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Phil proudly admits he has been involved in every Royal visit during his reign at the Mail – the Queen and Prince Philip, the Queen mum, Prince Charles and Princess Diana, and the Princes Edward and Andrew have all looked down the lens of Phil’s camera.
Of course, some stories are so big, Phil has to travel outside of the Mail’s distribution area to cover them, and in December he will travel to Romania when the paper will report on Operation Christmas Child.
This project relies on the public generously filling shoeboxes with Christmas presents which are then given to the orphans in Romania on Christmas day.
One lucky orphan will even receive one from the British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and later this month, Phil will be off to 10 Downing Street, to record the handing over of the Blair’s shoebox. If Mr Blair isn’t in the country at the time, Phil says that probably his wife, Cherie, will hand over the box – for Phil to record the moment.
During a typical working day, Phil may be asked to cover many different events which are taking place in the area – road accidents, fires, murder cases, court cases, golden wedding anniversaries, cheque presentations – the list is endless.
Sporting fixtures are a very important part of a Mail photographer’s weekend and Phil is no exception. But he and his camera have to always be prepared for any story which will ensure the Mail keeps at the forefront of any breaking news.
When this Mail stalwart has some rare time off on a weekend, he may be found indulging in his hobbies of antiques – visiting antique fairs around the area – or, weather permitting, gardening.
But, no doubt, when the weekend is over, Phil will lug his heavy camera bag, and laptop computer back into the Mail building, ready to learn about his next assignments.
And you never know, this could be the day Phil’s camera is focused on you.