The Yorkshire Post claimed this week to be the first UK newspaper to interview actor Arnold Schwarzenegger since he was elected governor of California.
The former body builder held a day of interviews with international press on Friday. Post business reporter David Parkin was the only print journalist to be granted a one-on-one.
He gained the unique access through Yorkshire businessman Lord James Hanson who lives in California.
Parkin interviewed Hanson last year and the peer offered to ask Schwarzenegger if he would talk to the Yorkshire Post if he “bumped into him”.
When the news came through that the Post had been granted an interview with Schwarzenegger, the newspaper’s management team decided it was too good an opportunity to pass up.
Parkin said: “Editor Rachael Campey was keen to show that the Yorkshire Post was committed to that kind of international news story and felt that we had a scoop.”
Parkin had 25 minutes with the governor, who told him that he last visited Yorkshire in the late 1960s as part of a body building exhibition. But he also made sure the interview wasn’t just about local issues.
He said: “I realised here was a chance to scoop the rest of the media so I didn’t want it to turn into a parochial interview, it had to be on a wider scale.”
Parkin said he was impressed by the governor’s presence and his grasp of California’s complex political and economic issues.
The interview made the Post’s front page on Monday and Parkin concluded that the trip had been well worthwhile.
He said: “We flew over 3,000 miles to do one interview – we normally only go as far as Hull.”