Clive Owen, the name’s Bradby!! ITV’s ‘chosen one,’ Tom Bradby, on his journey from The Falls Road to ‘Sundance Film Festival,’ via No 10.

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You see him every night outside Number 10 Downing Street. He is the face of ITV politics. He cut his teeth as a young reporter on the streets of Belfast. Those streets opened a window to Bradby on the world of the IRA, informers and MI5.

Little did we know, all those years ago, that those embryonic discoveries would result in his being the toast of the upcoming Sundance Film Festival and perhaps beyond, where his movie ‘Shadow Dancer,’ starring Clive Owen, Andrea Riseborough and Gillian Anderson, is being premiered.

I caught up with Mr Bradby in the shadow of Westminster. This is his story to date:




On life at Westminster:

“Politicians and journalists are like dogs and fleas”

“I’m not here to be their friends, I’m not here to cosy up to them”


On being chosen to interview British Royal couple, William and Kate on their engagement:

“I was the right person in the right place at the right time for them…we became reasonably friendly”

“Let’s face it, it wasn’t the most testing, probing interview I’ll ever do”

“I didn’t want to come across as the guy who messed up their engagement day by trying to turn this into a ‘Paxmanesque’ interview”

“I got very nervous about being seen to do the wrong thing and I kind of wanted it to all go away after a while”


On writing the book ‘Shadow Dancer,’ now his new movie:

“It has been a bit of a journey for me, I had the idea walking down The Falls Road almost 20 years ago'”


On Northern Ireland Screen’s rejection of ‘Shadow Dancer’ – his movie:

“We tried and tried and tried to get some funding….what happens with independent films, is you are trying to build the block to the final figure you need with chunks of money and you get a bit from here and a bit form there and its always the last bit that’s really hard, so if you need ‘x’ million, the last few hundred thousand is usually the hardest. Usually the last little chunk of that money often comes from some local public body that will give you money to attract the film there, because you know you invest in the local economy and employ people and all the rest of it, but we couldn’t get the money out of Northern Ireland Screen and we could, out of the authorities in Dublin.”




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I am a regular contributor to discussion programmes on TV and radio both at home and abroad. An experienced political editor and author specialising in Politics, Security and 20th Century Art.

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