A HOLLYWOOD reporter has written a book about her career of a lifetime and meeting top celebrities after starting out in the Echo newsroom.

Lisa Marks launched her career at the paper at just age 18, and she’s since gone on to interview the likes of Cameron Diaz, Hugh Jackman, Julie Andrews, Kylie Minogue, Friends stars Lisa Kudrow, Jennifer Aniston and Courtney Cox... and the jaw-dropping list continues.

Lisa, who grew up in Southend and now lives in Leigh, says starting at the Echo kickstarted her career and gave her the opportunity to make it big both in the UK and across the pond, also working for a whole host of publications including The Guardian, Grazia, Red, Mirror and OK.

The 52-year-old said: “I always wanted to be a journalist and a writer. I did a lot of work experience at places like the Leigh Times, but the Echo was first and foremost my goal.

“After I was on the features desk for a while I moved on to freelance for different magazines. I remember interviewing Kylie Minogue with Just Seventeen. I also was working at The Mirror in 2001 when the 9/11 disaster happened.

“My first big interview was Cate Blanchett. I then went on to interview celebrities including Drew Barrymore, Steve Carrell and Charlize Theron, who was my favourite.

“I’ll never forget when I went to meet Courtney Cox. I was originally told I had half an hour to interview her, but when I got there her publicist said I only had ten minutes. Of course, I couldn’t get what I needed in that time, but so she was so sweet that she rang me back that weekend to finish the interview. It was amazing.”

Her book, Ryan Is Ready For You Now hopes to give aspiring journalists an inside guide on how to interview celebrities.

She added: “I remember when I met Hugh Jackman I just burst into song and began singing Sunset Boulevard. After I thought, what have I done, but he burst into laughter with me.”

Ryan Is Ready For You Now is out on Amazon.

See lisamarksmedia.com