INAUGURAL VERVE CHARITY GALA BALL RAISES OVER £10,000 FOR MAKE-A-WISH FOUNDATION
A TIME FOR DRIVEN PEOPLE TO GIVE BACK
- Female entrepreneur and cofounder of Verve Rally, Darshana Ubl raises over £10,000 for Make-A-Wish Foundation
- Tessy of Luxembourg supports the event based on female empowerment
- Darshana believes in the principles of hard work, commitment to a cause and making the world a better place by giving back
Verve Rally, the luxurious adventure travel experience hosted their inaugural fundraising Gala Ball on 29th November at The Bloomsbury Ballroom in London, raising over £10,000 for Make-A-Wish Foundation, which grants magical wishes to enrich the lives of children and young people fighting life-threatening conditions.
The Verve Gala Ball raises funds for established charities based in England and Wales. The Gala and Verve’s other charitable activities are the initiative of Darshana Ubl, the co-founder of Verve Rally. Darshana is a spokesperson for business on BBC News, an investor, and has been the driving force behind several businesses. She believes in the principles of hard work, commitment to a cause and making the world a better place.
Over 120 guests were treated to a champagne reception, a three-course meal, wine, fundraising and live entertainment by DJ Joshua, Monroe and Benjamin in a sumptuous and luxurious atmosphere. Guests included Tessy Antony of Luxembourg, Ververs (Verve Rally participants who are travel and car enthusiasts), along with some of UK’s leading business leaders, political heads, influencers and all-round cool people who enjoy a good work-life balance and giving back.
Channel 4 were also filming for a new TV programme about fashion designer Ian Stuart. The series will feature Darshana Ubl and her amazing wardrobe.
Darshana Ubl says of the event: “Memories are one thing that cannot be taken from us. It has been a pleasure to raise funds for Make A Wish foundation to help put a smile on the faces of terminally ill children”.
“ No effort towards others remains unrewarded” – Tessy of Luxembourg
Make-A-Wish Foundation grant terminally-ill children their One True Wish, providing hope for the future, strength to cope and resilience to fight their condition. They’re given quality time away from the daily realities of living with their condition and have the chance to make magical memories they can treasure forever – whatever their future may hold.
Natasha Dubash, Regional Fundraising Manager for Make-A-Wish Foundation, said:
“We are thrilled that Verve Rally have chosen to support Make-A-Wish through their Charity Gala this November. I am sure that the event will be a huge success, raising funds for Make-A-Wish and enabling us to help grant more magical wishes for children and young people living with life-threatening conditions. The funds raised from this event will go towards making more children’s magical wishes come true. We are so grateful for the support.”
For further press information regarding products and images please contact Siobhan Connor at Connor PR / 07966 177025 / Siobhan@connorpr.com
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NOTES TO EDITORS
About Verve Rally’s fundraising
Darshana Ubl biography
Darshana Ubl is a serial entrepreneur who believes in blending her passion with work to create businesses that are aligned to one’s overall values and goals.
She is the co-founder of Verve Rally, which specialises in luxury adventure holidays with GT/Supercars and also a property development company.
She has been involved in fund raising for several charities including Cherie Blair Foundation, Princes Trust, PATT foundation and now Make A Wish. Darshana Ubl has a Masters Degree in Economics and is based in London.
and what they mean to children and young people and their families. We would ask that this approach is followed and that the term ‘life-threatening conditions’ is used in material for publication.
Connor PR and Verve Rally, Connor PR specialist in charity PR, Connor PR and Make-A-Wish Foundation
Nadiya Hussain is supporting ‘Be School Ready’, PTA UK’s national campaign to help families with children starting school in September
Exclusive interview with The Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain
Nadiya Hussain is supporting ‘Be School Ready’, PTA UK’s national campaign to help families with children starting school in September. The Be School Ready magazines, produced by PTA UK, which is also celebrating its 60th year, have been distributed providing both practical and emotional support for parents, carers and children so they can start school life with confidence.
