By Indigo Jones
Stacey Dooley has paved the way for a new wave of female journalism and as a result, has inspired many young women to follow in her footsteps. Throughout her career, she has presented numerous documentaries on various topics, most recently including a documentary on the goings-on of a psychiatric unit which aired last week on BBC Three. This event which was hosted by singer/songwriter and close personal friend of Stacey Dooley, Jessie Ware was called Conversations with Stacey Dooley, the title was fitting due to relaxed nature of the event. This chilled atmosphere was emphasised by the audience feeling like a fly on the wall on Dooley and Ware’s conversation about Dooley’s career and future in journalism. Rather than a structured discussion, it felt more like a chat amongst friends, which echoes Stacey’s usual friendly demeanour seen in her documentaries. It was humbling to see where she started her career as they discussed how she became involved with making documentaries, as well as showing a clip from her first TV appearance during a documentary set in India. It was enlightening to see how she has grown as a journalist and inspired hope in the future female journalists in the audience. She then discussed her later documentaries, her experience on Strictly as well as the fun she has whilst filming the make-up show Glow Up, which lightened the tone in comparison to some of the very heavy topics discussed. She also elaborated on future documentaries she has planned, as well as showing us a sneak peek of her next film set in South Korea- an exciting preview for members of the audience to see before the rest of the general public!
Following their conversation, Jessie Ware opened the discussion to the audience for a small Q&A session. The questions were asked on twitter through the #AskStacey, allowing all members of the audience to ask questions online before they were asked at random. Sadly, my question was not picked, but it was interesting to hear what other members of the audience had asked. Stacey answered questions on her favourite documentaries, her favourite person she interviewed, what the future has in store for her and several questions on Louis Theroux! Earlier in the evening, a clip was shown from Stacey’s documentary ‘Face to Face with Isis’, this documentary involved Stacey accompanying Shireen, a former Isis sex slave, as she returns to where was imprisoned. The clip itself was difficult to watch as Shireen and Stacey came face to face with a member of Isis in jail. Stacey elaborated after the clip stating that Shireen’s sister was still in Syria and that she was set on finding her, which at the time Stacey was sceptical about her discovering her sister. During this Q & A portion, one member of the audience asked if Stacey had been in contact with Shireen since, to which she replied that she had been sent a picture of Shireen and her sister as they had finally been reunited after years apart. This had to be the highlight of my night as well as many members of the audience as we felt some sort of relief and closure on Shireen’s story as we are glad that she can finally move on with her life with her sister.
Although, the highlight of many audience members night would have been the opportunity to meet Stacey after the event, where she was autographing books and taking pictures with those who waited in line. This truly demonstrates how down to earth Stacey is as she took the time to individually speak to members of the audience. I would recommend this event to fans of hers, future journalists or perhaps people who are just interested in the topics she has covered. If she does another event soon, I will be sure to attend!