Chrissy Iley is a revered and award-winning Journalist, and an entertaining and fascinating speaker too. She is renowned for her intimate luminary interviews published recently in the Sunday Times Magazine – Britain’s best-selling broadsheet. Chrissy has also worked for the Mail Group, the Telegraph group, the Observer magazine, Vogue, Glamour and Harper’s Bazaar. She spends much of her time flying to and from the USA and is mad about cats.
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Read more about Chrissy Illey
Growing up in the north east, Chrissy attended a convent school in Jesmond Newcastle called La Sagesse.
The nuns were cruel and the uniform ugly. When her father was transferred to a job in Niagara Falls in upstate NY, Iley was delighted.
Even from an early age she realised Americans had more choice about everything and not fitting in was considered a plus point. Once back in the north east she decided she wanted to be an actress. After getting attention in some local productions, she went to drama school in North London and did a performing arts course at Trent Park.
As a student she sold vintage shoes in Camden market and was a dresser for the male chorus at the Coliseum. After many auditions produced only one gig – Bugs Bunny on Ice, Chrissy concentrated on selling vintage clothes but never lost touch with her friends in the theatre. She met Daily Mail showbusiness columnist Baz Bamigboye who encouraged her to write stories about her acquaintances.
Her first job was as a freelancer who shared a desk with three other girls at Rick Sky’s column on the Daily Star. They also split the shift fee between them. Those three girls were Lisa Agasee, Julia Kuttner (daughter of former News of the World Managing Editor Stuart Kuttner) and Jane Goldman (wife of Jonathan Ross).
Chrissy then moved on to a staff job as showbusiness writer on the Daily Mail in the 1990s. After two years she went to the Sunday Times where her most notable interviews included Barbara Streisand, Hillary Clinton, Ivanka Trump, Denzel Washington Idris Elba, Johnny Depp and Bono. Chrissy’s first celebrity interview for the Sunday Times Magazine was Dustin Hoffman who she took hostage for hours if not days and ended up in a mutual foot massage.
Chrissy also helmed the much talked about Sunday Times Style column Relationship of the Week which was followed by Never Trust - for example a woman with a bob hair-cut, a man called Derek, a boyfriend who wants to go Dutch. After that came Hairbitch where a celebrity’s hairstyle was analysed to reveal inner psychosis.
Her journalism awards include British Press Award Interview of the Year 2008 and Los Angeles Press Club National Arts & Entertainment Awards Interviewer of the Year over 2,500 words - film, TV for Michelle Williams and under 2500 words for Barbra Streisand.
Chrissy was the 2015 winner of SoCal Journalism Awards’ Best International Interview for her interview with Hillary Clinton in the Daily Telegraph Seven Magazine and in 2017 received a Los Angeles Press Club award for her Billy Joel Online Entertainment Profile.
She has made many guest appearances on TV talk shows and radio shows including news programmes for Radio 4 and LBC, and also hosted My Life in Movies for Radio Two – a Desert Island Discs for films.
Chrissy is currently developing Supercat – a documentary about the world’s obsession with all things feline. And a TV series called Hackettes based on the women in Fleet Street in the nineties based on her own experiences – a Mad Men for women.