Get your kids making their healthy after school snacks as well as eating them! Nadiya’s Bake Me a Story is a book of recipes and stories devised and written by Nadiya herself. Cook up a batch of Carrot and Nutmeg Cookies on a Sunday afternoon and share the story of Rapunzel’s Enchanted Carrots while the cookies bake or read about Ruby-Red and the Three Bears and their Very Berry Muffins while you wait for your own to rise! Nadiya’s Bake Me a Story publishes 8th September 2016 in hardback, priced £14.99
As a mother of three very lively children it is safe to say that I have had my fair share of ‘mum I’m starving’ ‘how long before dinner?’, I’m so hungry’, ‘please can I have a crisp?’, ‘if I can’t have crisp, can I have a small biscuit?’. Whether you have one child, three like me or more, I know it’s the worst feeling trying to decide whether your child should have a snack or should I just let them have whatever they want. If not to just keep them quiet before dinner but ease your own guilt.
I spent years wondering what the right thing was to do during that very intense time between school pick up and dinner time. I will not lie, there have been times where I have just given the kids the easiest option, a packet of crisps, a small bar of chocolate, a biscuit (or two). But I noticed that the kids were like yoyos. After school the kids slumped, tired and exhausted from the day. They walk through the door and as I rush around they have a quick sweet treat and they are then the polar opposite, high as kites, excitable before the inevitable sugar crash to follow.
A few years ago I decided that I needed to overhaul my eating habits along with the kids. I just couldn’t do the constant peak and trough that come with lots of sugar all day long. Better eating habits didn’t mean taking everything away, it just meant eating sugar in moderation and incorporating more fruit and vegetables where possible. I thought it would be a difficult change to make when in fact the transition was the opposite of our sugar crashes and slumps. The transition was smooth.
One of the first things I knew I had to tackle was the time between school pick up and dinner. Upon picking the children up my first question is always ‘how was your day?’ and all three kids always respond with ‘Great, what’s for dinner?’ One of my first tips is that I always take a bottle of water (not chilled). I find children are weary of drinking chilled water because it’s cold and harder to drink quickly. So I take a bottle of water at room temperature and allow them to drink to their fill as soon as I see them. I never believe my children when I’ve asked them if they’ve drunk lots of water through the day. What I like to address is the fact that they may just be very thirsty.
As a fruitier alternative to plain water I like to have water bottles with wide necks and to this I add slices of oranges, kiwi and strawberries and leave it to infuse during the day and take that with me on the school run. Once they have drunk all the water they can finish the fruit inside too.
In between sorting the children, preparing for dinner, finishing emails and doing laundry, I always have a few snacks that I have pre prepared or snacks that can be quickly made. Here is a list of a few of our favourites:
- Frozen Yoghurt – small pots of yoghurt, I just pierce a lolly pop stick through the covering and stick the whole thing in the freezer. When frozen, peel off the top of the yoghurt pot and ease the frozen yoghurt out of its pot.
- Frozen Blueberry Yoghurt Sticks – take a wooden skewer and pierce it with about 10 blueberries. Dip the whole stick into yoghurt and place the sticks on a baking sheet and freeze. Once frozen take them off the sheet and place inside a freezer bag and store in the freezer.
- Apple and Peanut Rings – core and horizontally slice a green apple, spread the tops with smooth peanut butter and eat straight away.
- Houmous Celery Sticks – cut slices of celery sticks about 2 inches long. Fill the inside with houmous and serve.
- Summer Fruit Spring Rolls – take a circle of rice paper and soak for a few seconds till soft. Squeeze off any excess water and place down. Add any fruit, the more colourful the better and wrap like a spring roll.
- Boiled eggs – I like to keep boiled eggs in the fridge during the week. They are quick simple and nutritious and very easy to eat.
- Turkey Ham wrapped Cheese sticks – take a small stick of cheese and wrap around a slice of turkey ham.
- Mini omelettes – whisk up some eggs and add onion, cheese, chives and chopped peppers. Pour the mix into a 12 muffin cupcake tin and bake in the oven. Once cooled these can be stored for a week.
- Steamed edamame beans – these are great placed in a bowl, splashed with a little water and the covered in cling. Cooked in a microwave for 3 minutes and then sprinkled with salt and paprika.
- Plain popcorn – plain popcorn, quickly popped and a large handful is just enough.
In terms of drinks on a warm day I love to make the kids a quick cold smoothie after school and a nice warm drink on the colder school days.
Cold Drink – in a smoothie maker I like to add ice, mint, 1 green apple, the juice of a lime, half water and half apple juice and whizz.
Hot Drink – in a pan add coconut milk and heat up, to this I like to add unsweetened cocoa powder, vanilla extract and honey, boil and serve.
These are all great ways to give the kids a little something to eat to take the edge off the hunger before dinner. But also a great way of getting some of their 5 a day in too.
