ripper, hundreds of High Court cases, the Queen Mother’s funeral, George Best’s life and times (the morning after that Wogan interview was just one of many memorable moments), Eric Cantona’s seagulls and trawler (both the copy-taker and newsdesk thought I’d gone mad), the World Darts Final and countless other highlights not involving giant trays of lager.
Now I am a freelance, still as fascinated by what I do as the day I started.
You can read an August 2016 interview with me here.(website currently being updated)
In my spare time I like to take photographs.
You can see some of them at: ianwyliephoto.com
With a wider range of all sorts of photos at: Ian Wylie Flickr
A number of my pics have been used in UK national newspapers, as well as international magazines and books.
That second photo, used by a number of national newspapers, was later turned into a series of fund raising products by the Royal British Legion.
While I was recently commissioned by Profile Books to photograph my first book cover (below):
And I also volunteer to edit official local community magazine Corbridge Matters.
You can read a recent edition here.
If you’re still awake, thanks for reading this far.
Should you want to contact me my email is:
ian DOT wylie AT btconnect DOT com
@ianwylie on Twitter