Inderdeep Bains

Daily Mail

Inderdeep Bains has had an extraordinary year: her explosive interviews set the agenda, raise uncomfortable questions for those in power and give voice to the voiceless. With the instincts of a news reporter and the emotional intelligence vital for every good features’ interviewer, her entries will make you weep - and your jaw drop with outrage.

Who could forget the opening lines of Bains’ first entry: ‘By the time you read this, I could be dead. That’s according to my doctors who, for the last year, have repeatedly told me that I have had only days to live.’ This was the incredibly moving interview with ‘ST’ - later revealed as 19-year-old Sudiksha Thirumalesh. (Bains’ interview with Thirumalesh’s family after her death has been included for context). Because of Thirumalesh’s physical limitations it took a week to conduct the interview - a tribute to Bains’ patience. The resulting article – which conveyed the heartbreaking powerlessness the teenager clearly felt - was widely followed and led to calls for an overhaul in how end of life cases are handled.

Bains spent months investigating allegations of bullying and sexual harassment aboard Britain’s nuclear submarines, which culminated in this shocking interview with former lieutenant Sophie Brook. Thanks to Bains’ empathy, Brook waived her right to anonymity making it even more powerful. After other whistleblowers went to Bains with their experiences, the Royal Navy launched a major inquiry. As Brooks put it in her impact statement: I spent my entire career terrified of the press but as it turns out, they were the only people that heard what I had to say. It was because of the determination of one woman, Inderdeep Bains, to listen and understand what I was saying. It is because of her commitment and integrity to her job that she got to the truth.’ There simply couldn’t be a better example of what a good interviewer can achieve.

Similar care and dedication was taken by Bains when she interviewed Emma, a victim of serial rapist policeman David Carrick, who chose to remain anonymous in print. Emma’s extraordinarily disturbing story of abuse at the hands of a powerful man was handled with tremendous sensitivity by Bains.