DaisyChain PR Q&A – BBC Broadcaster and artist Richard Lewis

DaisyChain PR has some great supporters and clients, and this month we catch up with BBC broadcaster and artist Richard Lewis.

Renowned locally for his BBC Radio Bristol and BBC Somerset radio shows, long-time broadcaster Richard is less known for this stunning art work. But that’s all about to change as he launches a new website showcasing his paintings.

The Gloucestershire-based radio presenter, who also boasts a 20-year TV career as a producer, discovering impressionist Jon Culshaw, and working with Bake-Off star Sandi Toksvig, chat show king Michael Parkinson and TV presenter Noel Edmonds among others, creates original art at affordable prices.

Richard’s work can be found on his new website, www.amberleyart.com.

DC: What’s the best bit about your job as a radio presenter?

RL: Being one side of so many different conversations – and there have been many over the years.  I don’t do interviews, I do conversations.  I’m not there to ask a question on a list – I never have any preconceived idea of where an interview will go and never write anything down. You wouldn’t script a conversation you’re going to have down the pub, so why would you do that on the radio?

DC: Who is the most inspirational person you’ve met?

RL: Spike Milligan. I grew up loving the Goon Show, but I only knew it from the BBC records they released, as I was 10 years too late to hear it on the radio (we didn’t have the BBC iPlayer in the early 70s!). Milligan changed the direction of British comedy. He could be hard work but that comes with genius. When I was writing for Noel’s House Party I got to pen a script for him – big thrill.

DC: What do you do to relax?

RL: Find a canvas and start painting. The outside world doesn’t get to invade when I’ve got a brush in my hand.

DC: What’s your favourite local landmark?

RL: The North Nibley Monument. I can stand at my back door and look at it glowing in the darkness like an orange exclamation mark.

DC: And your favourite scene to paint?

RL: At the moment it’s beaches and shorelines. I take photos, make sketches and bring them back to the studio.

Pic - Richard Lewis in his studio with his painting 'Girl on the Beach', Cyprus. Credit Beth Lewis
Richard in his studio at home, with his painting ‘Girl on the Beach’ – photo credit Beth Lewis

DC: What’s your best quality?

RL: I think I’m a pretty good dad.

DC: And your worst?

RL: Unexpected loss of hair.

DC: What’s your guilty pleasure?

RL: Chitterlings.

DC: Have you got a secret skill?

Cooking. I love it.

DC: Where’s your favourite place to holiday?

RL: Florida or The Algarve (lots of craggy bays and sandy beaches).

DC: What/who makes you laugh?

RL: QI

DC: How would you like to be remembered?

RL: Sorry, what did you say his name was?

DC: Happiness is…

RL: A heaving table surrounded by family and friends; love, laughing and food.

DC: When can people tune in to hear you on the radio?

RL: BBC Radio Bristol and BBC Somerset 10am-1pm on Sundays – and on various days throughout the year when they’ve run out of other people to put on.

DC: And how can we find out more about your art work?

RL: My online gallery is at www.amberleyart.com

Pic - Richard Lewis - Weston-Super-Mare beach. Credit Beth Lewis
Richard in action on Weston-super-Mare beach – photo credit Beth Lewis

DaisyChain PR

DaisyChain PR is an effective, honest and bespoke PR service.

The company was forged as a result of a highly effective working relationship between former Bristol Post Features Writer Natalie Banyard and ex-Bristol Hippodrome Press Officer Sarah Milne.

Through our network of contacts and combined 40+ years of experience, plus our driven, hard-working and friendly approach, we secure as much media and web coverage as we can for our clients.

And in terms of costs, we can offer personalised packages at highly competitive rates (including hourly) for those on a tight budget.

Simply visit daisychainprlimited.com to start the ball rolling.

“Fabulous coverage – what can I say, Daisy Chain PR are quite magnificent.”

Ellen Kent, Ellen Kent Opera & Ballet International

“I have no hesitation in recommending both Natalie and Sarah from DaisyChain PR – their professionalism and attention to detail are incredible.”

