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Thursday 7 January 2021

From UCLan to the celebrity heights of Hollywood

Journalism alumnus Sandro Monetti has shared the secrets of Tinseltown in his new autobiography

A University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) graduate is sharing the secrets of Hollywood in his new book.

Sandro Monetti, who is a successful showbusiness journalist, has penned his autobiography called Confessions of a Hollywood Insider.

In it, he admits he has kissed Madonna and head-butted Tom Cruise but claims such dubious achievements are all part of life as a showbiz reporter in Tinseltown.

Sandro, who grew up in Blackpool and graduated from UCLan’s renowned journalism course in 1987, has spent the last 20 years covering the famous A-list stars in Los Angeles.

The former Arnold School pupil, who started his working life as a reporter on the Blackpool Evening Gazette, said: “I’m sharing unique stories of my amusing encounters with more than 100 members of the A-list. You’ll find out what the biggest names in the world are really like. From Sylvester Stallone to Meryl Streep, Donald Trump to Princess Diana, and Brad Pitt to Britney Spears there’s funny stories about all the most famous celebrities.”

Sandro worked his way up the journalism ladder. After leaving the North West, he had a spell as a columnist on Smash Hits magazine before he became a showbiz correspondent on the Daily Star and TV correspondent for the News of the World.

He then moved to America, first with Sky TV for four years and later as a correspondent for Express Newspapers. He also contributed to BBC radio and various TV shows.

"It wouldn’t have been possible without a solid journalism background in Britain and the first step in the journey to dreamland was taken at UCLan. The NCTJ course, taught at Preston, was recognised as the best entry to the journalism industry. "

Sandro Monetti

He said: “Hollywood movies and TV shows had been a huge influence on me growing up and I always knew I wanted to live in LA and work as a showbiz reporter there interviewing stars and now I do.

“But it wouldn’t have been possible without a solid journalism background in Britain and the first step in the journey to dreamland was taken at UCLan. The NCTJ course, taught at Preston, was recognised as the best entry to the journalism industry. I had lots of laughs amid all the hard work. I remember the hours of learning shorthand and the good tuition. They were happy times and I have such golden memories.”

The multi-award winner took a break from journalism and wrote a couple of well-regarded books about his favourite movie stars, Mickey Rourke: Wrestling with Demons and Colin Firth: The Man Who Would Be King.

Sandro, who is on the board of directors of BAFTA Los Angeles, then returned to his passion as managing editor of the Los Angeles Business Journal and editor in chief of Hollywood international Filmmaker Magazine. Since 2015, he has been a regular on CNN International as a showbiz expert and has appeared on a string of TV shows.

More recently he has switched to making entertainment content and is President of Acquisition and Development at Big Screen Entertainment Group. He was recently voted best radio host in Southern California for his podcast, Who’s the Best?

He has also received humanitarian awards from the White House, United Nations and Buckingham Palace for his work on mentoring, inspiring equality, diversity, human rights and other causes.

Confessions of a Hollywood Insider is out now in paperback, e-book and Kindle.