Alastair Stewart OBE

The ITV News presenter became a Brooke Patron in 2016.

Alastair Stewart

What time does your alarm go off and how do you start your day?

06:20 if I am doing the ITV Lunchtime News, 08:00 if the Evening News; none, at the weekend! Always a bath, two cups of tea and a bowl of cereal. After that, it’s a case of ‘bring it on!’

What’s your role for Brooke?

I am a Patron. I love it, talking to folk about what we do, why we do it, why it captures my passions and my emotions, and how they can help.

How did you get into journalism?

I appeared on TV when I was Deputy President of the National Union of Students in 1976. I seemed to make a good fist of it and was offered a job. I’d planned to be a barrister and an MP so TV’s gain, if gain it was, was law and politics’ loss.

Do you have a memorable Brooke moment?

Attending Olympia as a guest of Brooke in December 2015. I met lots of Brooke folk but JK Rowling, who I love and admire, and Charlotte Dujardin, who is a total heroine of mine, were also there. My son became friends with Charlotte, too, which was a wonderful bonus.

What’s your typical day?

When working, it’s read, listen, talk and reflect on the news of the day, and culminates in the joy and drama of trying to make sense of it for people.

When I am off duty, at home, it's family, horses and donkeys. We are blessed to live on a farm and it ticks all my boxes.

I also love good TV like ‘Downton Abbey’ and ‘The A Word’ and I listen to lots of music - from my beloved Rolling Stones to Mozart.

Many stories are brutal: child abuse, disease, conflict. One has to gird one’s loins and get on with it; but we wouldn’t be human if we didn’t care and occasionally hurt.

What’s the worst part of your work?

Many stories are brutal: child abuse, disease, conflict. One has to gird one’s loins and get on with it; but we wouldn’t be human if we didn’t care and occasionally hurt.

What’s the best part?

Human achievement and simple happiness. I have a special place in my heart for parents who have lost a child and commit themselves to campaigning on the cause that cost them their cherished off-spring, for the selfless betterment of others. That takes spirit, courage and a form of saintliness.

What would be your Plan B? What would you be doing if you weren't working in journalism?

I’d have been a lawyer and an MP, defending folk who’d made mistakes, prosecuting those who’d erred, and ruling the world – well, at least the UK!

What do you do after work?

Endure the train, watch TV and chill. Oh, and start thinking about the next day: I am a slave to BBC Radio 4 Midnight News.

What makes you proud to be Brooke?

I love horses and donkeys. They are an adornment to our family life and some of ours are cherished partners in our children’s show-jumping exploits.

Elsewhere they are working assets, not always cared for as they should be and cast aside when their course is run. Brooke helps people do better than that and, in so doing, helps them have better lives themselves. It’s a magic circle, to the benefit of equines and humanity, and makes me very proud.

Alastair Stewart with one of his donkeys, Hob Nob

Alastair Stewart with one of his donkeys, Hob Nob