This is just enough food to keep them sustained long enough to get on to help cook dinner in the kitchen with me, which is their favourite thing to do after school.
PTA UK marks its 60th year by launching
Be School Ready Campaign
- PTA UK launches Be School Ready campaign with a magazine that aims to help mums, dads and kids get off to a great start this September
- Includes an exclusive interview with The Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain
- Celebrity words of wisdom from Dom Joly, TV Medic Dr Ranj, TV presenter and author Clare Nasir and BBC6 Music presenter Chris Hawkins
- Show-stopping snack ideas from this year’s Celebrity Masterchef Champion Kimberly Wyatt
- The Be School Ready magazine also includes advice from experienced parents on starting school and how to play an active role in a child’s education, some fabulous offers and prizes as well as pull out activity pages for children http://www.pta.org.uk/BeSchoolReady
Starting school is a huge milestone for children and parents alike. So, with two months to go before hordes of newly-uniformed four-year-olds pass through classroom doors for the first time, what can mums and dads do to prepare their children and themselves for the big day?, and limit the potential for tears – the children’s and theirs – on the big day?
PTA UK, the leading membership body for Parent Teacher Associations and a registered charity, is marking its 60th year by launching ‘Be School Ready’ campaign to support, engage and champion parents in education as well as PTAs. The Be School Ready magazine will be given to new parents nationwide by their school PTAs so that mums, dads and kids can get off to the best possible start and enjoy school life to the full.
The Be School Ready campaign helps to encourage parents to have a voice in strengthening their children’s education. Yet the first day of school can be just as daunting for parents, as it can be for children, especially when they’ve never experienced it before. Getting involved in a PTA is a fantastic opportunity to feel part of the school community and is particularly valuable for parents who have children starting school for the first time giving parents some much needed support, and showing them that no matter how much time they have to offer, their involvement in their child’s education need not end at the school gates.
The magazines are set to reach over 100,000 parents and will include a wealth of top tips from parents and an exclusive interview with Nadiya Hussain who won the sixth series of BBC’s The Great British Bake Off. Nadiya shares her secrets for dealing with the hunger gap between pick-up and dinner. Show-stopping snack ideas will also be featured from this year’s Celebrity Masterchef Champion, Kimberly Wyatt, mum to one-year-old Willow. Healthy and nutritious food is certainly one great way to limit the tears – for children and parents alike!
PTA UK asked celebrity parents to share their experiences of school life and provide words of wisdom for new starters. Comedian, writer and TV documentary maker Dom Joly who lives in Gloucestershire with his wife Stacey and children Parker.
and Jackson gives his advice to parents of children starting school in September – “Dress up as a small child and sneak into your kids’ classroom to spy on the teacher”. While it’s not clear how this approach will do anything other than embarrass the children, it gives us an insight into his approach to parenting. When asked what being a parent means, Dom replied “It forces me to grow up more than I’d like”.
TV Medic Dr. Ranj Singh is co-creator and presenter of the pioneering
CBeebies show Get Well Soon and also has a kids’ health segment
on ITV’s This Morning. He is the author of two Oxford Treetops In Fact
books for school children – Food Fuel and Skelebones – and has this to say:
“Education is hugely important and a wonderful privilege. However, alongside that we need to support children in terms of their emotional well-being and resilience.
Teaching children that it’s OK to talk about how they’re feeling, or when they’re experiencing trouble, is just as important as getting them to achieve.”
Emma Williams, Executive Director PTA UK said:
“I am delighted to be running our Welcome Packs initiative again this year. Starting school can be an exciting and nerve-wracking time for children and parents alike. I want parents to know that PTA UK is there to support them through the journey. By being involved in their school and education, mums, dads and carers can make a real and positive difference to how well their child does at school. The Welcome Packs are part of a bigger ‘Be School Ready’ campaign that we are launching this year which provides a wealth of resources to help parents play an active role and start school life with confidence.”
The PTA is a perfect way for a parent to engage with their child’s education. John Hattie from Visible Learning said:“The effect of parental engagement over a student’s school career is the equivalent of adding an extra two to three years to that student’s education.”
Celebrity interviews and food recipes from Nadiya Hussain and Kimberly Wyatt alongside images are available on request.
For all media enquiries please contact Siobhan Connor at Connor PR
Tel: 07966 177025
Full interviews and images are available on request.
