A journalist at a regional daily has recalled the time he was mistaken for Prince Charles in a column looking back at his career in journalism.
Reporter Robert Sutcliffe, left, who works at the Huddersfield Daily Examiner, is due to mark 25 years in the industry next year.
Robert started out editing a weekly newspaper in Doncaster in 1989 before moving to work at the Barnsley Chronicle, the Telegraph & Argus in Bradford and as the Calderdale reporter for the Yorkshire Post for 11 years, before he joined the Examiner a year ago.
His column looks back at highlights of his career to date, including when he was mistaken for Prince Charles as he drove up to a school which the Royal was due to visit and an impromptu interview with former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.
Robert wrote: “Next year I will notch up 25 years as a hack. Like many reporters I fell into journalism by accident. But having been bitten by the bug I cannot imagine doing anything else.
“I have a fairly short attention span, love meeting people (generally speaking) and enjoy the pressure of deadlines so as someone once said: “What’s not to like?”
“The legendary Sunday Times journalist, Nicholas Tomalin, said: ‘The only qualities essential for real success in journalism are rat-like cunning, a plausible manner, and a little literary ability.’ Fortunately I found I possessed varying quantities of all three so off I went and never looked back.
Robert started out by editing a weekly free paper in Doncaster, which he described as “being thrown in at the deep end” and he began in 1989 when typewriters were on their way out.
He has also won a number of awards and at one ceremony was described as a “shining beacon in a sea of mediocrity”, which he said his colleagues at the time did not appreciate.
Robert added: “Of all the celebrities and politicians I’ve met along the way a few memories stand out. An impromptu one-to-one interview with former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.
“This called for the usual journalistic skill of somehow bluffing a knowledge of something I knew absolutely nothing about – the intricacies of Pakistan politics. She was gracious, poised and regal and it was a horrible moment when I heard she had been murdered.
“On a lighter side the snooker player Steve Davis told me a risque joke which still makes me blush.
“And best of all was the time I was mistaken for Prince Charles. In those days I used to roar around in a Queen Mother claret-coloured Jaguar XJS complete with cream leather seats, a boot-mounted CD player and a James Bond-style red speed button.
“I was asked to cover the Prince’s visit to a small school near Settle in the Yorkshire Dales. As I approached a huge mass of parents, teachers and pupils began cheering and waving their Union Jacks like mad.
“Even after all these years I can still hear the audible groan from the crowd as I wound my window down and a police officer said: ‘Oh, it’s you is it?! Round the back, Mister!'”