A burning ambition to travel the world...

Ashley was born and brought up in the inner-city area of Lozells, Birmingham. Like most students who have endured years of education, Ashley had a burning ambition to travel the world. His idea to backpack across the globe was scuppered due to lack of funds. Not giving up his dream to travel Ashley decided to join the airline industry, as a steward. It was here that he realised where his true talents lay, travelling the world and getting paid for it, what a job!

Diploma in Journalism ...

At the age of twenty-three and having clocked up more than a quarter of a million air-miles, Ashley decided to leave the airline industry in search of something more fulfilling. He went back to college to study and obtain a Diploma in journalism.

First TV job...

Ashley’s first TV job was presenting a local entertainment and what’s on slot for cable TV in Coventry. With his knowledge of the travel industry, Ashley’s bosses soon realised they were onto a winner when they gave him the chance of producing and presenting
the promotional VT’s for The Travel Channel.

News presenter & reporter for LIVE TV...

Ashley’s next job was as a news presenter/reporter for LIVE TV, in Liverpool, where he was responsible for presenting the news bulletins and ‘live’ location reports. Having made a success of his work with LIVE TV up north, his roots beckoned and Ashley returned to his home city to take up the same position in Birmingham. It was there that Ashley’s talents caught the eyes of television executives from ITV. He joined the education department as a presenter on ‘Stage One Science’ for Channel Four schools.

Drawn to the bright lights of London...

Ashley was then drawn to the bright lights of London by London News Network who realised his potential and offered him a break on ‘London Tonight’, evening news programme. He was also responsible for reporting the daily news on ITV and LWT. On a number of occasions Ashley spent time undercover to highlight the war between hot-dog traders in the city, a life threatening assignment!

LNN Factual Programmes...

LNN Factual Programmes then offered Ashley a position on ‘Travel Express’, a holiday series, which allowed him to present and produce a series of holiday reports from around the world, including Hong Kong, USA, Turkey, New Zealand, Australia and Ireland. LWT’s ‘Dream Ticket’ holiday series then followed, and Ashley was able to combine his skills as a journalist with his experience of and love for travelling.

Reporter for BBC Breakfast News...

Having completed three series of ‘Dream Ticket’ Ashley was eager to begin the fourth, and in the meantime he joined BBC Breakfast News as a reporter. This opportunity tested his journalistic abilities to the full, reporting on a wide range of national issue stories.

@ashleyblake1234 

BBC News "Midlands Today"...

In Ashley’s current role as a Senior Broadcast Journalist with BBC News ‘Midlands Today’, he is responsible for presenting news programmes and is also the Entertainment Reporter for the region, focusing on the diverse range of talent in the Midlands. At the same time Ashley is also the presenter of BBC News & Current Affairs ‘Inside Out’ programme, a role he’s enjoyed for seven years. Ashley spent two years reporting on the BBC’s flagship consumer programme “Watchdog” and BBC’s “Holiday” series on BBC One.

Restaurant and Bar business...

As if he’s not busy enough, Ashley became an entrepreneur buying a restaurant and bar, which he has run for five years. Thai @ The Place 2B won Best Regional Pub Award.
Ashley say’s,
“Around six years ago I claimed to have mastered the art of television so I thought I’d try running my own business. Along with my girlfriend we decided to buy my local bar and turn it into a Thai restaurant. During our five years we have had great fun but it’s been extremely hard work. I have enjoyed meeting all the customers and being responsible for so many special occasions, including using the business to raise thousands of pounds or Macmillan Cancer Support, a charity that is very close to my heart. However, I completely under-estimated how much hard work was involved in running your own business, it’s not as glamorous as it seems on the surface. I think I should’ve just stuck to telly!”.

Midlands Freewheelers...

I am a keen motorcycle enthusiast. In my spare time I am dedicated as a committee member to promoting Midland Freewheelers an Emergency Blood Bike charity delivering vital, life-saving supplies between hospitals. I am also a committee member of RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) Advanced Motorcyclists, we promote safer riding through Advanced motorcycle training.

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