Connor PR working with Middlechild Productions on a TV exclusive – Hercules The Human Bear, Channel Five
HERCULES THE HUMAN BEAR
“Human beings differ to animals only in degree and not in kind”
Charles Darwin, Descent of Man
TX: Channel 5, Thursday April 3rd, 9pm, 2014
Produced by Middlechild Productions
Hercules the Human Bear tells the amazing story of Andy and Maggie Robin and their relationship with a grizzly bear that became the most famous animal in the world. A bear that was bought as a cub from a Scottish zoo for £50 in 1976 and lived in Andy and Maggie’s home for 25 years. Hercules grew to be a superstar on the celebrity circuit and through the love and devotion of Andy and Maggie, in their eyes, became human.
In 1976 Andy and Maggie bought a grizzly bear cub from a local zoo, initially to fulfil Andy’s need for a unique wrestling partner. Little did they know at the time that Hercules, the tiny bear cub, would become the worlds’ most famous bear and make them a fortune in the process.
Hercules the Human Bear focuses on the unique relationship that Andy, Maggie and Hercules forged during their 25 years together. With interviews from Andy and Maggie as well as all the key contributors to their story, the documentary reveals the unique story of how Andy and Maggie managed to live under the same roof as the world’s most dangerous land mammal.
Extraordinary archive film footage reveals Hercules adapting to his new surroundings at the Sheriffmuir Inn and learning to wrestle with Andy, without killing him in the process, to the heart stopping moment he went missing in the Outer Hebrides where the hunt for Hercules turned into National and International news. We see how Hercules begins his road to stardom in adverts for products such as Kleenex and Hofmeister Beer, to how his fame got greater and greater to star in films such as James Bond’s Octopussy, making the front cover of Time magazine and even how he caddied for Bob Hope at a golf tournament. Concluding with a trip to the Outer Hebrides where a life-sized statue of Hercules is unveiled and hearing how Hercules touched the lives of many.
World Champion wrestler, Andy Robin, had performed a wrestling bout in Canada with a feared local wrestler – an 8ft black bear called Terrible Ted. The sheer power and strength of the animal shocked and amazed Andy and he began to admire Ted’s natural wrestling ability. The fight lasted only 20 minutes but Andy was hooked. He wanted a bear of his own no matter what the cost.
Combining the testimony of all the key participants, newly-discovered archival film and dramatic imagery, this is the picaresque story of one grizzly bear’s extraordinary journey through human life and the enduring impact he made on the characters he met along the way.
The anthropomorphism (attribution of human characteristics to anything other than a human being) of animals is centuries old and bears in particular have taken on a unique status in our hearts – from Winnie the Poo, Rupert, Yogi and Paddington Bear in children’s fiction to the use of real bears in television series such as Gentle Ben.
Hercules’ story was the ultimate nature versus nurture tale. With no formal animal training, Andy and Maggie Robin allowed a 9-foot 70-stone grizzly bear to share every inch of their lives, from the house they owned to the food they ate. If the experiment were successful they would go on the most amazing fairy tale of a journey, but if it went wrong, like so many times before and since, they would most probably end up dead, mauled to death by the most deadly land carnivore in the world.
The story of wild nature bending to human kindness and understanding, is a genre whose popularity reflects a yearning for an idealised relationship with nature – one that, even having outgrown the fantasies of childhood, we find it hard to shake off.
Hercules The Human Bear is the embodiment of this call of nature. It’s a unique success story where many have failed; it could well be the ultimate example of nurture overcoming nature.
David Sumnall, Director said: “This is a once in a lifetime story. Sharing your life with a Grizzly Bear like Andy and Maggie did will never be done again. They managed to form a completely unique bond with a very special bear. This was largely thanks to Hercules and Maggies’ incredible nature and the fact that Andy was as much a bear as Hercules was human! For anyone who loves their pets, and thinks they might have some ‘human’ in them – this is a must watch.”
For all media enquiries, please contact Siobhan at Connor PR. firstname.lastname@example.org Tel 07966 177025
Andy and Maggie Robin are available for interview.
Preview discs are available on request.
Notes to editors:
Middlechild Productions is a genuinely independent production company based in London. We specialise in ambitious, factual programmes produced with passion and to the highest standard.
