It was the headline event at this year’s festival and the memoir that has everyone talking. Chloe Woodhouse, a New College student along with others from the University of Gloucestershire and other local schools had the opportunity to go backstage to meet and interview the former Prime Minister.
David Cameron was speaking at the event in conversation with the BBC’s Sophie Raworth about his memoir “For the Record” on the first day of The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival. In one of just two interviews ahead of his appearance, students including Chloe, were given the opportunity to hold the former Prime Minister to account with questions on the EU referendum, Brexit and climate change.
Students then joined the Festival audience for the main event to hear David Cameron’s perspective on his time in Downing Street, his personal life and with just weeks to go till October 31st deadline, his decision to call a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union.
Ahead of the interview, students were also invited to a special ‘Interview Skills’ workshop with Journalism staff, graduates and students from the University of Gloucestershire. The session included how to prepare to ask the right questions, how to get the best out of an interviewee and what to look out for in those all-important answers.
Chloe Woodhouse, student, New College Swindon said:“For my journalistic ambitions, the opportunity excited a passion in me newly stirred. Meeting him was finally seeing a politician in person, out of their shiny costume."
Alicia Read, Lecturer, New College Swindon said: “We were delighted that the University of Gloucestershire and Cheltenham Festivals were able to offer this unique opportunity to our students. It’s been such a fantastic opportunity for our students to take part in a University level workshop which helped them to both build their interviewing skills and to engage actively in current affairs.”