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27 Of The Best Personal Interviews Of 2017

Stories of people who made an impact on BuzzFeed UK this year.

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1. This Woman Always Thought She Was British. Now, After 30 Years, The Home Office Says She’s Not.

Five generations of Cynsha Best’s family are British, but she was detained by the Home Office after trying to register a marriage. BuzzFeed News spoke to her in July, when she was scared of being deported.
Will Bremridge for BuzzFeed News

Five generations of Cynsha Best’s family are British, but she was detained by the Home Office after trying to register a marriage. BuzzFeed News spoke to her in July, when she was scared of being deported.

2. Meet The Man Who Stopped Thousands Of People Becoming HIV-Positive

“I knew I was doing something of substance, but it’s really overwhelming.” In an exclusive interview with BuzzFeed News, Greg Owen reveals the story behind Britain's largest ever drop in HIV transmissions.
Laura Gallant / Tim Lane / BuzzFeed

“I knew I was doing something of substance, but it’s really overwhelming.” In an exclusive interview with BuzzFeed News, Greg Owen reveals the story behind Britain's largest ever drop in HIV transmissions.

3. This Judge Says He Cries When He Has To Take Children Away From Their Parents

Stephen Wildblood, a senior family law judge, speaks to BuzzFeed News about helping the growing number of people facing court without a lawyer.
Artur Tixiliski for BuzzFeed News

Stephen Wildblood, a senior family law judge, speaks to BuzzFeed News about helping the growing number of people facing court without a lawyer.

4. Here's How Deported Grandmother Irene Clennell Dealt With Her Life In Exile

Clennell was put on a plane to Singapore, leaving behind her British husband of 27 years. BuzzFeed News was with her as she navigated her first few days there. Since this interview, Clennell has been able to return to the UK.
Laura Gallant / Tim Lane / BuzzFeed

Clennell was put on a plane to Singapore, leaving behind her British husband of 27 years. BuzzFeed News was with her as she navigated her first few days there. Since this interview, Clennell has been able to return to the UK.

5. This Is What It's Like To Be The Son Of A Child Killer

Nick Castree was 27 when his father Ronald was charged with the murder of an 11-year-old girl, a dark secret hidden from the family for more than 30 years.
Laura Gallant / BuzzFeed

Nick Castree was 27 when his father Ronald was charged with the murder of an 11-year-old girl, a dark secret hidden from the family for more than 30 years.

6. Tony Blair Says Centrism Trumps Corbynism (Just Don't Call Him A Centrist Dad)

Upon the launch of a technology paper by his new policy institute, the former prime minister tells BuzzFeed News there's no appetite for a new centrist party, and that he finds it totally understandable that Jeremy Corbyn is Labour leader.
Laura Gallant / Tim Lane / BuzzFeed

Upon the launch of a technology paper by his new policy institute, the former prime minister tells BuzzFeed News there's no appetite for a new centrist party, and that he finds it totally understandable that Jeremy Corbyn is Labour leader.

7. This Gay Man Was Given Repeated Electric Shocks By British Doctors To Make Him Straight

While studying for his A-levels, Jeremy Gavins was sent to NHS psychiatrists to "cure" his homosexuality. Here he tells BuzzFeed News how the treatment, forced on him by doctors, teachers, and the Catholic church, destroyed his life.
Claire Hewitt / Sian Butcher

While studying for his A-levels, Jeremy Gavins was sent to NHS psychiatrists to "cure" his homosexuality. Here he tells BuzzFeed News how the treatment, forced on him by doctors, teachers, and the Catholic church, destroyed his life.

8. A Day In The Life Of A Student With 24-Hour Social Care

“They are not just my carers. In some ways they are my friend, my mum, they are everything wrapped in one.”
Laura Gallant / BuzzFeed

“They are not just my carers. In some ways they are my friend, my mum, they are everything wrapped in one.”