Emma Williams, Executive Director PTA UK and mother of four is available for interview. Emma has a child starting reception in September.
Join the conversation:
About PTA UK
Be School Ready is PTA UK’s 2016 flagship campaign. The Welcome Packs form part of the annual initiative that started in 2015 and was created to introduce parents to their PTA support network when their children are starting school. The Be School Ready packs were sent to 1,667 member associations, reaching over 100,000 parents, across England and Wales.
Established in 1956, PTA UK is the UK’s leading PTA membership organisation. As a charity, PTA UK’s main objective is to advance education by encouraging the fullest cooperation between home and school.
Izzy Wizzy Let’s Get Baking Busy…Sooty, Sweep and Michelle Heaton battle it out in the kitchen for Sport Relief 2016
Izzy Wizzy Let’s Get Baking Busy…
Sooty, Sweep and Michelle Heaton battle it out in the kitchen for Sport Relief 2016
- The pie’s the limit for Michelle Heaton, but will Sooty’s cakes rise like a well-behaved soufflé or fall at the final curdle?
- Limited edition Orla Kiely apron for Sport Relief – perfect for those wanting to get messy in the kitchen
Roll up, Roll up, CITV’s Sooty and Sweep have collaborated with TV personality Michelle Heaton in the kitchen for a fun-packed photo shoot to raise some dough for Sport Relief.
The nation’s favourite bear has been ‘Izzy Wizzy’ baking cakes for a Sport Relief Bake Sale in a bid to inspire the nation to get their baking trays out and raise some money for Sport Relief. Meanwhile, Sweep has slipped on his boxing gloves to show his knockout support for Sport Relief.
Sooty and Sweep’s new look is thanks to designer Orla Kiely, who has created a limited edition apron for Sport Relief. The apron is presented each episode to the winner of ‘The Great Sport Relief Bake Off’ and is available to buy exclusively from Sport Relief official partners: brands-for-less homewareretailer, HomeSense, TK Maxx stores, tkmaxx.com and sportrelief.com. The apron retails at £12.99 with at least £5.25 going to Sport Relief.
The nation has been inspired to join in the Sport Relief fun and games and host their own bake sales to raise money to help transform people’s lives both across the UK and in the world’s poorest communities. So if you’re a fan, the apron is the perfect way to ‘rise to the occasion’, supporting a great cause whilst baking yourself proud in the kitchen.
Sooty’s right hand man, Richard Cadell told us Sooty had whispered in his ear that holding a bake sale is a piece of cake and he and Sweep had loads of fun with their new friend Michelle, even if she was a little bit messy in the kitchen!
Michelle Heaton said: “I urge everyone to put on a pinny, get baking and throw a showstopping bake sale for Sport Relief. Baking with Sooty & Sweep was the icing on the cake for me! By purchasing this apron from HomeSense and TK Maxx you can help to transform people’s lives both across the UK and in the world’s poorest communities.”
Since 2002, Sport Relief has raised over £262 million. The Sport Relief Games will take place between Friday 18th and Sunday 20th March, bringing the entire nation together to get active, raise cash and change lives.
The money raised from the apron will go towards helping people living incredibly tough lives. Half of the money raised by the public for Sport Relief is used to make a difference right here at home in the UK, with the other half used to make a difference in the world’s poorest communities.
Don’t miss out on your very own limited edition Orla Kiely apron from HomeSense, TK Maxx stores, tkmaxx.com, sportrelief.com and help raise money for Sport Relief 2016
Individual images are available on request
For further press information and interview requests please contact:
Siobhan Connor at Connor PR / 07966 177025 / Siobhan@connorpr.com
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Facebook – @myHomeSense
Twitter – @HomeSenseUK
Instagram – @HomeSenseUK
Details and Prices:
All profits from the sale of the apron and the tea towels will be donated to Sport Relief to help transform the lives of some of the poorest and most disadvantaged people in the UK and around the world.
Apron £12.99 with at least £5.25 going to Sport Relief
ABOUT SPORT RELIEF
Sport Relief brings the entire nation together to get active, raise cash and change lives. Since 2002, Sport Relief has raised over £262 million. The money raised by the public is spent by Comic Relief to help people living incredibly tough lives, across the UK and the world’s poorest communities. It all leads up to the Sport Relief weekend and an unmissable night of TV on the BBC, broadcasting live from Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Sport Relief 2016 will take place from Friday 18th to Sunday 20th March 2016. You can run, swim, cycle or even walk yourself proud at events across the country. There’s a distance for everyone in the Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games, whether you’re sporty or not. Find out more at www.sportrelief.com.
