Designer Soapbox: Gill Wildman

Gill Wildman has been on a circular journey to Hackney Wick. She grew up in the area, studied in Manchester, and worked all over the world before returning to E9 a few months ago. Together with her husband, Nick Durrant, she makes up Plot, a refreshingly forward-thinking interaction, innovation and design agency. I met up […]

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Uncovering a Georgian chocolate kitchen

Charlotte Barker tells me how her research led to the discovery of a hidden Georgian chocolate kitchen at Hampton Court Palace. A few weeks ago, I went to a storytelling workshop at the Tower of London. At the end of the day, we all had to tell a story relating to our work. Charlotte Barker, […]

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Ten things I learned at The Story 2014

You never know quite what will happen at The Story, except that it will illuminate distant areas of your brain with unpredictable copper sparks for some time to come. Here are a few of the things I learned from this year’s gathering of storytellers of all stripes – from film makers, writers and artists to […]

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Keith Hann: chilled opera buff

If you ever want an expert in opera, frozen foods and idiosyncratic PR, Keith Hann’s your man. He wrote The Bluffer’s Guide to Opera and is PR for Iceland Foods (you might have seen him in BBC  Two’s ‘Life in the Freezer Cabinet’). Keith describes himself as “the most honest man in PR” and has a notice […]

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Mike Paisley – Designer Soapbox

Mike Paisley loves simplicity, making things and tinfoil gadgets. We first met when he was involved in Throwawaylines, a wonderful project which treated rubbish like royalty. Mike is a Design Director at The Partners, where he’s solved brand and communication problems for clients as diverse as LV=, eBay, Allen & Overy, HSBC, Penguin and Richard […]

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West meets East: Opera Holland Park comes to Old Street

  Mike Volpe is a true opera aficionado. For nearly 25 years, he’s been General Manager of Opera Holland Park, enthusing a new generation of opera lovers with an eclectic mix of outdoor performances. Although his family comes from the mountains outside Naples, Mike grew up in England. He drinks Italian espresso, but when Chelsea […]

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Velvet antlers; hidden talents

You might remember that a few weeks ago I mentioned a new project, 26 Stories of Christmas. Well, the site went live yesterday for the first day of advent. Day one features my 62 word poem about the flying reindeer of Finland. The 62 word poem, or ‘sestude’, is inspired by the fabulous drawing of Santa […]

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Nadya Powell: Tech City’s one-woman whirlwind

Women make up pretty much half of the population and nearly half of the workforce, but they are still woefully under-represented in the tech world. I met up with Nadya Powell, MD of MRY UK, to hear what she and her peers are doing to redress the balance. The highlight of Internet Week It’s Friday […]

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How not to pitch a film script

“Go on, pitch us a film!” That was the bold – and unusual – challenge from David Parfitt of Trademark Films to people from writers’ collective 26. Film production companies don’t normally hold X Factor style auditions for film ideas, and it’s rare for them to consider suggestions from people without heavyweight screenwriting credits. So the […]

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Horror stories at Shoreditch Town Hall

It was the day before Hallowe’en – a suitably sombre evening for a night of horror stories hosted by D&AD. Shoreditch Town Hall was packed with people keen to hear terrifying tales of screw ups from ad industry insiders. Here are five things I learned. 1. “The key to brilliant work is to have no […]

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Auxiliary verbs perish in boating accident

Do you know those Duck Boats that roam up and down the Thames? Bright yellow amphibious boats. Great fun for kids and tourists. Well, one caught fire the other day. Luckily no people were injured. But a load of innocent auxiliary verbs perished in this ITN report shortly afterwards. Have a listen to the story. […]

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Teenage Cancer Trust Christmas cards

The other day I was sent this picture of reindeers pulling Santa’s sleigh. The child who drew it has cancer and is being helped by the Teenage Cancer Trust. It’s all to do with a new writing project that brings together copywriters like myself from writers’ group 26 and children supported by the Teenage Cancer Trust […]

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Designer soapbox: Tim Foster

Born in Yorkshire and raised in Kent, Tim Foster trained at Ravensbourne and since then has worked for everyone from the Observer magazine to Dorling Kindersley and Mitchell Beazley (twice). Here he talks about combining his roles as an editorial designer and art director, why he loves working with text, and what inspires him. What’s […]

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Soak it in a pond, soak it in the sea

I caught the Stradivarius exhibition at the Ashmolean on the very last day. Had forgotten all about it until the curator, Jon Whiteley, popped up on the Today programme, talking about how people behave in museums. He told the story of someone who came in to show him a violin, convinced it was a very […]

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Once upon a housing estate

Since Procter & Gamble hired Jim Bangel 40 years ago and made him their official ‘Storyteller’, the profession of ‘corporate storyteller’ has become increasingly mainstream. Storytellers now pop up all over the place, not just in their natural habitat – marketing and advertising – but in oil and gas companies, the automotive sector and software […]

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