AddThis SmartLayers

Reporter follows Joanna Lumley to Nepal

A local press reporter has given up a week’s holiday to cover the high-profile visit to Nepal by actress and Gurkha campaigner Joanna Lumley.

Chris Denham, business development editor for the KM Group’s stable of weeklies, flew out to south-east Asia on Saturday for a week-long stay with the party.

The 30-year-old, who has taken annual leave to go on the trip and is self-financing every part of it, is filing back reports and pictures.

The Royal Gurkha Rifles are based in Folkestone which is covered by the company’s Kentish Express title, with Ms Lumley fronting a high-profile campaign to earn them rights to the stay in the UK.

His girlfriend Mary Louis, a freelancer who writes for the KM Group, told HTFP: “He went out there because he is the sort of journalist who throws himself into things and engages with people very closely.

“But it’s costing him rather more than he thought as he’s paying for accommodation, internal flights and has spent the best part of £2,000 which is a large proportion his annual salary.

“I think if he had known exactly how much it was, he wouldn’t have gone.

“He’s been involved in the Gurkha campaign since he was chief reporter on the Folkestone edition of the Kentish Express.

“Through his contacts in the campaign, he was invited to the join them. He more or less had to say yes or no straightaway and felt it was a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

As a result of his endeavours, Chris is gaining first hand access to Ms Lumley’s trip and witnessing the circus surrounding her every move in Nepal.

Mary said he had been battling with local technology and struggled to send back photos while his BBC and ITV counterparts enjoy use of the latest gadgets to file reports.


Dave (29/07/2009 09:42:39)
Perhaps whoever publishes his work will pay him the appropriate freelance rate as a to help him reimburse some costs.

Meldrew (29/07/2009 09:52:32)
“has taken annual leave to go on the trip and is self-financing every part of it” – how depressingly familiar.

ellie hunt (29/07/2009 10:05:32)
Are you just a bit bored with this story like me? If it had been a plain non-celeb leading the campaign it would have made two pars.
Well done the Gs, though.

friend of (29/07/2009 11:39:49)
Makes you a bit mad when you this of these BBC radio and tv “news” presenters out on their freebies when their field reporters could do better.

Two_shanks (30/07/2009 09:18:31)
Fingers crossed he gets some reimbursement. The story on the KM website doesn’t mention Chris self-financing the trip. How strange! I wonder if the hackette in Nepal from rival local rag the Herald is self-financing too?
Ellie – fair point…but Chris followed this for a long time, and Folkestone has strong links with the Gurkha garrison and community.

agedhackette (30/07/2009 11:44:26)
Come on. I am the first to attack firms for being too tight. But all the real NEWS in this story was this end when the decision was made.
Not worth sending anyone there for the sort of fill-space froth we have seen on BBC regional television.
If I’d have had to pay for myself I would not have sent a single line of copy back, just enjoyed it.
Companies are ripping off over-worked reporters like never before because of the recession.

chrisdenham (31/07/2009 07:43:32)
Namaste! The “Herald hackette”, Sarah, and the radio Kent man, Ed, are also self-financing. Is it right? Probably not. Would we have regretted not going? Absolutely. The Gurkha campaign meant too much to everyone involved to miss it.