Under the Radar with Emily Nash
HELLO!'s Royal Correspondent walks us through the glamorous (and sometimes unglamorous) nature of her job. All we can focus on though is her photo op with Prince Harry...
Ellie Austin scored a job at Immediate Media as a Features Writer for Radio Times after graduating from the Magazine Journalism MA course at City University. Here she talks about working in the fast-paced world of a major weekly magazine and the power of a good coffee.
What made you want to work in the magazine industry?
I spent 12 years as a News Reporter and then Royal Correspondent on national newspapers before becoming a mum. I wanted to try working in a different environment and when the opportunity came up at HELLO!, I jumped at the chance to work for one of the best-known brands out there.
Can you chart your journey from when you started out to your current position?
After graduating with a degree in French and Italian, I started working for a forward planning news agency in South London, then moved home to Cardiff to do a postgrad diploma in Newspaper Journalism.
I was lucky enough to win a place on the Daily Mirror’s training scheme in 2003 and worked for them in London, Manchester, Belfast and Glasgow. After five years as a London-based news reporter, I joined The Sun in the same role in 2010, and in 2013 I took over as Royal Correspondent while pregnant with my son.
Two years later I was approached by HELLO! to head up their royal coverage and was delighted to become their Royal Correspondent.
Do you have a go-to work outfit?
A smart dress and heels for a royal event or the office, but I often rely on thermals, down jackets and even wellies for long waits outside in the great British weather or overseas!
What do you turn to when you’re on deadline – tea/coffee/snacks?
I’m a tea and chocolate fiend on deadline – a classic stress eater.
What’s the most unusual situation you’ve found yourself in because of your job?
There are so many, which is why I love the job! I’ve been lucky enough to travel the world throughout my career. Having lunch cooked for me in the Atacama Desert by one of the rescued Chilean miners the day after he came out of hospital was a particularly surreal moment. Equally, watching Prince Charles joke with President Obama in the Oval Office was pretty special.
What would people be surprised to know about your job?
It involves an enormous amount of admin and is often very unglamorous! Organising accreditation for royal engagements, clearing security and planning tour travel takes up a lot of my time. There is a lot of standing around waiting for things to happen too!
Walk me through your typical day.
There is no typical day for me, which is what I love about the role. I might start the day in the office having a catch up with the team, lunch at my desk or out with a contact, then working on features or the aforementioned admin.
Or, I might wake up overseas in a hotel, scramble for the tour bus and find myself following a member of the Royal Family around as they visit schools or hospitals, meet foreign leaders or travel to remote communities before moving on that night to a new city.
If you didn’t have to sleep, how would you use the remaining hours in the day?
I have two small children, so I can’t really get past the idea of not needing to sleep! Reading, yoga, learning a new language or renovating our house would be top of my list at the moment.
What is the last photo you took on your phone (at time of interview)?
The light fitting in the basement of the Trafalgar Hotel where I’ve just been filming for a documentary on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding – I love interiors!
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Watching old 80s and 90s music videos with a glass of wine.
Whose phone number do you wish you had?
It’s got to be the Queen. I’d love to be able to ring her up and pick her brain on all manner of things.
What’s the worst piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
I don’t remember any bad advice! The best advice I’ve been given is don’t miss the bus (on royal tours) and I like to remind myself that you can make your own luck – show up, work hard and be kind. You’ve got to be in it to win it.
What/where is your happy place?
At home with my family. It’s a cliché, but true.
What would people be surprised to know about you?
I hate flying!
What would be in your Room 101?
People who bag tables at cafés before they’ve ordered their food/coffee and drivers using their mobile phones.
Introvert or extrovert?
Optimist or pessimist?
Film or television? What are you binge-watching at the moment?
TV for time reasons – I loved Derry Girls and am currently watching The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.
Sweet or savoury?
Morning person or night owl?
With a 10-month-old baby, I’m currently a morning person, but not really through choice!
Tea or coffee?
Tea by the gallon.
Emojis – cool or cringey? Which emoji do you use the most?
Cool, but I’m a late adopter. Probably the laughing face or the see-no-evil monkey.