9. Jeremy Corbyn Said He Wouldn't Quit Even If He Loses The General Election

Speaking to BuzzFeed News in Tory-held Leamington Spa during the general election campaign, an upbeat Corbyn said he would continue as Labour leader no matter what happened on 8 June.
Matt Cardy / Getty Images

Speaking to BuzzFeed News in Tory-held Leamington Spa during the general election campaign, an upbeat Corbyn said he would continue as Labour leader no matter what happened on 8 June.

10. The Most Viral Man Of The Year Isn’t A One-Hit Wonder

Meet Michael Dapaah, the 26-year-old comedian who spiralled to global fame thanks to a meme of him performing as the character Big Shaq.
Laura Gallant / BuzzFeed

Meet Michael Dapaah, the 26-year-old comedian who spiralled to global fame thanks to a meme of him performing as the character Big Shaq.

11. How "The Last Leg" Went From Joking About The Paralympics To Taking On The Government Over Disability Cuts

“With great power comes great responsibility,” Adam Hills tells BuzzFeed News. “I’m like a disabled Spider-Man; I was bitten by a radioactive prosthesis.”
Laura Gallant / Tim Lane / BuzzFeed

“With great power comes great responsibility,” Adam Hills tells BuzzFeed News. “I’m like a disabled Spider-Man; I was bitten by a radioactive prosthesis.”

12. This Straight-A Student Had To Crowdfund Her Student Loan

Statistics shared with BuzzFeed News reveal over £300,000 has been raised to help university students this year on one crowdfunding platform alone.
David Oates for BuzzFeed News

Statistics shared with BuzzFeed News reveal over £300,000 has been raised to help university students this year on one crowdfunding platform alone.

13. Here’s How You React To Your Son’s Autism When Your Language Has No Word For Autism

At first, Nura Aabe avoided her son’s autism diagnosis. Now she uses her experience to change the lives of other families.
Laura Gallant / BuzzFeed

At first, Nura Aabe avoided her son’s autism diagnosis. Now she uses her experience to change the lives of other families.

14. This Is What It's Like To Be Wrongly Accused Of Being A Paedophile Because Of A Typo By Police

Tim Lane / BuzzFeed

One extra digit added to an IP address saw Nigel Lang wrongfully suspected of being a paedophile. Speaking about his ordeal for the first time, he tells BuzzFeed News how the mistake ruined his life.

15. This Is What It's Like When Your Only Child Dies In Police Custody

James Herbert died after being restrained by officers and left naked in a cell. As a bill calls for changes when force is used with people with mental illness, his father said: "We're not going to get accountability, so let's focus on making the world better for people who are vulnerable."
Greg Funnell for BuzzFeed

James Herbert died after being restrained by officers and left naked in a cell. As a bill calls for changes when force is used with people with mental illness, his father said: "We're not going to get accountability, so let's focus on making the world better for people who are vulnerable."

16. We Met The Student Who Who Can't Take His Oxford Place Due To Immigration Rules

Brian White, 21, couldn't start at Oxford University due to his immigration status. "I’m someone who put in all the hard work they need to," he said. "It’s just the Home Office in the way." Since this interview, White has been given indefinite leave to remain and started at Oxford.
Hanad Yusuf for BuzzFeed News

Brian White, 21, couldn't start at Oxford University due to his immigration status. "I’m someone who put in all the hard work they need to," he said. "It’s just the Home Office in the way." Since this interview, White has been given indefinite leave to remain and started at Oxford.

17. Inside The Curious World Of “Freemen” Who Say They're Beyond The Law

A growing group of people are turning up to court and arguing that they aren’t bound by any laws made by parliament – but the state disagrees.
Tim Lane / Susannah Ireland / BuzzFeed

A growing group of people are turning up to court and arguing that they aren’t bound by any laws made by parliament – but the state disagrees.

18. This Woman’s Family Want You To Know Her “Psycho” Killer Was Actually A Victim Too

Tim Lane / BuzzFeed

With local mental health funding set to be slashed, Sandra Bainbridge’s brutal killing is still sending ripples through a system that her family say desperately needs to change.

