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What’s Up XTRA: Eddie Nestor, comedy acting and life in Hackney

This item was filmed as part of the Sky One-commissioned show, What’s Up. You can find more of their videos here.

Eddie Nestor is a veteran sketch comedian and radio host, currently appearing on BBC London 97.9 radio station.

This video clip is part of a larger interview with Eddie Nestor for the Arts & Culture magazine show, What’s Up. The main interview can be found in Season 8, Episode 1.

I acted as Researcher and Item Producer for this item. I hope you enjoy it!

Everybody has a story – Comedian Matt Price on the art of storytelling

This feature was written and shot for What’s Up, found here.

When it comes to live comedy, everyone is familiar with stand-up – but storytellers are bridging the gap between poets and comedians, providing an entertainment experience like no other.

What’s Up met with Matt Price, a storyteller/comedian that has been wowing audiences with deeply personal stories for over 12 years, to get an insight into the art form.

“I like the truth of storytelling,” he said.

“It’s not just about being funny; it’s about people’s personal truths.”

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What makes us scream? We get strapped in to test the science of fear

This feature was originally written for the Daily Star (and an alternate version for the Daily Express).

A BRAVE Daily Star Online reporter gets turned into a lab rat in the name of weird science.

SPOOKED: Researchers used a screening of upcoming film As Above, So Below to find out about how we feel fear [UNIVERSAL]


I have always loved horror films and at an event set up by Brunel University London I got the chance to put my nerves to the test.

Health and fitness boffins at the university wanted to look into how both body and mind react to being spooked.

We all know that, when we’re scared, our heart rate goes up – but is there method to the madness?

Christopher Stock from the Centre for Sports Medicine and Human Performance at Brunel University London decided the best way to find out is have a group of subjects watch a scary film, and observe their heart rate.

Being a subject in an experiment tends to make you feel more like a lab rat than a human, but the heart rate monitor strapped to my chest had me feeling a lot more like a robot.

It was cold, tight, and had a green light that blinked softly every few seconds.

By wearing it I was, technically, a cyborg – which is both spooky and awesome.

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Forget scouring the high street – PRINT yourself a pair of heels or pants!

This feature was originally written for the Daily Star, found here.

IN THE future rather than trawling the rails in Topshop or Primark you’ll be able to instantly print yourself an outfit! Amazing, right? We get the lowdown at London’s 3D Print Show.

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The London 3D Print Show had many things I would expect from a technology expo: slick entrepreneurs with glasses and iPads, large machines whirring away and more references to Star Wars that I’m comfortable with.While the show’s aim was to explore the many ways the technology of 3D printers are enhancing our lives — from car factories to kitchens — I was pleasantly surprised to find a section devoted to style and fashion with some absolutely beautiful pieces on show.

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How I made a mini me: The lowdown on 3D Printing and how you can try it too

This story was originally written for the Daily Star, found here.

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3D printing is technology that sounds both simple and really complex – but we have the info how it works, the cool things it can make and how to try it out.

The 3D printer is tech that I’ve been quietly excited about for years.

The idea of making nearly any object I wanted had me mostly excited to make tiny figurines of video game characters but to buy a printer of my own a few years ago would have set me back thousands of pounds – way too risky for someone like me with a casual interest.

So I was delighted to explore the 3D Print Show, a convention about 3D printing hosted by Adobe, demonstrating how much more accessible the tech has become for the average Joe.

If 3D Printing still sounds a bit mystical to you, it’s more straightforward than you might think.

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Google Doodle: Brazil World Cup & favela culture (June 18)

Google Doodle Brazil World Cup FavelaThis story was originally written for the Daily Express, found here.

THERE is a long-standing link between Brazil and football culture and that’s never been more true than at this year’s World Cup.

As the seventh day of the tournament takes hold, today’s Google Doodle depicts the colourful slums of Brazil, known as favelas.

The Google logo forms part of a brightly-coloured and off-kilter wall of favela houses, with the L represented as someone kicking a football against a building.

Rapidly growing around the edges of Brazilian cities since the 19th Century, favelas sprung up from people moving en masse from rural areas to cities, with little affordable housing.

Brazil is presently one of the most economically unequal countries in the world, with the top 10 per cent of the population earning 50 per cent of the national income.

