Hattersley attended Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, where he earned a Master of Arts (MA) degree in fashion journalism. His first job after obtaining his degree was an internship with The Sunday Times in its "Style" supplement, after which he moved to the "News Review" section where he became a feature writer. He served as producer of the 2002 horror film Nine Lives, which starred Paris Hilton.
In 2005 Hattersley was short listed in the Young Journalist of the Year category at the British Press Awards, although in the end the award was given to Lucy Bannerman of The Herald. Later, Hattersley succeeded Jasper Gerard as chief interviewer at the Sunday Times, becoming the youngest person ever to hold that role.
In March 2007 Hattersley joined men's magazine Arena as its editor at a time when sales of the magazine were falling. The magazine underwent a well-received relaunch during his tenure that attracted praise from the industry for its fresh look, which aimed (in Hattersley's words) to make Arena "the authoritative monthly bible that arms its readers with the sharpest looks and opinions". However, sales continued to decline and in March 2008, it was announced that Hattersley would leave Arena and return to The Sunday Times.
- Hattersley wrote in "No sex please, we're twenty" (Sunday Times, 5 September 2004, p. 3) that he was then aged 24. The Observer of 25 March 2007 ("Battle is on as gentlemen's mag editors prepare to duel") stated that he was then aged 27.
- "New editor seeks a 'very different' look for Esquire". Press Gazette. 4 May 2007. Archived from the original on 14 February 2009. Retrieved 10 February 2009.
- "Arena parts company with editor Hattersley". MediaWeek. 19 March 2008. Retrieved 9 February 2009.
- Brook, Stephen (9 March 2007). "Arena appoints new editor". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 9 February 2009.
- "Meet America's It girl". Evening Standard. 8 April 2002.
- Busfield, Steve (20 March 2006). "British Press Awards as they happened". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 9 February 2009.
- Robinson, James (27 March 2007). "Battle is on as gentlemen's mag editors prepare to duel". The Observer. Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 10 February 2009.
- Plunkett, John (19 March 2008). "Hattersley returns to Sunday Times". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 9 February 2009.
- "Emap appoints editor for ailing men's title Arena". MediaWeek. 9 March 2007. Retrieved 9 February 2009.
- "Can men's mags be revived?". Campaign. 9 November 2007.