Comic Relief is a UK charity, which aims to create a just world, free from poverty.
Since 1985, Comic Relief has raised over £1billion. That money has helped, and is helping, people living incredibly tough lives, both at home in the UK and across the world.
For information about Comic Relief and the work it carries out, please visit www.comicrelief.com
Comic Relief, registered charity 326568 (England/Wales); SC039730 (Scotland)
HomeSense launched in the UK in April 2008 and has 39 stores in the UK. HomeSense operates a unique ‘off-price’ concept, which offers quality and branded homeware for less than the recommended retail price. These savings are passed on to customers through a combination of opportunistic buying, established relationships with manufacturers and simple, no-frills operation. HomeSense is part of TJX Europe, a subsidiary of TJX Companies, Inc. Find your nearest store and loads more information at www.homesense.com
About TK Maxx
TK Maxx and HomeSense are the official Sport Relief sponsors for the fifth campaign running and have raised £17.7 million since 2005 through sales, customer donations and staff fundraising. TK Maxx is a designer brands-for-less retailer implementing a unique ‘off-price’ concept which originated in the US. It sells designer and high street brands of womenswear, menswear, homeware, gifts and accessories at up to 60% less than the recommended retail price (RRP). TK Maxx launched in the UK in 1994 and now has over 250 stores nationwide. Opportunistic buying and a no-frills operation means TK Maxx can pass huge savings on to the customer. A typical store has over 50,000 items in stock and receives 10,000 new pieces, styles and colours a week, which means stock is consistently fresh. TK Maxx is part of TJX Europe, the European subsidiary of the US group TJX Companies Inc. For more information see www.tkmaxx.com
The creative world of Orla Kiely was founded in 1995 to express visually, her love of pattern, colour, texture and rhythm, which as components all play and work together. Once hailed as the ‘queen of print,’ she is world renowned for her instinctive graphic discipline to simplify and stylise everyday motifs and forms. With clean, orderly repeat constructions and a boldness of scale, her work achieves strength with a very modern quality, while her love for all things mid century creates charming, uplifting and instantly recognisable prints.
From a small collection of accessories, commissioned exclusively by Harrods following her graduation from the Royal Academy of Art, the range has grown to include a complete ready-to-wear collection as well as homeware and stationery. Through key collaborations, Orla Kiely has launched a perfume, designed sold out shoe collections for Clarks – an ongoing partnership as well as publishing two books – ‘Pattern’ & ‘Home’ which celebrating both her prints and her love for interior design.
Globally, the brand is gaining momentum with key stockists in both fashion and home. Orla Kiely has a number of shops through the UK and has grown significantly with global reach in New York following the launch of her collaborations with Uniqlo and Target.
The Orla Kiely customer is creative, intelligent and stylish. She is not afraid to stand out and does it fashionably. The combination of luxurious fabric and attention to detail leads to a loyal following including Kate Middleton, Kirsten Dunst , Keira Knightley, Alexa Chung and Emma Watson.
She continues to work with fashion contemporaries, Leith Clark, Liz Goldwin and Venetia Scott.
Orla Kiely regularly presents at London Fashion Week and continues to surprise and impress, her presentations reaching cult status amongst fans and press alike.
The Sooty Show
The Sooty Show is the longest running children’s TV show in the world. The iconic yellow bear made his TV debut on the BBC in the 1950s and is currently enjoying a revival in the UK, with The Sooty Show airing daily on CITV and on ITV at weekends. Sooty, Sweep and Soo, with their current owner and presenter Richard Cadell, perform to sell-out audiences in their live tours and Sooty the Movie is set to go into production this year. www.thesootyshow.com
The Dog Rescuers Puppy Farm Special
Channel 5, 8pm
Tuesday 27th October 2015
In this special puppy focused episode of Dog Rescuers Alan Davies reveals how the RSPCA cracked one of Britain’s biggest puppy farm operations in Manchester, rescuing 87 puppies from harrowing conditions and eventually bringing the owners of the racket to successful convictions just one week ago. Operation Pagan lasted 5 years and we will see exclusive footage from the raid and talk to the Special Operations Officers who conducted the investigation, who explain how they managed to bring this barbaric business to an end.
