When Francis Campbell went to see his careers advisor to find out about becoming a diplomat, he was told that the Foreign Office didnt recruit in Northern Ireland.
That was the 1980s, things are different now.
He was the first Catholic to be appointed to the role of Ambassador to the Holy See since the Reformation and he's been our man in the Vatican since 2005.
Not bad for a man born into farming stock in a tiny Northern Irish village on the border with Ireland.
The Holy See might be one of the smallest British Embassies, but Francis is quick to point out the international scope of his team.
In this two part series, Ruth Mcdonald follows the work of the tiny team in Rome, as they prepare for the Pope's visit to the UK - the first STATE visit by the head of the Catholic Church to this country.
Francis talks about the day he had to apologise to the Vatican after the leaked memo from the Foreign Office was front page news around the world ("there are a few things in your life as a diplomat that you would prefer not to do, and one if them is to have to offer an unreserved apology for stupid actions of your colleagues" says Francis).
Francis is a charming, friendly and honest man, whose own memories of the Pope's visit to Ireland in 1979 means he knows just what a papal visit can mean to the Catholic minority in the UK.
He himself started training for the priesthood - although his interest in politics won out, and he dropped out of seminary.
But a strong faith is behind his enthusiasm and drive for this papal visit - enthusiasm that doesnt flag even though the media focus on the visit has so far been on cost and clerical abuse.
In programme 2, Ruth travels between London and Rome, following Francis and the team in Whitehall and the Vatican.
Ruth Mcdonald follows Ambassador Francis Campbell's preparations for the Pope's UK visit.