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Page last updated at 07:24 GMT, Sunday, 11 September 2005 08:24 UK

Meet the West Midlands team

Nick Watson
By Nick Watson
Producer, West Midlands Politics Show

The West Midlands Politics Show team is led by the BBC's Political Editor in the region, Patrick Burns.

Patrick has a passion for politics and he wants to share it. To those who consider it "dull and boring" he says nothing could be further from the truth.

"Ask people if they are bored by talking about their jobs, their healthcare, their children's education, transport and housing and they'll say 'of course not'."

Patrick Burns
Blues and Bears for Patrick

In his leisure time Patrick is a "long suffering" supporter of Birmingham City FC.

He likes to get down to St Andrew's whenever he can to cheer on his beloved Blue Noses.

During the summer he likes nothing more than to spend a few happy hours at Edgbaston watching the Bears - that's Warwickshire County Cricket Club rather than the grizzly kind!

Patrick is also a keen aviation enthusiast, theatre and concert-goer and gardener.

MICHAEL COLLIE

Michael was born in London, raised in Sheffield and came to the Midlands aged 19.

He's worked as an auxiliary nurse, a painter and decorator, a motorcycle courier, a steelworker, a stagehand, an actor and an Army officer.

His very first job was delivering the news (on his bike), which he still does now (at a desk) for BBC Midlands Today.

Michael Collie
Michael live on the set

Michael says his ambition is to own a Cadillac hearse (low mileage, never driven at speed).

His most uncomfortable filming location? Well that would have to be the side of a Welsh quarry in a blizzard, for Countyfile.

As for the most uncomfortable set to work on. Well, that would have to be The Politics Show purple chair.

Although it is often the political guests who are left feeling decidedly uncomfortable after a grilling from Mr Collie.

SARAH FALKLAND

Sarah began her journalistic career in newspapers in her native Warwickshire and after a spell in BBC local radio she switched to television in 2000.

She presents and reports for BBC Midlands Today where she is a regular on the early morning and Saturday programmes.

When she's not presenting Sarah can turn her hand to pretty much anything - be it filming and editing her own reports or reporting live on location.

Sarah Falkland
Sarah relishes live debate

On the political front Sarah once found herself having to act as emergency make-up girl to Tony Blair before a BBC interview where she managed to over-powder the PM's nose, not to mention forehead, eyebrows and ears.

Outside work Sarah has an eye for antique furniture and confesses to a fascination with astrology.

Any guests to the show may well find themselves being quizzed about their star signs over tea and biscuits after the programme has finished.

SUSANA MENDONÇA

Susana began her career in journalism with the Wanstead & Woodford Guardian in her home city of London.

She later worked for BBC radio in London, Stoke, Lincolnshire, Essex and Birmingham before becoming a TV journalist with BBC South East.

Make sure you pronounce her name correctly or you will be in trouble and definitely never ask her if she is Spanish!

Susana Mendonca
Proud of her heritage

For the record Mendonsa is the correct way, Mendonka or Mendoza are definitely incorrect.

The squiggle under the c is called a cedilla and Susana is proud of her Portuguese roots. Her family hail from the beautiful island of Madeira.

Outside work Susana likes to travel the world, where she is an avid photographer. The results of these globetrotting photoshoots can be seen on her Facebook page.

GET INVOLVED

The Politics Show West Midlands - Sundays on BBC One.

You can contact the programme by emailing the programme producer Nick Watson at nicholas.watson@bbc.co.uk or ringing 0845 300 1138 to leave a message.

Alternatively, you can email your comments on the form below.

If you have a particular issue you would like us to follow up, then please write to: Nicholas Watson, BBC Politics Show Midlands, The Mailbox, Birmingham, B1 1RF.

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Disclaimer: The BBC may edit your comments and cannot guarantee that all emails will be published.



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