24 | BIGISSUE.COM 05-11 AUGUST 2019
TheBigIssue:Whathave you foundto bethedifferencebetweenbeingwell-knownand
StaceyDooley:Youcan'tdenythatStrictlyputsyou on adifferentstage.You comeouttheotherend
withlotsof dealsbeingthrownatyou: ‘Doyou want to betheface of thiscampaign?’You can either
take thesegigsor getback to theday job, and you goto Nigeriaand Syria and you work reallybloody
hard.Ican’t makeadocumentaryaboutsustainabilitywithinfashionthenbetheface of afast
fashionbrand.You can't dothat. Yeah,themoney’sgreatbutit's notwhatyou believe.
Whenyou’refamous,and even moresoifyou workfor theBBC,dopeoplefeel entitledto have
an opinionabouteverythingyou say or do?
Ofcoursetheydo. I’m madeof hard stuff. I’m notgoingto crack everytimesomeonesays theydon’t
like me. I’m notfor everyone.Ireallymeanthis, itdoesn’thurt me. It doesn’tpenetrate.Peoplewill
judgeallthetime. Aslong asyou rate yourselfand thepeoplearoundyou –you feel lovedand they
rate you –that'swhatit’s allabout. You can drive yourself loopy trying to make sure everyone likes
you and it’ll neverhappen.
Your criticshave alwaysreferredto thefact you don’thave qualificationsand usedto sell
perfumeatLutonairportasifto say you shouldn’tbedoingwhatyou’redoing.Has thatbeen
replacedby themdismissingyou asacelebwhowonStrictly?
Ithinkit’s stillprobablyamixtureof thetwo. Somepeoplethink,‘Why hasshebeengiventhese
amazingopportunities?She’s notatrainedjournalist.’Butthat’ssuch atired argumentand it
doesn’treallywash now. I’ve beenmakingdocumentariesaboutcurrentaffairsissuesfor thelast12
years.OftenIhave muchmoreexperiencethan anybodywho’scomeoutof Oxbridge.I’ve beento
someof themosthostileenvironments of the world – Syria, Iraq, Honduras, the DRC – I have lots of
experienceIcan draw from.
Lasttimeyou spoketo The BigIssueyou saidone subjectyou wouldn’tcoverwas BokoHaramin
Nigeriabecauseof safetyconcerns,butnow you’vemadeafilmaboutthem.Whatchanged?
That was probablyone of thescariestthingsI’ve ever done.IjustthinkBoko Haramgetlessairtime
than Isis and theyare asradicaland ascrazy and asmuchof athreat.Boko Haramtend to target
schools.They'realwaysafter younggirls. Then whentheycapturethesegirls theyconvincethem
thattheonly way they’regoingto securethatplaceinparadiseisto gointo areallybusymarket
placeand blow themselvesup. Iwas inaplacecalledMaiduguri,whichisn’t safe. It's unpredictable.
OnenightIwas inbedand Icouldhear themilitaryshelling.It’s reallyfrighteningbuton the
otherhand thereare girls who are too frightened to go to school because they don’t want to get
kidnapped. It’s mad.
for disappered girls