Hold the Front Page: Josh Widdicombe and Nish Kumar work for The Scotsman in new series highlighting local journalism

Newspaper and digital editors are normally shining the spotlight on other people, but a new Sky TV series featuring The Scotsman turns the tables.

Josh Widdicombe and Nish Kumar leap into the world of local news with Hold the Front Page, a six-part series following the duo's journey into the heart of grassroots journalism across the UK.

The series will follows the highs and lows of Kumar and Widdicome as they travel across the UK working for a different local newspaper and its website each week.

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As well as landing at The Scotsman at the height of the Edinburgh festivals, they visit National World stablemates the Yorkshire Post, West Sussex Gazette, Blackpool Gazette, Northamptonshire Telegraph, and Farming Life, on a mission to find real local stories strong enough to make the front page.

Hold the Front Page - Nish Kumar and Josh Widdicombe on their quest to become local newspaper journalists.Hold the Front Page - Nish Kumar and Josh Widdicombe on their quest to become local newspaper journalists.
Hold the Front Page - Nish Kumar and Josh Widdicombe on their quest to become local newspaper journalists.

Their investigative journey around Britain will see them delve into local mysteries, take part in unusual events, cover the burning issues of the day and even involve themselves in the news or enlist a celebrity or two to help them out. But with almost no journalistic experience, the series sees the pair having to rely on their quick wits and natural curiosity as they attempt to get to the heart of what makes each area tick.Neil Mcintosh, Editor of The Scotsman, said he was delighted to take part in the series.He said: "It was a pleasure to welcome Josh and Nish.

"Arriving in the middle of the Edinburgh Festival, they dipped their toes in the full range of Scotsman coverage - from show reviews to rocket launches, via one of Scotland's most eminent politicians, and one of its most fearsome actors. It was quite the roller-coaster."

Kumar said of the experience: “I think it's ultimately been about celebrating local journalism in the United Kingdom. That's the main take home from it. The other is two quite confident people finding out that their confidence was misplaced!”

On covering the Edinburgh Fringe as journalists, Widdicome said: "We got to see things we would never have seen which was really exciting.“On the downside, we did run into a friend who did keep making fun of our stupid little suits. So there were ups and downs. It is an embarrassing thing being at the Edinburgh Fringe in a suit.”He added: “I've not been back to the Fringe for a few years, so to go back in a suit with a TV camera ... anyone who thought I had sold out was given ample evidence.”

The series begins in Blackpool on the daily title the Gazette. Editor Nicola Adam said: "It’s always great to have an extra pair of hands or two in the newsroomand Josh and Nish were certainly willing to go the extra mile in pursuit of a front page byline - if not always in the right direction. I really hope the show demonstrates the breadth of what we do across local news in the UK, it's not all bad news as the vast majority of stories we tell is to showcase our wonderful communities and people as well as advocating on the issues which matter to them."

Hold the Front Page launches on January 4 on Sky Max and NOW.

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