Julian Withers, Head of Fundraising & Communications – Jessie May Children’s Hospice at Home
 

DaisyChain PR Q&A: BBC Radio Bristol presenter Claire Cavanagh

DaisyChain PR boasts some great supporters and we thought it was a nice idea to find out what makes them tick and share that with you. This month, we catch up with BBC Radio Bristol’s Claire Cavanagh.

Claire, who lives in Totterdown with her wife Kim, hosts The Afternoon Show weekdays from 2pm to 4pm, featuring the stars, both national and local, who are touring Bristol and Somerset.

DaisyChain: What’s the best thing about your job?

Claire Cavanagh: Sounds cheesy, but definitely meeting the guests. Some of them really surprise you. We have great musicians on the show from all over the world who are gigging in Bristol and they come in and play live. One Kiwi singer in particular called Marlon Williams sticks in my mind, his voice was a combination of Elvis and Nina Simone – incredible. These people aren’t stars, but I think they deserve to be. For me, they’re as talented as Ed Sheeran or Adele.

DC: Who would you love to interview?

CC: So many. Diana Ross, but I would be terrified, and Madonna (the same) are on the long list. I think that when you get that famous, it’s probably almost impossible to get an entertaining interview out of them, because they’re on their guard, and I imagine one of their “people” may insist on looking at your questions before you start. Hugh Grant seems like a top bloke, I’d be happy to have him on, if he’s reading this.

DC: Who or what inspires you?

CC: Broadcasting legends like David Dimbleby, who is smooth as silk on election night. His daughter, the jazz singer Kate Dimbleby, has been on the show and we got on really well – there’s an inner confidence you exude when you’re from one of the most famous broadcasting families in the UK. And seeing Kate Adie reporting from the first Gulf War, that was incredible – a woman – in a hard hat – on the telly news. I’m definitely not the personality type to go to a war zone, I don’t think they need me weeping on their shoulders, but seeing Kate Adie made me slowly realise that I could be a journalist.

DC: Who or what makes you laugh?

CC: Victoria Wood was the best, the detail in her writing was incredible and me and my school friend Angela Pinnington used to watch tapes of her recorded off the telly over and over until we knew every word. I saw Bill Bailey in Bristol a couple of years ago and he is brilliant. He did a whole thing about Niall from One Direction saying what he missed about home was his nan’s gammon and all these screaming teenage girls watching 1D went silent because they didn’t have a clue what gammon was, it was brilliant!

DC: Where’s your favourite local watering hole?

CC: I live in Totterdown, so we pop in to Southside on Wells Road sometimes to toast the start of the weekend. The Shakespeare around the corner is also great – a proper pub, which are quite rare these days – and The Victoria next to Bristol Lido, which is five minutes from work, is the same.

DC: And your favourite Bristol view?

CC: From Perrett’s Park, you get a cracking view of the Suspension Bridge, Cabot Tower, the lot. We went there first thing in the morning to watch the balloons take off from Ashton Court one year, they went up in the sky and the wind blew them in the opposite direction. They were just tiny specks in the distance.

DC: What holiday destination would you always recommend?

CC: I love going anywhere new. I went to Lisbon for the first time recently and loved it, there are these little kiosks everywhere where you can sit outside and have everything from coffee to wine or a full meal.

DC: What’s the last album you listened to?

CC: Marc Almond’s Shadows And Reflections, his take on 60s tunes, like the ones made famous by Dusty Springfield. I like the way he reinvents himself and hasn’t been only rooted in the 80s when Soft Cell were having loads of hits.

DC: And the last live show you saw?

CC: Miss Saigon. It was an all bells and whistles Cameron Mackintosh production, but the themes are pretty heavy and I’m not sure I loved the music. The cast were ridiculously energetic though and never put a foot wrong.

DC: What’s your favourite TV programme?

CC: Dinner Dates. A woman on it the other day and had never heard of salami!

