Mick Brown

The Telegraph/Sunday Telegraph

When Mick Brown interviewed Swedish author Björn Natthiko Lindeblad about his years as a Buddhist monk he had no idea that Lindeblad intended to end his own life. Lindeblad was suffering from motor neurone disease, which would inevitably be terminal, and had no intention of enduring a drawn out, painful demise. He was about to publish a book and it was clear that there was a fascinating story there and that Brown was the perfect person to interview him. Brown went to Sweden to interview Lindeblad; his health was already in a parlous state, and it was then that he revealed that by the time we published the interview, his life would be over. Assisted dying is illegal in Sweden, but a sympathetic doctor had agreed to help Lindeblad die in his own home. Lindeblad had told only four people, and the information required very careful handling within the article, which Brown did immaculately, in a sensitive and sympathetic piece in which Lindeblad talked with remarkable candour about his life - and impending death.

‘Breathtakingly beautiful to read,’ wrote one reader. ‘I will bask in the beauty of this article today, and not read another word.’ ‘The most beautifully moving piece I've read for many years!’ wrote another. ‘The tears are flowing now.’ Nick Cave had not given an interview to the press since the death of his 15 year old son Arthur six years ago. He had a book coming out but was persuaded to do one interview - and agreed to talk to the Telegraph on condition that it was Mick Brown who would write it. It was a piece that required sensitive handling but Brown was able to draw Cave out on the themes of grief and faith, the death of his teenage son, and his surprisingly conservative views. Brown went to Istanbul to interview Cave, and watched one of his concerts, and the result is an incredibly moving piece of writing in which Brown really captures what it is about Cave that has made him such an iconic figure, and the almost evangelical furore that surrounds him when he plays live. The article brought a whole new audience to the Telegraph, judging by the subscriptions it attracted. Jordan Peterson also only agreed to be interviewed on the condition that Mick Brown was the one to do it. Brown had interviewed Peterson four years earlier, but since then Peterson had become an international phenomenon but also undergone a catastrophic blow to his physical and mental health. He is an adversarial character and constantly having to defend his controversial views had taken a severe toll. Peterson has a devoted legion of followers but also a lot of outspoken critics. Brown manages to tread an exact and empathetic line in his portrait of Peterson, beautifully unpicking the journey he has been on, challenging but not judging some of his controversial beliefs. The reader comes away with a vivid insight into Peterson’s extraordinary mind.