We see incredible footage of the puppies being rescued and taken to be examined by [RSPCA?] vets and we also visit them now to see how their lives have been turned around by living in loving new homes.
The programme also features; information on how viewers can give a rescue puppy a loving home, brand new dog rescues; and a story from Somerset, where we meet three adorable Japanese Chin puppies who, at six weeks old, are enjoying their final days at the animal centre before getting rehomed.
And finally we meet Bruce and Rebel, two 18 month old Lurcher pups who are long term residents of Newbrook Animal Centre. They were saved from living in terrible conditions for days on end and we will do a “live” appeal to see if we can find them a new home. In their heart breaking story we’ll hear how they will have to be rehomed together as Bruce has a degenerative eye disease and will be blind within a year, so will need to rely on best mate Rebel to lead him around in the future.
Connor PR specialists in TV promotion, Connor PR specialists in Entertainment PR, Connor PR and The Dog Rescuers
PUSSIES GALORE: THE WOMAN WITH A THOUSAND CATS
Friday 18th September, 8:00pm – 9.00pm
There are over 9 millions cats in our UK homes, with most owners living with a single feline friend, however for someone just isn’t enough. In this extraordinary one hour programme we meet some of the most fanatical kitty lovers who have taken their love one step further. We meet a woman who can’t stop taking local strays in, a man with a cat tattoo obsession, we get an insight into the world of cat competitions and we visit a unique establishment that allows you to enjoy your food whilst stroking a pussy.
Lynea Lattanzio is the embodiment of a crazy cat lady, she has over 1000 cats on her premises and is still unable to say no to more. What started off as company for the divorced retiree, has now spiralled into taking over her whole existence.
Lynea was refused a cat as a child and has been working hard since, making up for lost time. We visit her Californian home and see her surrounded by her furry family, witnessing just how she manages to keep things ticking. With a thousand cats on the property is it all getting too much for Lynea or will she always be thinking of the many more roaming the streets?
From Crazy Cat Lady to Crazy Cat Man, we meet pussy magnet Andy Richards who has spent the last 20 years of his life dedicating his time to helping cats. Andy, the manager of the East Lancashire Cats charity store and owner of 18 of his own, has now racked up 40 cat related tattoos! We join Andy as he embarks upon his latest design, as he goes under the needle for two more tatts. Will Andy’s cat inking obsession come to an end or will he run out of space first?
Later in the episode we meet up with some UK based cat crazies as we discover the world of the Cat Competition. We follow Sue Miller from Devon, a self admitted cat obsessive, who is taking seven of her eighteen cats to the West of England and South Wales Cat Society Show in hope of adding to her vast collection of ribbons and rosettes. We see the preparation, the judging and the results and find out just how much her little superstars winning means to her. Will the pressures of the competition get too much for Sue or will see come away with more accolades?
In the final instalment of the hour we enter a unique establishment that allows people to eat their lunch and drink a coffee surrounded by their favourite feline. We meet Katie Jane Glazier who has opened up Newcastle’s first of its kind, the Cat Café called Mog on the Tyne! In a café influenced by its phenomenon success in Japan, you can now eat your lunch at the same time as stroking a pussy. Will Katie’s unique business venture be a roaring success or will it be doomed to failure?
Connor PR specialist in TV programme promotion, Connor PR working with Channel 5, Connor PR expert in entertainment PR
Very sad to hear about the death of TV psychic Colin Fry who I worked with at Living TV on Most Haunted & 6ixth Sense
I worked with Colin Fry for over 5 years launching his programmes on Living TV.
One very proud moment was landing a five page feature in The coolest magazine of the day The Face back in the early noughties
Colin Fry, who has died aged 53, was a self-proclaimed medium who relayed messages from “the dead” to audiences in Australia, New Zealand, Norway and Japan; on British satellite television he featured in such “paranormal reality” shows as Most Haunted and 6ixth Sense.
Viewers hoping for dire warnings from beyond the grave would be disappointed. A warm and charismatic performer, Fry’s stage pronouncements tended towards the prosaic. Bereaved grandchildren were instructed to tidy their rooms; dead parents reassured their offspring that the end had been relatively peaceful.
Sceptics countered that Fry’s main talent lay in basic “cold reading” techniques – the art of analysing body language in order to make high-probability guesses about a person. In 1992 Fry was caught out at a seance when the lights were turned on unexpectedly, revealing that he was still holding a “spirit trumpet” that was meant to be suspended in mid-air. Fry later put the incident down to his relative inexperience at the time. He also denied any suggestions of exploitation, pointing to his training as a bereavement counsellor. Members of his audience were encouraged to seek professional help if Fry felt they were struggling to cope with their loss.
