Interview : Matt Cain
He spent ten years making arts and entertainment programmes for ITV, including documentaries about Ian McKellen, Sam Taylor-Johnson and Will Young for The South Bank Show. In July 2010, Matt stepped in front of the camera to become Channel 4 News’ first ever Culture Editor, a role in which he attracted acclaim for his coverage of the Women’s Prize for Fiction and the Mercury Music Prize.
Matt has interviewed a diverse range of people including Grayson Perry, the Spice Girls, Pedro Almodóvar and Emeli Sandé. In July 2013, Matt left Channel 4 News to become a full-time writer. His first novel, Shot Through the Heart, was published in 2015 and his second, Nothing but Trouble, followed in July 2015. He’s also a columnist for the UK’s biggest selling magazine aimed at gay and bisexual men, Attitude.
What would you spend your last £10 on?
I’d probably have to download some of my favourite Madonna tracks and give them one last listen. Say what you like about her, her music got me through my childhood and has helped me out at several difficult stages of my life. So if I was down to my last tenner I might need another quick blast to see me through!
When did you last get starstruck?
I was been lucky enough to meet some big stars when I worked in telly but the only person who ever left me starstruck was Kate Ford, who plays Tracy Barlow, my all-time favourite character in Corrie and the inspiration for every bitch I’ve ever written!
You’re stuck in Groundhog Day and you’re going to have to read the same book for eternity. What book would you never get tired of reading?
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. It re-works Greek mythology into the most beautiful love story between demi-god Achilles and his devoted companion Patroclus. It’s romantic, sexy and totally magnificent – and its ending always leaves me bereft.
What was the last song you had stuck in your head?
It’s Raining Men, the Geri Halliwell version (obviously). It’s my karaoke standard and when I was the arts correspondent at Channel 4 News I used to dance around the newsroom singing it to our weatherman Liam Dutton. He always pretended to be embarrassed but I think he secretly loved it.
The most embarrassing thing you’ve done in public…
God where would I start? I used to have a horrendous health condition that made my heart cut out all the time. I have a pacemaker and it’s fixed now but for years I’d collapse often several times a day and often in public – in job interviews, on stage, on first dates, in restaurants, at the theatre, you name it. Obviously each time it was really dramatic but horrendously embarrassing too.
Waiter, please bring me…
A gin and tonic as an aperitif, red wine during dinner and then an Amoretto as a digestif. Sorry, I know they’re all boring choices but I promise I’d make up for it by providing the excitement in other ways!
What was the last thing you did for charity?
I shared my story on RUComingOut. It’s a great website and I felt proud to be able to do it, although I felt really emotional going back over my story.
What’s your proudest moment?
Writing then releasing my new book Nothing But Trouble. It’s a glamorous thriller about a straight-talking popstar whose wild lifestyle lands her in a position where everything she’s worked so hard for could come crashing down around her. It was inspired by my own years of self-destruction, which I wrote about recently for Buzzfeed. And I feel so proud that it’s now out in the world and readers are contacting me to let me know what they think.
“I was been lucky enough to meet some big stars when I worked in telly but the only person who ever left me star struck was Kate Ford, who plays Tracy Barlow (Corrie).”
When are you at your happiest?
When I’m sitting at home with my cat Nelly writing comedy scenes for my next book – or inventing hot heroes and then enticing them into my fictional bedroom.
What was the last movie you watched at the cinema?
I was looking after my brother’s children at the start of the Summer holidays and took them to see Ant-Man. I love all the Marvel films and this was one of the best – although I was surprised to find myself fancying the baddie much more than the hot superhero. I’m not sure what that says about me…
“When I was the arts correspondent at Channel 4 News I used to dance around the newsroom singing it to our weatherman Liam Dutton. He always pretended to be embarrassed but I think he secretly loved it.”
What are you most looking forward to?
Going away and conking out on a beach somewhere soon. I’ve just finished writing my third novel for next year so have done three back-to-back and now feel like I need to just lie on a beach and shut down my system before I can kick-start it back into action in the Autumn.
What’s the most memorable event you’ve been to in the last six months?
I’d have to say Attitude magazine’s inaugural Pride awards, which honoured heroes from within the LGBT community rather than just celebrities. Some of their stories were so moving and inspiring and a reminder that even though we’ve come so far there’s still a lot of work to be done. I felt proud to be a part of it.
Nothing but Trouble :
Matt’s new book Nothing but Trouble, published by Pan Macmillan, is available to purchase online and in good book stores now.