Stacey Dooley talks to The Big Issue about meeting IS brides

Ahead of tonight's Panorama, which sees Stacey Dooley travel to Syria to meet IS brides, she explains why we urgently need to do something about kids in holding camps being 'left to rot'

The Big Issue: You have made your first Panorama episode on Isis brides. Did you have to change your style of presenting for BBC One?

Stacey Dooley: Not really. Certainly with Panorama it’s much more about getting the facts out. Perhaps there’s less opinion and emotion from me. I said to them, I don’t want to turn into a sanitised, straight current affairs war reporter because that’s not what I am. They’ve obviously asked me to do it because they wanted it to have a bit of me in it I suppose. I’ve watched Panorama for a long time, but I think they’ll be the first to say they struggle with the younger audience, so it was a nice collaboration.

Where did you go in Syria?

We were in two camps, essentially detention camps for European and British women who have left their countries to pledge allegiance to Isis. Irrespective of what you think of these women – and I do believe some of them are a threat – I cannot believe we’re in a situation where some of these kids have been taken from Europe by their parent and there’s no sense of urgency to bring them home. They’re kids. They’ve been brought to a warzone and left to rot. Even if you don’t think from a human level it’s the right thing to do, from a security perspective, if you leave them there for months, years, they’re going to become the next generation that believes in Jihad. It’s painfully predictable.

Is it your job to draw a conclusion on a subject or present the information to the audience and let them decide?

I’ve learned actually, never go in with preconceived ideas because life is so crazy and people are so unpredictable, nothing is ever what it seems. We just want to encourage discussion. I’ve never been under the illusion that I can change the landscape, I’m holier than thou. It’s about taking on really important issues and saying, what do you think?

Stacey Meets the IS Brides on on BBC One tonight at 20:30

Read the full interview in this week’s Big Issue, available from your local vendor.

Image: BBC