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4 February 2008
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Inside Out: Surprising Stories, Familiar Places

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   Inside Out - West Midlands: Presenter profile

Ashley Blake

Ashley Blake
Ashley Blake

Hi, I'm Ashley Blake, your Inside Out presenter for the West Midlands.

I have been a television journalist for over nine years now.

I began my BBC career in Birmingham as the region's Arts and Entertainment Correspondent and news presenter, before working as a reporter for Watchdog.

Back in the West Midlands

Inside Out has given me the opportunity to return and am delighted to be back in the West Midlands again.

Ashley Blake
Ashley gave up a high-flying career in the sky to become a reporter

My career has certainly been a varied one and I've enjoyed a range of jobs.

From driving and renting out cars and trucks to working with young offenders in the care of social services in Birmingham.

I even got to travel the world as an air-steward.

Yep, I stomped the aisles of all sorts of aircraft for almost three years, covering just under a million miles, serving tea/coffee, chicken or beef.

But the lure of TV proved too strong and in 1998, I arrived in London to present and report on ITV's London Tonight programme.

Going undercover

I enjoyed reporting a whole range of stories.

But the story that I'll never forget is going undercover as a hot-dog seller in St James's Park.

This was right in the middle of a turf war between traders.

Ashley Blake
Ashley is a 'Brummie' born and bred and is delighted to be back in the Midlands

I was physically attacked because they didn't want me on, what they considered, to be their patch.

Little did they know, covert TV cameras were recording their every threat and attack to be broadcast on the early evening news.

Apart from a dented pride, I was unharmed in the making of that film but, for me, eating a hot-dog will never be the same.

Be an insider with me

I am delighted to be a part of Inside Out in a part of the country I know so well and I am hoping my varied career will stand me in great stead for the wide range of stories I will be covering.

From undercover exposes, investigations and heritage with a twist, Inside Out will be a great challenge and I can't wait to get started.

So don’t forget to join me on Inside Out on Mondays at 7.30pm on BBC One.

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Ashley Blake
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