DC: And your telly turn-off?

CC: Medical dramas. If they spent more time dealing with the patients rather than chatting up their colleagues, they’d be able to cut that fictional waiting list in half.

DC: What are you currently excited about/looking forward to?

CC: Spending time at our static caravan in Devon. We drive two hours down the M5 and even if you just spend one night there, it feels like you’ve been on holiday.

DC: How would you like to be remembered?

CC: A great loss to local radio broadcasting.

DC: Happiness is…

CC: A gin and tonic made by my wife, Kim. Lime, not lemon, but she knows that.

DaisyChain PR

DaisyChain PR is an effective, honest and bespoke PR service.

The company was forged as a result of a highly effective working relationship between former Bristol Post Features Writer Natalie Banyard and ex-Bristol Hippodrome Press Officer Sarah Milne.

Through our network of contacts and combined 40+ years of experience, plus our driven, hard-working and friendly approach, we secure as much media and web coverage as we can for our clients.

And in terms of costs, we can offer personalised packages at highly competitive rates (including hourly) for those on a tight budget.

Simply visit daisychainprlimited.com to start the ball rolling.

“Fabulous coverage – what can I say, Daisy Chain PR are quite magnificent.”

Ellen Kent, Ellen Kent Opera & Ballet International

“I have no hesitation in recommending both Natalie and Sarah from DaisyChain PR – their professionalism and attention to detail are incredible.”

Julian Withers, Head of Fundraising & Communications – Jessie May Children’s Hospice at Home

DaisyChain PR Q&A: Steve Jones at The Bristol Hippodrome

DaisyChain PR boasts some great supporters and we thought it was a nice idea to find out what makes them tick and share that with you. This month, we catch up with Steve Jones, Head of Sales & Marketing at The Bristol Hippodrome.

Steve, who lives in Chipping Sodbury with his wife, has been working at The Bristol Hippodrome for 28 years.

Here, he talks to us about the highlights of his job, his love of travelling, and his passion for running – despite his ‘man pillow’!

DaisyChain PR: What’s the best part of your job?

Steve Jones: I think the best part of my job is its ever-changing nature. No day is the same and due to the nature of the business, we have a constantly changing calendar of productions at the theatre. New tours go on sale, current campaigns are to be created and new audiences are to be secured. Each year we need to find a minimum of 50,000 new customers to come to see our shows.

So the exciting part of my job is it can never be completed as there is always something to aspire to. I make it sound like the trials of Atlas but I thrive on that daily challenge!

DC: What was the last live show you saw?

SJ: Excluding Hippodrome shows, the last show I saw was at my other favourite theatre, Theatre Royal Bath. It was called People, Places & Things, which was a play about addiction and had the audience at the back of the stage. So you were also watching people watching the same play as you and watching you watching it! A very new experience for me.

Subject matter was obviously quite dark, but excellent performances as you’d expect and the staging was by the same team that did Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, which is one of my favourite stage shows.

Steve Jones image
Steve Jones

DC: Where’s your favourite local walk?

SJ: I live in Chipping Sodbury and so being ‘Gateway to the Cotwolds’ we are on the Cotswold Way. I’ve done a few sections of it, although I couldn’t pick a favourite. I do like walking in the Malverns though and a good coastal one. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever done a bad walk.

DC: And the best place to eat?

SJ: We went on a nice walk from Weymouth to Osmington Mills and back last year, where we saw an incredible wave of sea fog coming in and stopped at the Smugglers Inn for a well-deserved lunch, which I can recommend. A traditional pub and the food was good. And it was all served on a plate instead of a slate or chopping board!

Actually, talking of which, everyone needs to follow #WeWantPlates on social media, campaigning in a fun way to stop putting food into or on obscure platforms in an attempt to be new and different. If the food is any good there’s no need to stick it in a jam jar!

DC: What’s your best quality?

SJ: I think my best quality is my gut instinct – although other people have varying descriptions of it (Mr Know-It-All!).

