Sunday, September 29, 2013
A former Journal reporter returned to his roots last weekend when he appeared at the Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival.
Alex Wade, 47, was born in London, but spent his teenage years in Budleigh.
After a stint as a Journal trainee, he went on to work as a media lawyer, then as a freelance journalist, and a writer of books about surfing and boxing.
Appearing in a Q and A at the festival with Exeter University’s Martin Sorrell, he talked about all aspects of his career, which is set to take another turn shortly as he has just completed his first novel.
Alex said: “Budleigh’s not my hometown, but I spent my formative teenage years there so I’m a product of Budleigh I suppose.
“I was at the festival in 2010, but it’s really moved on hugely since then, from small things like the marquee on the green to the heavyweight writers involved now across the board.
“The Q and A was very interesting.
“There were good questions and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
“It’s nice for me to come back to the literary festival in the town.”
Alex’s writing career, which has included three non-fiction books, including former Sunday Times sports book of the week Wrecking Machine, and regular contributions to The Times, The Observer and The Telegraph, began almost by chance when he came to the Journal in 1984.
“My father did some work for the original owners of the Journal and he asked if I could do one week’s work experience.
“At the end of that week they sacked a sub editor and decided to give me a job. They just plonked me in front of a typewriter and told me to get on with it.”
Alex is a keen surfing enthusiast, having written two books about the sport, and while in Budleigh also took the time to sign a bellyboard backing a campaign by Surfers Against Sewage, of which he is a trustee, to protect our coastlines.
He said: “It’s been signed by various surfers and belly boarders at the recent World Bellyboard Championships in Cornwall, supporting the Protect Our Waves campaign.
“They recently secured enough signatures for a Parliamentary debate on safeguarding surf spots.”