TV documentary star Stacey Dooley comes to Stoke-on-Trent

Written by BA (Hons) Journalism student Louise Hill for StaffsLive

First appearing in Blood, Sweat and T-Shirts in 2007, Dooley was highlighted as being more than a reality star when she was visibly moved by what she saw in an Indian sweatshop, surrounded by child workers who were making garments for high street shops back in the UK.

From there on Dooley has had a career spanning more than 80 documentaries, ranging from teenage digital drug dealers in the UK to missing indigenous women in Canada, to girls fighting ISIS in Iraq.

Dooley has seen it all and been around the world – but this is the first time she has been to Stoke-on-Trent.

“It was very much accidental, very unorthodox,” Stacey Dooley said, talking about how she went from being a girl working in a perfume shop in Luton Airport to being one of six Brits sent to India to experience sweatshops that were supplying our high street shops.

“I stumbled across child labour. I was very naïve and I wasn't particularly well travelled so everything was sincere and my reactions were genuine.

“I was coming face-to-face with inequality and acute poverty so it was tricky. At the time I was really gobsmacked.

“I was surprised that so many people were living a different life to me.

“I had always been very Western, and you go to these places and you see four, five-year olds working thirteen hours a day for a couple of quid so they can feed their families.

“I came home and started fundraising, raising awareness and slowly, slowly this career developed.”

Talking to 240 people in the Science Centre, she showed clips from a range of her documentaries, starting from her first foray on television, where she questioned a child labourer about his age.

“I think it's important to show you how much I have developed,” Dooley joked to the audience.

With more than 60 documentaries made for BBC Three alone, she has become the face of BBC Three online, with her programme 'Young Sex for Sale in Japan' being the most watched documentary on iPlayer this year, proving to BBC executives that 16 – 35s can be engaged in current affairs.

Read the full story on StaffsLive.