Creative Director – David Sumnall
David set up Middlechild in 2008 with the help of a development deal from Channel 4’s factual and documentary departments. Prior to setting up Middlechild, David developed, directed and produced a variety of programmes for all the major broadcasters including Jonny’s Hotshot’s for BBC1; Engineering Giants for BBC2; Animal Addicts for Channel Four; Victoria Cross Heroes for Five and Football Years for Sky One.
David also recently co-produced the feature film Cleanskin starring Sean Bean for Warner Brothers.
Director of Production – Paul Goodliffe
Paul Goodliffe has over 20 years in Television Production management . He has been Director of Production for Sky Entertainment overseeing SKY’s production teams and outside contractors to manage their multi-million pound production outlay across a variety of formats. In addition, he has also held senior managerial positions at Virgin Media and Channel Five.
Connor PR and Hercules the Human Bear, Connor PR working with Middlechild Productions, Connor PR expert in TV publicity, Media and entertainment specialist Connor PR
SPORTS PERSONALITIES BAKE UP SOME FUN FOR SPORT RELIEF
Ten of Britain’s favourite sport stars have joined teams and swapped their boxing gloves for oven gloves in a fun-packed photo shoot for Sport Relief 2014.
For those wanting to ‘sport’ a new look in the kitchen, British pottery maker, Emma Bridgewater, has created two limited edition aprons for Sport Relief. One of the designs will be presented each night to the winner of ‘The Great Sport Relief Bake Off’ and both designs are available to buy exclusively from Sport Relief official partners – brands-for-less homeware retailer, HomeSense, and TK Maxx stores, TKmaxx.com and sportrelief.com for £12.99 with at least £6.50 going to Sport Relief.
Those championing the campaign are (pictured left to right): Olympic gymnast, Louis Smith MBE; World Champion boxer, Amir Khan; Team GB Olympic Judo athlete, Ashley McKenzie; Paralympic table tennis player, Will Bayley; Sky Sports News presenter, Kirsty Gallacher; Dan Whiston from TV’s Dancing on Ice; Olympic short track speed skater, Elise Christie; Boxer, Natasha Jonas; Wasps and England rugby player, James Haskell and Channel 4 racing presenter, Emma Spencer.
Since 2002, Sport Relief has raised over £195million. As one of the UK’s biggest fundraising events, Sport Relief brings the entire nation together to get active, raise cash and change lives. The money raised from apron sales will be used to help transform the lives of some of the poorest and most disadvantaged people – both on your doorstep in the UK and around the world. So join in the fun and games and be sure to grab a limited edition Emma Bridgewater apron before they’re all scone!
Sky Sports News Presenter, Kirsty Gallacher said: “By purchasing these great Sport Relief aprons you’ll be doing your bit to help raise millions of pounds to help people who need it most – both on your doorstep in the UK and around the world. I urge everyone to join in the fun and games this Sport Relief. Let’s raise as much money as we possibly can for this great cause.”
Amir Khan added: “Please shop till you drop and purchase these fabulous Sport Relief Aprons from HomeSense & TK Maxx stores. I hope the Emma Bridgewater aprons will carry the Sport Relief message into thousands of homes and help transform the lives of some of the poorest and most disadvantaged people. Together let’s make this the best Sport Relief year ever.”
Louis Smith said: “I’m urging everyone to get down to HomeSense and TK Maxx stores to purchase one of Emma Bridgewater’s Sport Relief aprons. The campaign has received overwhelming support from well-known sports personalities across the country and is perfectly placed to get the nation joining in the fun and games. I am extremely proud to be involved and hope with your help Sport Relief 2014 receives the support it deserves”.
Details and Prices:
£12.99 with at least £6.50 going to Sport Relief
Apron featured on ‘The Great Sport Relief Bake Off’
Entertainment specialist Connor PR working with Sport Relief, Connor PR working with Emma Bridgewater, Connor PR working with HomeSense, Connor PR working with TK Maxx
Profile of Katie Wellington on Mojomums. Mojomums is a social enterprise, put together by a mum of 5 who realised there was all this untapped potential at the school gate and so she set up on social media and then through a website to give mums their mojo back and encourage them to achieve their goals, be it going back to work, starting up a business or just giving them a place to find useful information for the women who happens to be a mum.
