Simon Hattenstone

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Simon Hattenstone (born 29 December 1962 in Salford, England) is a British journalist and writer. He is a features writer and interviewer for The Guardian newspaper,[1] and has written or ghost-written a number of biographical books.


Hattenstone was severely ill with encephalitis for three years as a child and resultantly is an Ambassador for the Encephalitis Society.[2] He studied English at Leeds University and trained to be a teacher before moving to London to work as a journalist. On The Guardian he wrote a sports column for three years, which focused on the perils of being a die-hard Manchester City supporter. He also became assistant arts editor and film editor.[3]



Hattenstone is among the few journalists to have interviewed the anonymous graffiti artist Banksy.[4] Other interview subjects have included George Michael, Paul McCartney, Dolly Parton, Debbie McGee, Tom Jones, Stevie Wonder, Serena Williams, Katie Price, Desmond Tutu, and Penelope Cruz.[5] His interview by mobile phone with Judi Dench has been quoted as an example of entertaining feature writing, yielding "an unconventional but, ultimately, satisfying profile".[6] He also writes about crime and justice, and has covered many miscarriages of justice.[7] He was highly commended in the Interviewer of the Year category in The Press Awards for 2014.[8]

Other works

Books by Hattenstone include, Out of it, about his childhood illness,[9][3] and The Best of Times, about the lives of members of England's 1966 football world cup team.[10] He has ghost-written books for the snooker player Ronnie O'Sullivan[11] and for Duwayne Brooks, who was attacked with Stephen Lawrence on the night Lawrence was murdered.[12]

Film and television

Hattenstone co-wrote the television documentary series Brits Abroad.[13]


  1. ^ Simon Hattenstone (profile), The Guardian, accessed 22 January 2017.
  2. ^ Foreword by Hattenstone, in Ava Easton (26 February 2016). Life After Encephalitis: A Narrative Approach. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-317-53837-0.
  3. ^ a b Mike Horsfall, Out Of It - Simon Hattenstone (book review), Police Journal Online, vol. 79, no. 11, November 1998. The Police Association of South Australia.
  4. ^ "Who is Banksy? Artist avoids awards-show unmasking", The Week, June 10, 2016.
  5. ^ Simon Hattenstone, "Simon Hattenstone: the unpredictable and the unpublishable", The Guardian, 4 July 2015.
  6. ^ Susan Pape; Sue Featherstone (2006). Feature Writing: A Practical Introduction. SAGE Publications. pp. 83–86. ISBN 978-1-84787-813-7.
  7. ^ Simon Hattenstone, Wrongly Accused Person
  8. ^ The Press Awards, Society of Editors, 2014.
  9. ^ Simon Hattenstone (1999). Out of it: The Story of a Boy who Went to Bed with a Headache and Woke Up Three Years Later. Hodder and Stoughton. ISBN 978-0-340-71869-8.
  10. ^ Simon Hattenstone (2006), The Best of Times: what became of the heroes of '66?. Guardian Newspapers Limited. ISBN 0-852-65064-7.
  11. ^ Ronnie O'Sullivan (10 October 2013). Running: The Autobiography. Orion. ISBN 978-1-4091-1224-2.
  12. ^ New Statesman. New Statesman, Limited. 2003.
  13. ^ Simon Hattenstone: Biography, IMDb.

External links

  • Simon Hattenstone, JournaListed, Media Standards Trust
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