Simon Hattenstone

The Guardian

Simon Hattenstone must be the most accomplished, versatile storyteller working in journalism today.

Simon is not afraid to get stuck into his features, giving them the time and reporting they need. He spent months meeting and speaking to people who were arrested for protesting against the monarchy around the Queen’s death. The resulting feature on the right to protest and state of republicanism was read by 2.5 million people on on the weekend it was published, making it the Guardian’s most read article on the coronation (which itself was one of the biggest news stories of the year).

He deftly and sensitively wrote about the life of Brenda Leyland, a fantasist and internet troll who was publicly exposed for sending hundreds of abusive tweets to the parents of Madeleine McCann. Talking to her son a decade after Leyland took her own life, Simon painted a picture of a morally complex woman in a way that makes the reader reflect on the past, the present and why people behave the way they do. Brutal, tragic and a must-read for our times, it is a simply stunning piece of journalism.

He also told the story of Tom Turcich’s seven year, 28,000-mile search for the meaning of life. Turcich lost a close friend when they were in their teens, began to question what life was about and decided to walk the world to find out. Simon wrote about his incredible journey, creating one of the most inspiring and feel-good features published this year.

If you commission Simon Hattenstone to write a feature you know he will deliver journalism gold.