Hi. In short, I’m a feature writer, journalist, editor, copywriter and story consultant from London.
My work has appeared in a variety of national newspapers and magazines, including The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Independent, Vice (US and UK), The Week, Broadly, ShortList, Time Out, Penguin.co.uk, Grazia, Men’s Health, The London Magazine, The Gentleman’s Journal and The Red Bulletin.
I started my journalistic career as a news reporter at the Daily Mirror before joining The Independent and i as Crime Correspondent. There, I covered stories including the trial of serial killer Levi Bellfield, the News Of The World phone-hacking scandal and the London riots of 2011. Upon leaving The Independent, I pivoted into long-form feature writing, first freelance then as Chief Writer and, later, Features Editor of FHM magazine, where my work consisted exclusively of celebrity profiles and long-form feature writing in a range of subjects, from sports to war to technology.
I went freelance in 2016.
Specialising in long-reads, investigations and interviews, I’ve written at great length about the British citizens travelling to Iraq and Syria to fight Isis, mostly for The Guardian. My unparalleled body of work on the subject includes the only comprehensive investigations into the final days of Kosta Scurfield and Dean Evans, the first and second British citizens killed fighting Isis in Syria, as well as profiles of many of the men and women who left Britain and America to join the Kurdish war effort between 2014 and 2019. You can read those features, and more, on this website.
Much of my news reporting on the subject is not on this site, but can be found on my Guardian profile page.
Other subjects include socialism in the NBA, sex on the A1 motorway, and the dying art of the journeyman boxer.
My 2012 investigation into slave-like working conditions on cruise ships was turned into one of Channel 4’s most-viewed Dispatches films of that year, under the title Cruises Undercover: The Truth Below Decks. I’ve unwittingly interviewed a murderer in his own front room (prior to his arrest), been offered a kneecapping by a London gangster and chased from a crack den in Brixton by dogs. My closest brush with death, however, was attempting to eat the Guinness world’s largest cooked breakfast in 30 minutes, without a drink. I failed.
Some of my biggest-hitting celebrity profiles include Miles Teller, Derren Brown, Sol Campbell, Jack Whitehall, M Night Shyamalan, Jimmy Anderson, Freddy Flintoff, Andy McNab and more. I was also a credited consultant for BBC1’s hit 2018 drama series Press, by the acclaimed playwright Mike Bartlett, which followed the lives of journalists at a left-leaning broadsheet and a populist tabloid. A number of my own stories were dramatised in the show.
You can email me at email@example.com or find me on Twitter/Instagram @mattblakeuk.