Anyway, I tend to get a feeling about most things, including people. I know if something is right, good or great and it has stood me in good stead over the years (although I know I don’t get it right all the time as some will testify!).

I think you have to be honest, go with what you believe in and get passionate about it, or no one else is going to. You need to inspire, drive and get the best out of yourself and others, and you have to fully trust your judgement.

DC: And your worst?

SJ: My self-belief can also let me down if I allow myself to become too blinkered about things.

I also think it could be my ‘ability’ or tendency to find humour in almost every situation or make light of them. I don’t know what it is, but it doesn’t always go down well. It’s almost some kind of nervous impulse to try and make a joke, lighten the situation. My brother is worse than me. Gotta love a bit of dark humour now and again, I reckon!

DC: What’s your guilty pleasure?

SJ: Other than crisps, partying, wine, cheese, more wine, beer, festivals, gigs, rugby, staying up late, eating too much, then it’s probably running stuff. Shoes, running clobber of all kinds.

I probably own far more than I’m ever going to need (not being quite the elite athlete one might think one is) and quite a lot of it doesn’t even fit at the moment. I’m still working off that Christmas over indulgence. This really irritates my other half who, actually in my defence, could quite comfortably have enough shoes for a centipede!

DC: What’s at the top of your bucket list?

SJ: I would love a year off work to drive (at my leisure) around Canada and the USA to see the everyday stuff alongside all the touristy bits. I love to wander and see where roads take me. I wouldn’t say I am well-travelled, although I’ve been to a few countries and to every corner of the UK, so I think with my inquisitive nature I’d enjoy the time to go wandering.

I’m aiming to go the Rugby World Cup in Japan next year, so fingers crossed we get tickets. If there’s a travel company looking for an ambassador for their brand, I’m listening and available!

DC: Have you got a secret skill?

SJ: I’ve got some circus skills. I can juggle and I’m quite good with a diablo and with some intensive training I’m hoping to touch my toes before the summer. Again, bit of excess Christmas weight in the way! I call it my ‘man pillow’.

DC: Where’s your favourite place to holiday?

SJ: I love camping and so I have to mention Croyde in Devon. I love the coast and so the beaches in west Wales and west of England are always top of my list. I grew up in west Wales and I can’t think of a better place to be.

DC: Who’s your favourite actor?

SJ: Richard Burton – wow that voice! I’ve always loved him as an actor and I think Zulu was one of the first films I saw him in. Zulu is high on the list of most Welsh people’s favourite film as we don’t tend to feature in many.

I also read Melvyn Bragg’s biography ‘Rich – The Life of Richard Burton’ when it came out and was blown away by it. Still one of my favourite books, how he paints an honest picture of this brilliant, passionate and flawed genius whose greatest wish was to play rugby for Wales!

DC: What show are you looking forward to coming to the Hippodrome?

SJ: I’m not a fan of musicals, but I think the next big show that people will love will be Matilda. On occasion we are lucky enough to see productions in advance of touring with us and this show is exceptional in many ways. The story, the adaptation, music and staging is all fantastic but it is the performances of the children which are something else. How they learn to be so professional at such a young age is astounding.

DC: Happiness is…

SJ: Camping on the British coast in stunning summer weather with people that make you laugh!

DC: How would you like to be remembered?

SJ: I’ll be serious now we’re coming to the end. I think for those of us who are unfortunate to have lost loved ones and people close to us, it is the little things that sometimes stick with us. I hope I’m remembered fondly and for making you laugh once in a while or at least putting a smile on your face.

Either that or for being a cantankerous old bastard!

DaisyChain PR

DaisyChain PR is an effective, honest and bespoke PR service.

The company was forged as a result of a highly effective working relationship between former Bristol Post Features Writer Natalie Banyard and ex-Bristol Hippodrome Press Officer Sarah Milne.

Through our network of contacts and combined 40+ years of experience, plus our driven, hard-working and friendly approach, we secure as much media and web coverage as we can for our clients.

