Brooke Magnanti, ‘Belle de Jour’, speaks out in Bristol

Speaking for the first time ever on BBC Radio Bristol, Bristol University scientist Dr Brooke Magnanti has described the problems of staying anonymous while writing her hit blog, ‘Diary of a London Call Girl’, later a TV series starring Billie Piper.

She told Ben Prater on the Drive programme: ‘It was a bit of an accomplishment to have maintained a secret for that long.’

‘Belle de Jour’ decided to reveal her identity a year ago, after learning that the tabloid press had discovered who she was.

‘Bristol’s very laid back,’ she said. ‘People were friendly. The main negative reaction was from papers who were upset that they didn’t crack the mystery sooner.’

Dr Magnanti will be appearing live at the joint NUJ, UWE and Bristol Festival of Ideas public discussion about blogging and journalism, ‘What’s the Blogging Story?’ this Friday 22nd October at 7 p.m. at Bristol’s Watershed. 

 ‘I’m fascinated by it. I’m interested in the culture of blogging. It was just a pleasure to be invited, and I think it’s going to be an extremely good conversation,’ she said.

‘There are a lot of responsible political bloggers that I really admire, and then there are people who are falling into some of the same traps that they accuse journalists of going into. It’s interesting to see how that has developed as blogging has developed.’

The upbeat interview with Brooke can be heard on BBC iPlayer at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00bk41f
starting at about 1 hour and 51 minutes into the programme, stopping for the news, and then restarting at 2 hours and 23 minutes.

What’s the Blogging Story? Watershed Media Centre, Bristol, Friday Oct, 22, 7pm. 

Tickets £7/£5 concessions & NUJ members. Box office: 0117 927 5100 www.watershed.co.uk


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