We love our boobs so much we turned them into wallpaper
– 300 ladies get it off their chest by baring their breasts for wallpaper
– 25% of proceeds of the wallpaper to go to coppafeel website, a breast cancer awareness charity
– Artist Sam Pooley took part in her own topless photo-shoot describing it as “an invigorating experience”. She has posted one of the photographs on her website boobwallpaper website
As the saying goes, a picture paints a thousand words. Likewise, for one Shropshire artist, a wall became an expression of her personality. More than 300 women have been photographed topless as part of a project to create limited-edition wallpaper of women’s breasts.
With a renewed campaign to ban Page 3 models; topless women demanding equal rights on the streets of New York; controversy raging over paparazzi pictures of the Duchess of Cambridge sunbathing semi-nude; and Angelina Jolie revealing she’s had a mastectomy, breasts are very much in the news. This inspired artist Sam Pooley, from Shrewsbury, Shropshire to think about how she feels about her own breasts. Sam did a topless photo shoot in The Quarry, a local park in Shrewsbury town centre – it was both terrifying and liberating.
Sam embarked on a tour of the UK visiting York, London, Bath, Bristol, Northampton, Totnes, Chester & Watford, looking to recruit women to bare breasts of all different shapes, ages and sizes. Sam discovered that the majority of women she photographed didn’t like their breasts. She was inspired to create an artwork that celebrated breasts and in the process, enabled women to feel liberated by the experience and have their self-confidence boosted.
The breast has been an image used in art for many thousands of years, from Stone Age fertility goddesses and classical sculpture to breast-feeding Italian Renaissance Madonna’s and fleshy modern nudes. It has been revered as life-giving, wholesome and liberating. In modern times, photographic images of breasts have become something smutty or rude, while women in many African and South Pacific cultures wander around bare-chested and no-one bats an eyelid.
Sam Pooley says she has been overwhelmed by the response and the inspiring personal stories of many of the volunteers.
“The women in the wallpaper are from all walks of life, from the age of 19 right up to an 82-year-old grandmother.” she said.
“The wallpaper tells so many stories of women who have had mastectomies, breast reductions and enlargements, lifts and tucks, even a professional wet nurse who has breast-fed over 50 children.
“I’ve received some truly inspirational emails from women who’ve had breast cancer and wanted to be part of this campaign. I’m amazed at the stories coming out.”
The final artwork will be unveiled at Miss Pooley’s fine art degree show at Birmingham City University School of Art alongside a soundtrack of some women talking about their breasts. It will be reproduced and sold as limited-edition wallpaper with 25% of proceeds from the sale going towards breast cancer research.
***Sam Pooley is available for interview***
Notes to editors:
Sam Pooley is available for interview, for any media enquiries please contact Siobhan at ConnorPR Tel 07966 177025 / Siobhan@connorpr.com
Case studies of are available on request.
Sam Pooley Biography
Is an artist and a mother. She lives in Shrewsbury Shropshire. She is studying Fine Art at Birmingham City University School of Art.
Sam has many fingers in many pies. She shares a shop Compost & Gooseberry in The Market Hall Shrewsbury where she sells her art and other Artisans creations. She runs Compost Kids art classes for children of all ages. She is the features editor for Severn Magazine where she has a regular column showcasing local creative talent, she works as a creative consultant and has even been known to design and coordinate events.
To remain consistently ahead of the competition in covering the UK’s most impactful news story of the year is a remarkable achievement. At the heart of this entry is Lucy Manning’s relentless journalistic determination as well as her compassion for all concerned. Revelation followed revelation, scoop followed scoop in this exemplary news coverage.
Savile, ITN for ITV News
This is a link to the Sarah Rozenthuler Life Changing Conversations book launch that Connor PR organised:
Here is a link to Sarah Rozenthuler talking about the book:
Connor PR helped to launch Fi Cotter Craig’s book ‘Middle Class ABC’ which Stephen Fry referred to as “Indispensable and entirely charming”:
The HBO Pacific Launch event was organised by Siobhan Connor whilst she was working with Taylor Herring:
In November 2010, HBO released The Pacific TV show on DVD and we wanted a launch party that would really stand out and set HBO apart. Siobhan planned an incredible launch party on the HMS Belfast that included a press junket in the day time and a 1940s themed event in the evening. Siobhan’s planning was exemplary, her calm approach filled us with confidence and she delivered an outstanding event that many of our retailers and journalists said was the best entertainment event they had been to all year. Needless to say, I would highly recommend Siobhan and personally, I can’t wait to work on the next project with her!
Marketing Director, HBO