19. This Doctor Turned Comedian Wrote A Memoir And He's Holding Nothing Back

Doctors are laughing and crying over Adam Kay’s diary extracts, which he says show “the warts-and-all version of what the job is”.
Laura Gallant / BuzzFeed

Doctors are laughing and crying over Adam Kay’s diary extracts, which he says show “the warts-and-all version of what the job is”.

20. This Woman Wants To Change The Way You Think About Halal Food

There's more to halal food than curry and controversy, says tech entrepreneur Zohra Khaku, founder of website Halal Gems.
Charlie Forgham-Bailey for BuzzFeed News

There's more to halal food than curry and controversy, says tech entrepreneur Zohra Khaku, founder of website Halal Gems.

21. This Student’s Secret Abortion Shows Why Thousands Of Irish Women Went On Strike

Twelve Irish women a day travel to England for terminations, costing them up to £2,000 each. Others risk their freedom by buying illegal abortion pills online.
Sian Butcher / Tim Lane / BuzzFeed

Twelve Irish women a day travel to England for terminations, costing them up to £2,000 each. Others risk their freedom by buying illegal abortion pills online.

22. Meet The Woman Who’s Helping Refugees Have A Bloody Good Period

Gabby Edlin has given out thousands of sanitary towels and tampons to asylum-seeking women who can’t otherwise afford them. “Sanitary products are as essential as food,” she tells BuzzFeed News.
Will Bremridge for BuzzFeed News

Gabby Edlin has given out thousands of sanitary towels and tampons to asylum-seeking women who can’t otherwise afford them. “Sanitary products are as essential as food,” she tells BuzzFeed News.

23. 31 Aristocrats Are About To Give Another Aristocrat A Say Over Brexit In Britain’s Most Exclusive Election

In July, a small group of aristocrats awarded another aristocrat the right to sit in the UK’s upper house and participate in crucial Brexit debates. Hugh Somerleyton wanted it to be him.
Rebecca Hendin / BuzzFeed

In July, a small group of aristocrats awarded another aristocrat the right to sit in the UK’s upper house and participate in crucial Brexit debates. Hugh Somerleyton wanted it to be him.

24. This Is What It's Like To Face Your Sexual Abuser In Court After Four Decades

BuzzFeed News accompanied a key witness as he gave evidence against the teacher who abused him when he was a pupil at St Paul’s, one of Britain’s top private schools. This is the story of a life-changing courtroom confrontation.
Rebecca Hendin / BuzzFeed

BuzzFeed News accompanied a key witness as he gave evidence against the teacher who abused him when he was a pupil at St Paul’s, one of Britain’s top private schools. This is the story of a life-changing courtroom confrontation.

25. Meet The Woman Trying To Get Disabled Mannequins Into The Windows Of Britain's Biggest Shops

It's 2017 and disabled shoppers are still being "ostracised" from the high street thanks to a lack of access. Meet the woman who thinks it's time to change that for good.
Laura Gallant / BuzzFeed

It's 2017 and disabled shoppers are still being "ostracised" from the high street thanks to a lack of access. Meet the woman who thinks it's time to change that for good.

26. These Women Are Proof The Housing Crisis Isn’t Just In London

News coverage may focus on the South East of England, but the housing problem is afflicting people across the country. BuzzFeed News spent a day in Manchester with two young women living through it.
Duncan Elliot / Tim Lane / BuzzFeed

News coverage may focus on the South East of England, but the housing problem is afflicting people across the country. BuzzFeed News spent a day in Manchester with two young women living through it.

27. People Who Use Wheelchairs Are Being Forced To Crawl On To Trains And It’s 2017

Campaigners say Dave McQuirk’s story is the “tip of the iceberg” for disabled travellers after £50 million of government funding for rail improvements was deferred.
Marco Kesseler for BuzzFeed News

Campaigners say Dave McQuirk’s story is the “tip of the iceberg” for disabled travellers after £50 million of government funding for rail improvements was deferred.

Louise Ridley is a News Editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Louise Ridley at louise.ridley@buzzfeed.com.

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