And in terms of costs, we can offer personalised packages at highly competitive rates (including hourly) for those on a tight budget.

Simply visit daisychainprlimited.com to start the ball rolling.

“Fabulous coverage – what can I say, Daisy Chain PR are quite magnificent.”

Ellen Kent, Ellen Kent Opera & Ballet International

“I have no hesitation in recommending both Natalie and Sarah from DaisyChain PR – their professionalism and attention to detail are incredible.”

Julian Withers, Head of Fundraising & Communications – Jessie May Children’s Hospice at Home

DaisyChain PR Q&A: Downsy (SAMfm)

DaisyChain PR boasts some great supporters and we thought it was a nice idea to find out what makes them tick and share that with you. This month, we catch up with Ian Downs – aka SAMfm presenter Downsy.

The DJ, radio presenter, sports commentator, dog lover, musical theatre aficionado, charity worker and soon-to-be Mr Reed-Downs, is a busy boy, and that’s the way he likes it.

You can catch Downsy on SAMfm between 3pm-7pm on weekdays, 8am-12pm on Saturdays and on his SAMfm Rocks Rugby show between 1pm-4pm on Sundays.

DaisyChain: Where’s your ’happy place’?

Ian Downs: My happy place is a bench in Portishead. It’s right on the top of Battery Point and looks out across the Estuary to Wales and beyond. It’s rugged and open to all the elements. A great place to sit and reflect on life. I often thank Clifford and Alice Heap to whom the bench is dedicated. I reckon we’d have been great pals.

DC: Where do you love to walk the dog?

ID: Cassie, my 11-year-old Collie/Lab/Lurcher, is a squirrel hunter, so she’s a big fan of Leigh Woods and Ashton Court in Bristol. She’s also a big swimmer too, so we head over to Gower, South Wales a fair amount to visit family and she’s always keen on a trip to the beach. We’re big fans of Llangennith and Three Cliffs Bay.

DC: And your favourite watering hole?

ID: I’m not much of a drinker (anymore!). High-days and holidays only really. I love being outside though, so The Royal in Portishead has a great beer garden, The Cottage on Bristol’s Harbourside is fantastic when it’s sunny but I’d probably say cwtched up on the sofa with my fiancé would be my favourite!

DC: What’s your best quality?

ID: Gosh, big question. I like to think I have a big heart and am a very positive person. I believe that everything happens for a reason, and that instead of moaning and being negative, we should use our mistakes and learn from them rather than let them drag us down. I’d like to think I’m a battery to people … rather than someone that might drain theirs.

DC: And your worst?

ID: I’m greedy. I eat FAR more than is EVER necessary. When I got to 22 stone I knew it was time to exercise some self-control, but even though I’m now back down to 16 stone now, I still LOVE food and will always eat 12 profiteroles where 4 would probably have sufficed.

DC: What’s your guilty pleasure?

ID: Bullseye, The Carpenters and sucking my thumb.

DC: What’s your most listened to album?

ID: Roxette ‘Tourism’. Roxette are highly underrated in my opinion! REM’s ‘Automatic for The People’ also features highly, along with the soundtrack to Wicked.

Downsy1
Ian ‘Downsy’ Downs in his natural habitat – behind the mic

DC: What was the last live show you saw?

ID: Wicked at The Hippodrome … it was my 30th time seeing the show.

DC: What’s at the top of your bucket list?

ID: As I’m not allowed to be a train driver or a pilot because of the severity of my colour blindness, it would have to be learning to ride horses. They are such beautiful animals and being out in the countryside exploring nature on horseback would definitely tick that box!

DC: Have you got a secret skill?

ID: I’m a Grade 8 pianist … shhh!

DC: Football or Rugby?

ID: Tough question as I work professionally in both. I grew up playing rugby and came to football later in life, so I’ll always have a passion for the squashy ball.

DC: Who or what makes you laugh?