Though he had initially refused to appear on television on the grounds that most programmes made fun of spiritualism, Fry gave in when he was approached by producers at the age of 40. The format of the shows, however, tended once again towards the banal. A message broadcast before 6ixth Sense admitted that “differing opinions exist as to the true nature of clairvoyance and clairaudience”. None the less, the subject has proved adaptable to the small screen. Most Haunted completed its 17th series in 2015.
Colin Fry was born on May 19 1962 in Haywards Heath, West Sussex. His mother, Margaret, a student nurse, had intended to remain at home after the birth but suffered from post-partum depression and decided that work would be beneficial. Colin was raised in large part by his maternal grandmother, Lilian, with whom he shared a close – he would say psychic – bond.
From an early age, Colin became aware of an ability to perceive things that other members of his family could not. A vision of an old man – “like a taller, slightly thinner version of [Doctor Who] William Hartnell” – at the foot of his bed was a first glimpse of “Magnus”, who would become Fry’s proclaimed “spirit guide” in adulthood. Aged four, Colin announced to the table at teatime that “Old Nanny”, his great-grandmother, had died. A telegram to that effect arrived the next day.
After leaving school at 16 without any qualifications, Fry worked in the retail industry while giving demonstrations at spiritualist churches. But it was not until his stepbrother, Michael, died of Aids in 1996 that he resolved to become a full-time medium. Fry had nursed Michael for many years, and saw a chance to keep the relationship intact. “But he’s very clever,” he explained in 2003: “He’ll often pass messages to me through other mediums.”
Fry went on to become a reverend of the Spiritualist Church, and wrote several books on spiritual and mental well-being. A memoir, The Happy Medium, was published in 2012. The title seemed to contradict a life that had had its share of physical hardship. He became partially deaf aged 23 and relied on hearing aids in later years. Last April he was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer.
A heavy smoker, he recalled an earlier encounter with a fellow spiritualist, who disapproved: “This old love said to me: ‘That’ll kill you, you know.’ I replied: ‘My love, do you honestly think that bothers me? I know where I’m going.’”
Colin Fry is survived by his civil partner, Mikey.
Colin Fry, born May 19 1962, died August 25 2015 – The Daily Telegraph
Sad day, Loaded magazine to close after 21 years, happy memories of working on the Loaded Lafta’s PR campaign
Loaded magazine to close after 21 years
I ran the PR campaign for the Loaded Laftas and have many happy memories of working on the magazine
Once one of the leading titles in a booming lads mag sector, it hit print sales of 350,000 in 2000
Loaded, one of the titles synonymous with the mid-1990s lads’ mag boom, is to close after 21 years.
The last issue of the monthly magazine, which launched in 1994, is the April edition which is on sale now.
“As of the current April issue, published on March 26th, Loaded will cease to trade as a printed magazine,” the magazine’s publisher said in a statement. “We would like to pay tribute to our customers, staff and especially our contributors and editorial team”.
Loaded was once one of the the leading titles in a booming lads magazine sector, with sales of 350,000 in 2000.
In recent years the rise of the internet has seen sales plummet, circulation stood at about 35,000 in 2011, the last officially audited figures available for the title.
The magazine is owned by Simian Publishing, a company set up in 2013 for Loaded’s management to take control of the title.
The magazine has had a troubled recent history with four owners in three years and a brief period where it was put in to administration.
Simian acquired the title from Paul Baxendale-Walker, a multi-millionaire businessman who occasionally directs and stars in his own pornographic films, who owned it through Blue Publishing which went in to administration.
Baxendale-Walker acquired it in 2012 from Cooper Young, the administrators appointed to handle the sale of the magazine after parent company Vitality Publishing ran up a bill of £1m to creditors.
Vitality had acquired Loaded, gay lifestyle title Attitude, Superbike, horoscope title Prediction and Hair magazine from IPC Media, now Time Inc UK, in 2010.
In 2009, Bauer closed men’s monthly Arena after 22 years.
In the same year Dennis Publishing closed the print edition of Maxim after 14 years.
Last year, Time Inc shut Nuts, the weekly that along with arch-rival Zoo shook up the men’s magazine market a decade ago.