Catching up with a gossip girl
Standing on the red carpet in front of Angelina Jolie, flying on a private jet with Pixie Lott, dinner dates with Peter Andre... it's all in a day's work for Hannah Doyle. Working as a senior celebrity writer for Reveal, one of the country's biggest weekly gossip magazines, means there's rarely a day when Hannah isn't chatting to a household name or two.
Parties, awards shows, film premieres and television show launches; the 28-year-old, who grew up in Queniborough, has done them all in the three-and-a-half years she has been working on the mag.
Gossip is her business, so it's only right she dishes the dirt on some of the most memorable celebs.
"I met Angelina Jolie at a premiere," Hannah says. "She stopped right in front of me and that was one occasion when I was really starstruck.
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"She was so nice and really engaging. She listened to my questions and really made an effort to answer them thoroughly, and she kept eye contact the whole time.
"A lot of A-list stars don't want to talk to the press. Some don't even watch the film at premieres, probably because they've seen it a million times. They'll walk into the cinema room and then get shepherded out a different entrance. Then they'll go back for the after-party.
"It was nice that she seemed so committed. And she's so beautiful. When you see her in a film, you think she's beautiful, but she's even more so in real life. A lot of celebrities look a lot glossier on TV than they do in real life but Angelina was just beautiful; beautiful skin and really, really piercing eyes.
"I reckon she'd be a lot of fun to go on a night out with."
Hannah started her career at a press agency, writing features for real-life magazines, after studying for a post-graduate degree in news journalism at De Montfort University.
She then worked freelance for six months, spending her time between Queniborough and friends' sofas in London, before she got the job at Reveal.
"I was so nervous when I started. I think the first person I interviewed was Sheridan Smith and I was worried I might not know how to talk to her because she was famous. But she was really sweet and I;ve met her since and she's always lovely. I was lucky to get a nice celebrity first.
"I started off going to lots of events, as well. After the first month or so you just get used to it, being around people who are famous, and you don't get starstruck at all. Apart from that time with Angelina, but that's Angelina Jolie!"
The front pages of all the gossip mags in the past couple of weeks have been filled with Cheryl Cole and her reported new boyfriend, dancer Tre Holloway.
Anything to do with the nation's sweetheart means other stories might be dropped. Cheryl might not be the best singer in the world, but she certainly sells.
"When something big breaks, the office goes into overdrive, especially if it happens late on in the week when we're approaching press deadlines. Most of the magazine goes to press on a Thursday, but we're able to update big news stories on a Friday.
"Pictures of Cheryl and Tre came into our picture desk, and then the showbiz team got to work finding out as much as we could about him. Sources come to us with information, and we'll trawl Facebook, Twitter and Myspace to see if he's on any social network sites.
"Cheryl's notoriously quiet about the men in her life and hasn't dated many guys since she divorced Ashley, so it's always a big deal.
"I've never met her, but I've met the other Girls Aloud girls. I lent Sarah Harding my lipgloss in the loos of a London restaurant once and chatted to Nicola Roberts about her style secrets at an event.
"Being a showbiz journalist, you get to realise celebs are just normal people like the rest of us."
Recent jobs have included dinner with Peter Andre to promote his show, Bad Boyfriend Club, at the swanky Kettner's restaurant in West London. "He ended up getting beetroot juice all down his white shirt, but he laughed about it
"He was fine, he seems like a really nice guy. I don't know how he ended up with Jordan. I've met her a few times and she's... she's quite changeable. Sometimes she's really nice, but other times it can be quite obvious that she doesn't want to speak to you.
"She once walked over and shouted at me at the TV BAFTAS after-party because I was chatting to her then- boyfriend, Alex Reid, and she knew I was a journalist."
Most days start in the office, unless Hannah has set up an exclusive interview with a celeb. Some of these will be paid for, others will be free, especially if the star in question has a new book/perfume/fashion range to promote.
There's also the gossip stories to write, with much of the information coming from "a source close to the star".
"A lot of people who know celebrities give us information we can work into a story," she says, but can't reveal any more than that.
Every now and then, the office will be buzzing with really, really juicy gossip (such as that of Imogen Thomas and a certain footballer last year) that just can't be printed.
There's a big affair Hannah has heard rumours about, for example, but she's not allowed to divulge and the Mercury's bank balance, we're sure, certainly wouldn't be able to cope with the legal aftermath if we printed it.
"Every now and then, something really big will come through that will shock everyone in the office, probably once every couple of months," says Hannah. "It's frustrating when you can't write anything about it, especially when you know it's true.
"On the other side of things, there are definitely some questionable celebrity romances out there at the minute, especially with programmes such as The Only Way is Essex. It's quite clear they need to have storylines and I'd say there are a few people in shows like that who make sure they've got romances going on. I wouldn't say they're completely made up but situations are definitely hammed up a bit.
"They're reality stars for a reason - they're normal people who have been in the right place at the right time and they like the limelight, so need to keep doing things to keep attention on them."
Most celebrities are lovely, she says, but some stand out more than others.
"The JLS lads are really sweet and are such hard workers. They always remember your name and it's little things like that that make them stand out.
"Amanda Holden, I expected to be a bit of a diva but she was so sweet and by the end of the interview she was almost like my big sister. We ended up chatting about stuff we probably shouldn't have been.
"We never really get access to A-list Hollywood stars, only at premieres. It would be nice to have a sit-down chat with George Clooney, but I'm not sure that will happen any time soon.
"The most interesting person I've met is Pete Burns. We did an interview about his plastic surgery.
"He likens it to most people changing their sofa or decorating their house. He said he just gets bored of the way he looks so he changes it. A lot of people would look at him and say he's weird, but he's a perfectly sane guy who just likes to look a bit different."
While Hannah has never had to cope with a complete diva, she has been surprised by a few people.
"There was a DJ who I thought would be really bubbly and nice but was not how I expected.
"They could have been having a bad day, but I was quite surprised... Ooh, you know who was awful though? Katie Waissel (former X Factor contestant). She was an absolute nightmare.
"I was told I had 15 minutes on the phone with her. She didn't answer and it was quite a few times before she picked up.
"She was in New Look, with Cher Lloyd, I think, and she'd start off answering a question but then trail off and start telling me about the clothes in the shop.
"She had no attention span whatsoever. In the end, I got so annoyed I just ran the interview as it was, exactly as she said it.
"We didn't get any complaints - the people behind her at the time obviously knew what she was like.
"I've met her since and she was quite sweet though, so I guess she was just swept up with the whole excitement of X Factor."Â
Precocious reality stars aside, there are no real downsides to the job.
"The late hours can be difficult. I don't tend to go to as many events now as I did back in the early days. Back then, it would probably be three nights a week.
"I do always have a spare pair of heels in the desk at work, though, just in case I get sent out on something that's a bit glam.
"The best event every year is the Elle Style Awards, it's always amazing and there's always loads of A-list stars. Alexa Chung and David Gandy were there this year. I'm always surprised when I chat to him because he's on so many billboards in his undies, but he's got this broad Essex accent.
"The GQ Awards are always really good, too.
"There's always lots of hot celebrity guys there and the goodie bags always have lots of stuff for boys, so my boyfriend always tells me to go to get that. But not to talk to hot men."