ID: My fiancé – he’s absolutely hilarious and makes me laugh every single day. I’m so lucky to have met my soul mate, we can be in stiches doing the most mundane of things, it’s one of the things I love about our relationship the most, it’s just such fun.

DC: How would you like to be remembered?

ID: I’d like to be remembered as someone who brought laughter, love and positivity into people’s lives. When I talk about my mum who passed away when I was 22, I talk about the room lighting up as soon as she walked into it. I guess I’d like people to say the same about me.

DC: Happiness is…

ID: Joggers on, pizza ordered, on the sofa watching boxsets with the dog one side and Ethan on the other.

DC: What’s in store for 2018?

ID: At work Back on SAMfm full time doing Drivetime and juggling that with Bristol City stadium announcing duties and presenting for Bristol Rugby. At home, we’re counting down the days to our wedding, so from July 21st I’ll be Ian Reed-Downs!

DaisyChain PR

DaisyChain PR is an effective, honest and bespoke PR service.

The company was forged as a result of a highly effective working relationship between former Bristol Post Features Writer Natalie Banyard and ex-Bristol Hippodrome Press Officer Sarah Milne.

Through our network of contacts and combined 40+ years of experience, plus our driven, hard-working and friendly approach, we secure as much media and web coverage as we can for our clients.

And in terms of costs, we can offer personalised packages at highly competitive rates (including hourly) for those on a tight budget.

Simply visit daisychainprlimited.com to start the ball rolling.

“DaisyChain PR is one of those rare finds – a friendly and down to earth PR company that works with you to share your story. We wouldn’t hesitate in using them again.”

Laura Williams, Trustee – Baby Bank Network

“I have no hesitation in recommending both Natalie and Sarah from DaisyChain PR – their professionalism and attention to detail are incredible.”

Julian Withers, Head of Fundraising & Communications – Jessie May Children’s Hospice at Home

DaisyChain PR Q&A – Julian Withers (Jessie May Hospice at Home)

DaisyChain PR caught up with Head of Fundraising and Communications at the fantastic Bristol-based charity, Jessie May Hospice at Home

DaisyChain boasts some great supporters and we thought it was a nice idea to find out what makes them tick and share that with you. This month, we catch-up with Julian Withers, Head of Fundraising and Communications at Jessie May Hospice at Home.

Julian, who lives in Henleaze with his family, has spent 13 years working for charities in Bristol and has been involved in fundraising for Jessie May for seven years. He previously worked at The Bristol Hippodrome.

Jessie May is a Bristol-based charity providing nursing care at home for children and young people with life limiting conditions.

The charity was established in September 1994 by Chris and Philippa Purrington, following the death of their baby daughter Jessica May, who died from a genetic condition known as severe Spinal Muscular Atrophy when she was only four months old.

Jessie May Nurses provide vital respite care, emotional support, end of life care, and bereavement support alongside family events that help create treasured memories.

You can find out more about the charity by visiting www.jessiemay.org.uk

Julian Withers
Julian Withers. Jessica-May Purrington, whose short life inspired the charity, is pictured over Julian’s shoulder.

DaisyChain: What’s the best part of your job?

Julian Withers: Without any doubt, it is meeting people. In my job I meet the most amazing children, families and a huge number of people who want to find out more about Jessie May and the work we do. It’s so satisfying when we manage to gain the support of someone that perhaps didn’t know about us beforehand…

DC: Who is the most inspirational person you’ve met?

JW: There are a few. A lady called Philippa Brown-John who is mother to Jessica May Purrington. If it wasn’t for her experience, hard work and perseverance that was born out of the most tragic of situations there would not be a Jessie May Charity and over 350 children and families across 21 years would never have received support from a Jessie May Nurse – quite a lady!

Also, in recent years we have had the good fortune to be working with Barry Hearn of Matchroom Sports through our relationship with World Snooker. He is someone who has built up his own empire in a business he truly loves but also has kept his feet firmly on the ground and his charitable work, including his support for Jessie May, is truly remarkable. There is something about his personality that draws you to him and you can’t help but hang off every word he says.

