The 60 Year Overnight Sensation

stuart mcalister
visual content


Lockdown bored me.

I think that in one way or another, it bored everyone.

So to overcome it, I wrote a book.

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From failing my school exams with distinction to landing my first job in London's West End on the lighting crew of Evita!. Then, following a trail of breadcrumbs, I found myself at Elstree Studios operating the lighting desk on 'Monty Python's Meaning of Life’. Video projection took me to the BBC and Noel Edmonds' 'Late, Late Breakfast Show' only to be topped by standing above the stage at Wembley Stadium operating the giant TV screen on 'Queen’s Live Magic’.

A chance meeting then introduced me to a passion that was to dominate the next 27 years: television news. I filmed the political turmoil in Westminster, followed by a few dodgy characters on The Cook Report. I jumped ship and joined Sky News, who sent me to Bosnia and then down to South Africa where I witnessed Nelson Mandela’s historic election victory.

The Associated Press (AP) gave me a contract and packed me off to sea to join the Royal Navy on HMS Invincible, where I played with Harrier jump jets and live ammunition. Reassigned to Paris, I began a meaningful two-decade love affair with the French, their culture, their women, and their food ... though it all started with the death of a Princess.

The 1998 Football World Cup came to town, bringing its unique party atmosphere, followed by interviews with Presidents and World Leaders, handshakes and pastries, then out to Kosovo, David Bowie’s chewing gum, and breakfast with Lucius Malfoy ...


I don't expect to make a penny from this project (it certainly wasn't the intention) but it was a fantastic way to fill a year.


Click the cover to find out more (or order a copy from me).