AN award-winning former Mail employee has been rubbing shoulders with the most powerful men in the world.
Globe-trotting Ian Sherwood has travelled the world covering stories including the July 7 bombings, Barack Obama's election campaign and the Hudson River plane crash.
The 35-year old and his BBC colleagues have just received an award for their breaking news coverage of the Haiti earthquake.
And the born and bred Hartlepudlian still remembers his very first day in the newsroom at the Mail.
"I walked in to the Mail's office and as soon as I stepped through the door I knew I wanted to be a journalist," said the former High Tunstall College of Science pupil.
"I managed to secure a job as a Saturday messenger boy and would run back to the office from Victoria Park when Hartlepool scored, how times have changed.
"I really enjoyed my time at the Mail, I was taught many things that I still use in everyday life as a journalist."
After securing his first trainee job in Kent, Ian moved in to broadcasting where he worked for ITN and got the opportunity to come back to Hartlepool.
He then worked for the BBC where he later moved to New York as the Deputy Bureau Chief.
The dad of Jessica, 13, who still lives in the region in Sedgefield, said: "It was my first day in the office in New York when the Hudson plane crash happened.
"We also covered the Mexico drug wars and of course the Haiti earthquake."
Only last week Ian, who now works in Washington DC, received a prestigious award for his reports from Haiti.
And he said he felt great pride in collecting the award.
"The human suffering, death and devastation I witnessed in the country will live with me forever." said Ian, whose parents still live in Seaton Carew.
"As journalists it is our job to report on such things and I just hope that in some way our reporting from Haiti has helped the people there for the better and I hope that people will continue to help them in the challenging years ahead, they are a wonderful nation of people."
Ian, who also followed Barack Obama in his presidential campaign, says he still comes back to Hartlepool as often as he can.
He added: "I am absolutely privileged to do the job I do, but I still have lots of family and friends who live back in Hartlepool, so I always look forward to trips back to my home town."
l Mail view: Page 8