Each month we talk to a new character in town to discuss living and working in the city. This month its award-winning Journalist and Broadcaster, Marverine Cole
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF
I’m a freelance journalist and broadcaster. I started out as a television news reporter and newsreader for ITV Central News, BBC WM and BBC Midlands Today. Then I spent two years as a newsreader with Sky News, and produced radio documentaries for the BBC. Currently I’m a news reporter for ITN, I produce my own podcast called Quintessential and I am a Visiting Lecturer in Broadcast Journalism at Birmingham City University.
HOW DO YOU GET INTO TOWN?
After working in London for a decade, I’m more than used to getting around on public transport. Luckily for me I live in Kings Heath, so there’s no faster way of getting into Brum than jumping on the number 50 bus!
HOW’S THE COMMUTE?
The bus is hassle-free and so fast, 20mins on a good day. It’s been dubbed the busiest bus route in Europe.
IS BRUM A GOOD PLACE TO WORK IN?
There’s a vibrancy of spirit and camaraderie in Brum that you simply don’t get in any other city. As a TV news reporter in Birmingham, I remember never having to scrabble around in search of a story because there was so much going on.
I like Coffee#1 in Kings Heath, but if I’m in the city it’ll be Cherry Reds – Jen and her team are a cracking bunch.
I usually have meetings in town at Malmaison Bar. There’s a relaxed vibe about it, and the serving staff are always attentive to whatever I need. There are often times when I collaborate on projects with producers or journos from London or Manchester, so it’s super-easy for them to get to.
I power-walk or jog around Kings Heath Park. I adore Cannon Hill Park. I was there last week for the first time in about two years, and I’d forgotten just how vast and beautiful it is. I’ll be heading back for more.
WHERE’S YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF THE CITY?
I’ve just bought a house in Kings Heath. How can you not love having a music venue like the Hare and Hounds or a festival like Mostly Jazz, Funk and Soul on your doorstep?! And if you’re not into music, the High Street hasn’t lost its independent edge – there are amazing coffee shops, eateries and retailers here which all co-exist alongside the big name stores. And people from every creed, colour and race rub along well together here.
I love love love The Prince of Wales in Moseley. Being Birmingham’s first ever female qualified Beer Sommelier, I love my real ale. I’m a fan of strong, complex IPAs, so whenever I go in there, I’m on the hunt for either Oakham Ale’s Green Devil IPA or local brewery, Fixed Wheel’s No Brakes IPA. If I’m in town, I like The Wellington, a true real ale/craft beer buffs paradise and also Pure Craft Bars – I think what Paul Halsey and his team from Purity Brewery have done with the venue is fantastic.
HOW CAN THE CITY BE MADE BETTER?
I’d love to see a more regular street-food presence smack bang in the heart of the city centre. I sometimes wonder if some of those brilliant traders would like the chance to show off their food flair and expertise to a wider audience. If there was a ‘Summer Saturday Streetfest’ on New Street every week, for instance, it would open up more affordable alternatives to the offerings from the well-known eateries and restaurants that are in town.