Matt Blake is a long-form feature writer, journalist, editor, copywriter and story consultant from London. His work has appeared in a variety of national newspapers and magazines, including The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Independent, Vice (US and UK), Broadly, ShortList, Time Out, Penguin.co.uk, Grazia, Men’s Health, The London Magazine, The Gentleman’s Journal and The Red Bulletin.
He started his career at the Daily Mirror as a Graduate Trainee, where he became General Reporter. Though, while he also covered health, sport, showbiz and defence, he mostly reported on crime and the courts for the paper.
Matt later became Crime Correspondent at The Independent and i, where he covered stories from the trial of serial killer Levi Bellfield to the News Of The World phone-hacking scandal and the London riots of 2011. Upon leaving the Independent, Matt moved into long-form feature writing, first freelance then as Chief Writer and, later, Features Editor of FHM magazine until its farewell issue in January 2016. He’s been freelance ever since.
Specialising in long-reads, investigations and interviews, Matt has written at great length about the British citizens travelling to Iraq and Syria to fight Isis, mostly for The Guardian. His 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 still there or recently returned. You can read those features, and more, on this website.
Much of his news reporting on the subject is not on this site, but can be found on his Guardian profile page.
Other subjects include socialism in the NBA, sex on the A1 motorway, and the dying art of the journeyman boxer.
Matt’s 2012 investigation into slave-like working conditions on cruise ships became one of Channel 4’s most-viewed Dispatches films of that year, under the title Cruises Undercover: The Truth Below Decks. He has unwittingly interviewed a murderer in his own front room, been offered a kneecapping by a London gangster and chased from a crack den in Brixton by dogs. His closest brush with death, however, was attempting to eat the Guinness world’s largest cooked breakfast in 30 minutes, without a drink. He failed.
Some of his biggest-hitting celebrity profiles include Miles Teller, Derren Brown, Sol Campbell, Jack Whitehall, M Night Shyamalan, and more. He was also a credited consultant for BBC1’s hit 2018 drama series Press, by the acclaimed playwrite Mike Bartlett, that followed the lives of journalists at a left-leaning broadsheet and a populist tabloid.
You can email Matt on firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @mattblakeuk.