The time I managed to not crash into a pylon. A tale of incompetence & salvation on the slopes of Alpe d’Huez for TNT magazine
What do you call a Lada with a sun roof? An ashtray. Just one of the many jokes about the Soviet car that everyone loved to laugh at. Nowadays though it’s Lada owners who are laughing … all the way to the bank. In this video I shot for BBC TV and online, Ed Hughes, Lada fan and as it turns out, canny investor, explains why he’s such a fan:
The accompanying online piece with more interviews, pics etc is here:bbc.co.uk/news/business-39489527
Sotos Michael dreamed of constructing a coffee empire on the ancient Greek island of Crete. The notion that hot coffee is an odd pairing with 100-degree temperatures couldn’t deter Michael. Nor would he be slowed by the adversity of building a business in the midst of financial tumult and social upheaval. For the complete epic have a look at this Fresh Cup article
A few weeks ago I rung up Tom Copas to see if I could come to do an interview at his turkey farm. He casually mentioned he was using alpacas to guard the flocks. It was an opportunity too good to miss and I got on a train with just an iphone and a mic. The light was great, Tom was patient and the alpacas behaved themselves. The result is an epic tale of turkeys, alpacas and a battle for farm yard supremacy for BBC online
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…
My first trip to Israel was mind blowing. Stupendous food, breathtaking scenery and one of the richest histories on earth. When singling out highlights I could have chosen the cool, sophisticated bar scene of Tel Aviv or heady atmosphere of Jerusalem, reverent and dripping in religiosity. But instead I’ve gone for northern city of Acre, one of the oldest civilisations on earth.
Acre is home to some enchanting architecture, both Arab and Jewish and of course, a spectacular array of delicious food. Whether you choose to buy spices and just-caught fish from the market or treat yourself to a seafood feast at one of the best restaurants in israel; Uri Buri, you will not go hungry.
Presiding over this culinary gem of a city is Uri Jeremias, builder, hotelier and self-taught gastronome. With a Santa Claus beard and eye catching choice of shirts, he’s Acre’s local celebrity. If you get a chance to chat to him, do. Fortunately I did get that opportunity and wrote about it in TNT magazine. To read it cut and paste into your browser: http://digitaledition.tntmagazine.com/the-king-of-acre-2/
“Greenlanders love ice-cream!” Maik Carretero enthused as he showed me round his ice-cream factory in Greenland’s capital, Nuuk.
Maik was just one of the inspirational characters I met in Greenland. There was also Sara, a dog musher; Nivikka, headmistress of the maritime school and Edvard, an ice boat captain. All of them had a great story to tell for my BBC piece on what I reckon are the coolest jobs in the world.
In February, a small crew and I were asked to go to Dubai airport to collect travellers’ stories. It was part of the BBC’s Identity Season and we’d be staying there for five days. As well as managing to cobble together this documentary the brief was to come up with a totally original online story. We’d met camel racing trainers from Oman, a trio of Saudi soap opera actors, a family on their first Umrah pilgrimage… you get the picture. But in the end a single sentence won the contest.
At the gate to Lagos I spotted an uber cool young Nigerian family, the Esochaghis. Chatting to mum, Ugochi, it turned out they were coming back from holiday but that wasn’t the only reason for their trip.
“We come here to melt our gold,” she told me. Bingo.
Was it a ‘thing’ or just one family’s tradition? That detail would make the difference between a good story and a fun footnote. On arriving back to the UK, I started my research and it turned out that it’s popular for Nigerians to take their old gold to Dubai and get it made into new pieces. The BBC magazine commissioned me to write this piece on it and the day it went live, it was the most popular feature on the BBC website; it seems that gold still has the power to get into the soul. Ironically I’m allergic to it myself.
The coffee industry has changed immeasurably in the last 20 years. Whilst the west coast of America and Australia can take a lot of credit for this, a big Swede with an even bigger moustache, played a huge part.
A self-taught roaster from Gothenburg he was co-founder of the World Barista Championships. It’s been the industry’s standard setter since its inception at the turn of the millennium and is in a large part responsible for the burgeoning coffee festival scene and the trend for celebrating coffee in a similar way to beer or wine.
When I visited Matts in Gothenburg he was too modest to big himself up, so I’ve done it for him in Fresh Cup magazine