I love writing, often on business, always with an interesting angle.
Putting the fun back into fitness
A while back I met a rather inspirational woman, Charlotte Roach who was involved in a near fatal accident whilst training with the 2012 Olympic triathlon squad. After a painful recovery, Charlotte went on to found a company which aims to make it fun to get fit. Click here to read the story of Rabble on the BBC website.
That was one of the questions I asked business legend Sir Richard Branson when I interviewed him for the BBC. He was very candid and unapologetic about his own way of doing things and was keen to stress the value of mavericks and one-offs. To listen to the radio 4/World Service version click on this link
I recently visited the lovely 19th century St Mary’s Church in Marylebone to witness the unveiling of the hallowed list of top 12 “dream toys” as decided on by The Toy Retailers Association. Here’s my BBC online write up and BBC World Service and Radio 4 audio report
How to Make a Big Splash With a Small Budget
I first witnessed the work of Miss Cakehead (AKA Emma Thomas) when I visited her Eat Your Heart Out Halloween cake shop in 2010. It’s taken me five years but I’ve finally written an article on the woman behind the horror. It intrigued me that Miss Cakehead and other relatively small businesses can get the kind of media coverage big companies and pr agencies pay thousands for. Also featured in the piece are mavericks Thinkmodo and Brewdog.
Chopping Boards Made in Prison
In September 2014 I visited Lunch! in London and met Matt Cannon and Charles Longbottom from RoughStuffOak . Impressed by their rather splendid array of chopping boards, I asked about their business. They told me how over several years they’d developed a business relationship with HMP The Mount in Hertfordshire which is now the sole manufacturer of their products. In December 2014 I visited the prison to see the workshop in full swing.
Way back in the mists of time, (the late 1990s) when I came out, bars were pretty much the only way of meeting people. Fast forward to 2014 and the internet has come into its own, along with apps and a vastly changed social scene. Will they spend the end of the bar scene? I talked to bar owners, punters and a poet.
What’s the fascination with sites of doom, death and destruction? I went to Edinburgh to find out.
During my time gigging on the circuit, I often shared the bill with comedians from outside the UK. I was curious to know what brought them here, especially when they had to start again having established themselves in their native country.
The Blind Builder With a Big Vision
One of the most inspirational people I’ve met during my time as a journalist is James King, founder of Oliver James Garden Rooms. He’s 90% blind and his sight is deteriorating further but he’s still heading up a thriving conservatory business.
Prince Charles, the Sultan of Brunei and John Steed from the New Avengers have been customers of Fox Umbrellas. I spent the day in their factory ogling metres of rolled gold and some rather fetching Liberty fabric.