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Notts newsman joins the major league

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He explained: “It was quite funny. When I signed the contract I said that deadlines wouldn’t be a problem because I was an experienced journalist – then I managed to miss the deadline for Dancing.. by three months!

“Working from home requires a lot of self discipline and it’s vital for writers to get out and about and talk to people – otherwise they lose touch with the real world.”

Stephen began his career as a reporter on the Wilmslow Advertiser in Lancashire.

He later worked for the Barnsley Chronicle Group before joining the Worksop Guardian as a chief reporter in 1986, becoming deputy editor in 1993.

Stephen said: “After spending 27 years in journalism, this is a big step for me. But the thing about writing books is that there’s no retirement age – you just keep going ’till you slump over onto your keyboard!”

Stephen’s last day on the Guardian is April 12 and then the exciting world of showbiz beckons.

He said: “Some of the people at the Guardian were shocked I was leaving, but others could see it coming after the first book took off like it did.”

With two more books to write and a possible prime time television series in the offing, he will be kept busy for a while to come.

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