I’m a freelance journalist, published by the BBC, RTÉ, The Irish Times, The Guardian, The Globe and Mail, Radio Canada, Le Point, La Presse and many others.

 

In recent times, I’ve covered stories like the aftermath of Islamic State in Iraq, the rise of Hungary’s far-right, war in Cameroon, narco-trafficking in Guinea Bissau and modern slavery in Pakistan. I also write a monthly column and culture features for Die Zeit's English-language magazine, Spotlight.


Previously based in Belgium and Canada, I now work from my native Scotland. I do both print and broadcast – in English and French. Contact me here.

Recent work - UK/world

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Sturgeon's worst nightmare

RTÉ (04/21) @23.34mins


Alex Salmond, risen from the political dead, returns with tartan nat challenge to dominant SNP.  His comeback raises uncomfortable questions about independence, brushed under the carpet during Covid.

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The Sturgeon factor

RTÉ (06/20) @13.18mins


Scotland’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic has been almost as dismal as that of England. Yet, on the streets, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is more popular than ever, and support for independence is surging.

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Kurdistan: a shot at statehood

New Internationalist (07/20)


Foreign aid and oil money have been key to the survival of Kurdistan’s two mafia-like ruling clans, the Barzanis and the Talabanis. And poverty, lots of it. For their success depends on them being the ones with all the cash to splash.

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Covid-19 and an IS comeback

The Irish Times (05/20)


Could it happen again? In Mosul, locals still feel the presence of Islamic State, hidden in the cracks and seams of city life. 

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Mosul’s new masters

The Irish Times (03/20)


After Isis, came the mafia. In Mosul, a jumbled assortment of Iran-backed militias, known collectively as the Hashd al-Shaabi, compete for their share of the spoils of war.

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The vapers of Mosul 

BBC Radio 4 (03/20) @11.14mins


Out on the hustle with three buccaneering entrepreneurs, selling vapes in war-torn Mosul. Moslawis are born entrepreneurs. Given half the chance, they can make their city great again.

Recent work - culture

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TV dinners

Spotlight (04/21)

They never taste quite like they look on the box. But there’s still something irresistibly novel about bung-it-in-the-micro TV dinners. Binge-watching telly during successive lockdowns, teas on knees have made a comeback.

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Interview: William Sitwell

Spotlight (12/20)


Interview with William Sitwell, restaurant critic for The Telegraph, whose book on eating out was published just as every restaurant in the world had closed. But Sitwell, who writes with the wit of the raffish old-school toff, is accustomed to being out of step with the zeitgeist.

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The Great Stink of London

Spotlight (09/20)


Travel feature taking us right back to London in 1858, just as the city's inhabitants are 'isolating' indoors from a hot fog of pestilence rising from the sewage-filled Thames . Highlight is a visit to The Rookery, aka Little Ireland, where residents are dying en masse from cholera.

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Critics’ choice

Spotlight (07/20)


What to read and watch in summer 2020. Tips from two women in the know: Lucy Scholes, who writes about books for The Telegraph and the FT, and Clarisse Loughrey, chief film critic at The Independent. TWO-PAGE SAMPLE.

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Crafted in Edinburgh

Spotlight (05/20)


A tour of the Edinburgh crafts scene. We launch in the Grassmarket, home to the highest concentration of pubs in the city. Encounters with a post-punk milliner, a teenage bagpipe maker and a canine couturier. ONE-PAGE SAMPLE.

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Laughter is the best medicine

Spotlight (06/20)


Interview with Adam Kay, author of This is Going to Hurt, on the gruelling realities of working as a doctor in Britain’s National Health Service, and the likely impact of Covid-19 on the system. ONE-PAGE SAMPLE.

Greatest hits

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Global Ear: Dé:Nash

The Wire (08/19)


Hungarian rapper Dé:Nash mines his country’s collective consciousness, satirising the Fidesz regime’s use of ancient legend and historical grievances to craft a new national narrative.

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’Licence to kill’

New Internationalist (05/19)


Cameroon’s bloody conflict between the regime and separatist rebels has been raging nearly three years. Government forces wield their ‘licence to kill’ liberally, with utter impunity.

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Interview: Guinea-Bissau’s president

Al Jazeera (03/19)


José Mário Vaz, president of Guinea-Bissau, appeals to world for help in fighting the cocaine cartels that he says are still using the fragile state as a trafficking hub.

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Inside Hungary’s post-truth laboratory

New Internationalist (08/18)

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Pakistan’s bonded labourers fight back

The Irish Times (07/18)

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Imran Khan battles conspiracies in Pakistan election

The Irish Times (07/18)

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A kilo of cocaine

BBC Radio 4 (04/18)

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Making honey from Africa’s killer bees

The Guardian (12/17)

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Philip Taylor – La politique, je l’ai dans le sang 

Le Point (12/17)

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Interview with Liberian president George Weah

The Irish Times (10/17)

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Liberia’s forgotten child soldiers

Al Jazeera (10/17)

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A dictator in the family

The New Statesman (02/17)

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Trans people risk lives in Turkey

GlobalPost/PRI (12/16)

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Interview with Gambian president

The Irish Times (12/16)

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Lunch with Boris Johnson’s Turkish cousin

The Irish Times (05/16)

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Being Muslim in France

Al Jazeera (12/15)

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Paris attacks report

GlobalPost (11/15)

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Fighting Russia’s propaganda machine

GlobalPost (08/15)

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It’s a ‘No’ from Greece

vieuws.eu (07/15)

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A prison without bars

Al Jazeera (03/15)

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Making maple syrup

BBC News (05/14)

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The crack-smoking mayor

BBC News (11/13)

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Trouble in paradise

Noseweek South Africa (05/13)

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Interview with Alex Salmond

La Presse (08/12)

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In search of Philip Marlowe

The Montreal Gazette (05/12)

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‘Illegal’ midwives on call

The Montreal Gazette (08/11)

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Canada’s contraband capital

BBC (04/11)

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Deadly Secret

Canada’s History (04/11)

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Spirits of a community

The Montreal Gazette (02/11)

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Holiday in Asbestos

The Guardian (05/10)

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Chagos people press to return home

GlobalPost (09/10)

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War and peace

Police Review (07/10)

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Fighting for their identity

The Irish Times (07/10)

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Holy rivalry over Kateri

The Montreal Gazette (03/10)