DC: If you didn’t work for Jessie May, what job would you be doing?

JW: A good question. I’ve always worked in organisations that have inspired me or interested me for some reason. I have a love of theatre and spent the first 13 years of my working life in that industry and moved on to work in the charity sector after that – again because the work/cause has inspired me. I’ve always liked rare/classic cars but never had the skill to take on a project and restore one so perhaps involved in buying, selling and restoring cars.

DC: What’s your best quality?

JW: Talking! Some might say that was my worst too!

DC: Where’s your favourite place in Bristol?

JW: A couple for very different reasons. The Bristol Hippodrome was not only a place of work for me but also is the one place that has had the biggest influence on my adult life. If it wasn’t for that building I wouldn’t have met my wife – we’ve just celebrated 25 years together.

Also, a few years ago I took up running and my usual route takes me round the edge of The Downs and through Clifton Village. There is a path that runs up steeply from the top of Sion Hill to the Observatory. My goal is to run up that hill and the top is the half way point on my run so I stop and have a rest. My reward is the view looking back to the Suspension Bridge. The best view in Bristol I think.

DC: What are you currently reading?

JW: I’ve just finished reading the autobiography of a man called Sam Shrouder. He was one of my bosses from working in the theatre and it is full of anecdotes about people I have worked with and I chuckled my way through it.

DC: What’s at the top of your bucket list?

DC: To see the Northern Lights. I went to Iceland last year in the hope I would increase my chances. One of the clear nights we went out in search of them having followed instructions from locals and guidance from an app. We waited and waited, thought they weren’t coming, went home to bed only to find out that they appeared an hour or so after we left.

DC: Have you got a secret skill?

JW: I can wiggle my ears. This skill is of no use to anyone but apparently is quite rare.

DC: Where’s your favourite place to holiday?

I like my holidays but my favourite place is Turkey. We regularly visit a place called Kalkan and we have got to know some of the locals and the area quite well. It is one of the places where we can go and truly switch off.

DC: What/who makes you laugh?

JW: Observational humour – I love the ability to laugh at everyday happenings.

DC: How would you like to be remembered?

A good dad and husband and hopefully someone who did a bit of good in the world.

DC: Happiness is…

Home, family, running and being inspired by people.

DC: How can people find out more about Jessie May and its amazing work?

JW: Please visit www.jessiemay.org.uk

DaisyChain PR Q&A – Eddie Large

As Christmas approaches, DaisyChain PR caught up with comedian and former pantomime king, Eddie Large

DaisyChain PR boasts some great supporters and we thought it was a nice idea to find out what makes them tick and share that with you. First up in our series of Q&As is comedian Eddie Large.

The comic, best known as a part of the double act Little and Large with Syd Little, is a warm, larger-than-life character who lives in Portishead with his very lovely wife.

Eddie, who you’ll often find strolling along Portishead Marina or catching a show at The Bristol Hippodrome, is looking and feeling better than ever following his heart transplant in 2003. He is a passionate supporter of organ donation and he has joined the campaign for everyone to become a potential donor.

Despite retiring, he can’t resist the smell of the greasepaint and still makes one-off appearances on stage and screen. Eddie and Syd have recorded a programme for Channel 5 and will be appearing on BBC1’s Pointless Celebrities in the new year – plus a couple more high profile TV shows which are still under wraps!

Eddie Large photo
Legendary comic Eddie Large

DaisyChain: What’s your favourite local landmark?
Eddie Large: The Suspension Bridge

DC: And the best place to eat?
EL: Il Giardino in Clevedon

DC: What’s your best quality?
EL: Easy going

DC: And your worst?
EL: Moody!

DC: What’s your guilty pleasure?
EL: Custard slices

DC: What’s at the top of your bucket list?
EL: To visit New York

DC: Have you got a secret skill?
EL: I can flick 28 beer mats off a table and catch them in the same hand!

