Career Advice Interviews

My Work Practice assessment was to get an interview media practitioner I admire. I managed to get in contact with two entertainment reporters Andrew Mercado and Nelson Aspen.


Andrew headshot 2 1

  1.  What inspired you to get into journalism?

I was lucky because journalism found me, because I had a passion for Movies and TV and so, thanks to a good education in English, I was able to write about it because I knew it so well.

  1. As an entertainment reporter, TV presenter and media commentator, how did you get to where you are today?

The key to my success is recognising when to get in on the ground floor of things. When Foxtel started, I moved to Sydney because I knew it would be a new organisation with opportunities – and I was right. When I left there to go freelance, I did so because I could see that there were no TV Historians as the 50 Years of TV anniversary was approaching. It’s all about timing.

  1. What do you love about being an entertainment reporter and commentator?

It is great to be able to do what I love (and would be doing anyway) but be able to say – oh but this is WORK haha!

  1. What’s your typical day life?

Get up, walk the dog, get coffee, read the newspapers (old school I know, and I still do it despite one particular newspaper doing my head in with their horrible bias), check out more news on the internet. Now I run a cinema, I am usually then doing something that day to keep it running, while fitting in my other media commitments around that.

  1. As a fellow film buff, I’ve always thought about owning a cinema. What made you want to buy Roxy Cinema?

Again, right place, right time. I was screening movies in pubs and clubs and thinking about owning my own cinema, but the only ones available were in the country without a lot of population growth. And then I heard about this one in a coastal town that swells with tourists every summer – now you’re talking.

  1. What’s it like owning and operating a cinema?

It is HARD work – hardest thing I’ve ever done. Unrelenting for not very much return (yet). I love picking the movies and putting up the posters and hearing the audience laugh. And there is room for growth, so fingers crossed …

  1. What are the qualities that make a good journalist?

Passion. Knowledge of history. Being prepared to start at the bottom before working your way further up the ladder. Hardworking. No ego. Being yourself.

  1. What advice would give anyone who wants to get into this profession? 

That is so hard – because the business is so different now. You make less writing for a newspaper now than you did 20 years ago. So maybe the most important advice is … specialise in something. So many people want to just enter a field and be like everybody else – but those who get ahead have a passion and particular knowledge about a certain subject. And if there is nobody out there with a knowledge of that subject even better – there is the opening to make yourself the expert in that field.



  1. What inspired you to get into journalism?

“A writer writes,” is a rule we all follow but TV journalism came about quite accidentally when I was hired as a fitness instructor to train Princess Diana and wound up presenting on British television!  The full story is here:

The Gift I Received from Princess Diana

  1. As an entertainment reporter, how did you get to where you are today?

Hard work and, most importantly, keeping my integrity, trustworthiness and integrity in a business full of mistrust and truth-bending.  Punctuality, honesty and kindness are assets in any line of work.

  1. What do you love about being an entertainment reporter?

Every day is different!  Interviews satisfy my desire for good conversation….Live TV suits my short attention span–no retakes!

  1. What’s your typical day life?

No two days are really the same, but I try to always make time for a morning run or workout to energize me and keep some consistency in my life.

  1. What advice would give anyone who wants to get into this profession?  

Have a Plan B that you can learn to love as much as Plan A.  That way it will never feel like a compromise if/when you have to fall back on it.




Kingsman: The Golden Circle


In this sequel to Kingsman: The Secret Service, the members of Kingsman team up with their American counterpart, Statesman, after the world is held hostage by a new threat.

Fans of the first will love this latest installment. Like its predecessor, it’s an enjoyable film. Action-packed, terrific cast, great music with hilarious moments. The only thing negative is that typical sequel feel to it with introducing new characters and balancing the story with more characters. Overall a fantastic film.

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars