Interviews Make Things Happen

Drawing of the obituary of Camila Bathmangelidjh

Camila Batmanghelidjh. Not someone I wanted to interview, if I’m honest.

I resisted it for quite a long time.

The editor of the paper where I worked (The Financial Times) had sent word he wanted me to see her, and write about the remarkable work she was doing with disadvantaged young people.

I should add that this was a long time ago, and she wasn’t particularly well known.

I procrastinated for weeks – possibly months – until eventually I heard from the editor I reported to directly that he’d been asked by the big chief: “How’s Flintoff getting on with that interview about Kids Company?”

So I made a phone call, went to see Camila – and it’s fair to say it changed my outlook on life.

That’s why I not only read Camila’s obituary in The Times last week but also drew this picture of it / her.

That interview, and the others that followed, over a period of several months, also helped Camila. My story was published on the cover of the FT magazine, and indirectly led to a HUGE wodge of funding for her charity.

For some time afterwards, I would receive envelopes containing unsolicited financial contributions. One, from India, contained a small number of rupees (“to help the poor children of London”).

All of which is a very long way to say: interviews make things happen.



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