DC: Do you prefer to watch TV or see a live show?
EL: Live show

DC: And which do you prefer to work on?
EL: Live!

DC: What was the last show you saw?
EL: War Horse

DC: If you hadn’t made it as a comic, what career path would you have taken?
EL: An Engineer

DC: Who or what makes you laugh?
EL: Tommy Cooper, Eric Morecambe, Peter Kay, Billy Conolly and Bernard Manning!

DC: How would you like to be remembered?
EL: As a good husband, a good dad and a good grandad

DC: Happiness is…
EL: The love of a good woman

DaisyChain PR is a friendly and efficient PR company based in the West Country. It’s run by co-directors Natalie Banyard (previously Entertainment Editor at the Bristol Post) and Sarah Milne (formerly Press Officer at Bristol Hippodrome). To find out more about what we could do for your company, please take a moment to browse our website and get in touch

Worries and word of mouth

The last few weeks have been something of a blur! It’s fair to say that we’ve hit the ground running – which is great news, but it hasn’t been without its hiccups, worries and panic stations!

Sarah and I had worked successfully together for 13 years, so when Sarah left the Hippodrome after 30 years as Press Officer, and just weeks later I left my role at The Bristol Post, it was serendipitous.

We realised it was now or never to set up the joint venture we’d so often spoken of.

Of course, being the pair of worriers that we are, we both immediately came up with endless lists of questions and concerns. Where do we start? How do we set up a website? How do we organise a business account? How do we get the word out there? How do we stop worrying so much?

Luckily, our partners, family, friends and colleagues were all on hand to give help, advice and support. And for that we’re very grateful. The reaction we had to the launch of our business and website was phenomenal, with lots of shares and likes for our Facebook page as well as messages of congratulations and people willing to recommend us on Facebook.

But then it was down to the real work and the sleepless nights.

Word-of-mouth has been our biggest asset. It was through a friend that we found a great accountant, Tom Payne (Abaqus Limited), who very quickly put our minds at rest and plotted out the steps to registering our business with Companies House, as well as walking us through complex issues like tax, book-keeping, insurance and so on.

It was through word-of-mouth that we secured our first clients, artist Anton Christian and a local charity. They were both wonderful to work with and we were able to secure lots of coverage in print, online and on radio. They were thrilled with our work and the results.

It has never been more important to access the services of good PR practitioners.
“I have worked with Sarah and Natalie on the promotion of my own enterprise, and found them dedicated, professional, and more importantly ‘effective’.
“I would un-reservedly recommend DaisyChain PR to anyone who wishes to raise their own profiles and put themselves ‘out there’.”

Anton Christian, artist

It was through word-of-mouth that the Wales Millennium Centre requested to see us and hear our pitch. Despite feeling like the new kids in school, they were impressed and we won a three-month contract to work on two of their touring shows. Yay us!

Our partners, friend and family have also been instrumental in us succeeding. My husband Ben set up our website for us and has become our un-paid IT guru. Sarah’s partner Simon has been roped into taking pictures and offering business advice. My parents have been looking after my 5-year-old twins when meetings have prevented me from picking them up from school, and Sarah’s friends have been on hand to dog-sit or just offer a cup of tea when it all gets a bit much!

Nothing is going to stop us worrying, though. We’re both born worriers and setting up a business takes over your life, especially when you hit the ground running as we have. We’ve been trying to get all the legal and business side of things set up at the same time as working our socks off for our clients and making new connections and meeting people to try to secure future business.

Luckily, we have each other. Whenever we’re panicking (often unnecessarily), or we’re a bit confused about something, we’ve had another sleepless night, or we just need to hear a friendly voice, we just pick up the phone, Skype or pop round to see one another to remind ourselves how far we’ve come, how pleased our clients are with what we’ve achieved for them already, and how we’re finally doing what we wanted to do for all those years.

If you’d like to find out how we could help your business, event or charity, do get in touch. We look forward to hearing from you.

Natalie x