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Google Doodle: Audrey Hepburn’s birthday (May 4th)

Google Doodle Audrey Hepburn BirthdayThis story was originally written for the Daily Express, found here.

TODAY’S Google Doodle celebrates the 85th birthday of British actress Audrey Hepburn.

The doodle shows a striking black-and-white charcoal sketch of Hepburn – reminiscent of her look in Breakfast at Tiffany’s – on a pink background.

The Google logo is represented in elegant cursive, with small drawings of Hepburn playing and dancing with children from poverty-stricken countries underneath.

Born in 1929 in Brussels, the then Audrey Kathleen Hepburn-Ruston grew up moving between Belgium, England and the Netherlands, dealing with German occupation during the Second World War.

Her parents were both involved with the British Union of Fascists, and her father became a Nazi sympathiser.

However, it was his infidelity (with the family nanny) that caused him to separate from the family. He remained emotionally detached even after the war, but stayed in contact with Audrey.

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Google Doodle: St George’s Day (April 23rd)

Google Doodle St Georges Day

This story was originally written for the Daily Express, found here.

TODAY’S Google Doodle is an atmospheric illustration of the dragon-slaying Saint George.

To celebrate St George’s Day, the homepage for Google’s UK site has changed to a moody watercolour of a knight facing up to a dragon.

The Google logo can faintly be seen amid the swirls of muted fog in the background.

While St George’s Day is the national day of England, the patron saint is actually of Middle Eastern origin and celebrated by Christian churches across Europe and North Africa.

As such, he’s also the patron saint of many countries including Greece, Portugal, Egypt and Ukraine.

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High Street Blues: Balham residents voice concern over rise of betting shops

This feature can also be found on the South West Londoner, here.

“Balham is my ‘village’ and I use it daily for shopping, dining and community engagement,” said Kevin Fitzpatrick of Fieldhouse Road, Balham.

“The addition of yet another betting shop will add nothing positive.”

He’s talking about a planning application submitted by Coral Bookmakers on May 2. The proposed location is on Balham Station Road, replacing a dry cleaners and directly next to The Moon Under Water pub.

What’s more, a gambling arcade, Cashino, is just down the road. The close proximity of these businesses is giving both shop owners and residents a cause for concern.

Have you recently noticed an increase in certain types of stores on your high road? Odds are, you’ve seen new charity shops, betting shops and chicken take-aways sprouting everywhere. It’s no coincidence, it’s happening all across Britain.

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A Jazz Interlude: Interview with George Simmonds of The Squintet

This article can also be found at the South West Londoner, here.

It’s difficult being 22. For most of us, it’s the point where we struggle to balance adulthood with the aftermath of university. But for George Simmonds there’s a jazz quintet to lead and a music agency to run. And astoundingly, both things are rapidly gaining momentum.

A Londoner through and through and presently based in Tottenham, George has taken his love of jazz music from a young age and formed his band, The Squintet, with childhood friends and other budding artists.

George himself leads on trombone and vocals, his old high school friend Jamie Hone on saxophone, Mike Cuthbert on keyboard, and Jack Polley on bass guitar.


Rob Hervais is the newest member of the band, on the drums, replacing Bryan Taylor who left.
With them, he’s shared his jazz passion all over London (including Soho, Islington and the famous The Rivoli Ballroom in Lewisham) and also abroad in Istanbul and Norway.

Over time their sound has changed – starting out with a strong swing feeling, before moving to a more funk-focused, New Orleans-style sound in recent months. The change was sparked by the drummer Rob, and George says that the band has definitely become more comfortable since.

At the start of performances with The Squintet, George likes to open with ‘Honeysuckle Rose’ by Fats Wallop, a piece played to him by his grandfather as a child. The version he was familiar with was performed by Acker Bilk, and the memory has always stuck with him. 

His musical influences include J.J. Johnson, Jimmy Knepper (both trombonists), and Charlie Parker. More recently he’s been taking on the funk-based influences of James Brown and Fred Wesley.
During a period of taking an interest in composing, Duke Ellington and Charles Mingus’ jazz orchestras were a major factor.

For the last two months, George has also plunged into the world of business with the Maxwell Barrett Music Agency. Christened after his middle names, he uses it to both set up his own gigs and those of his steadily increasing client list.

After playing music professionally for three years, he felt that to go into conventional employment and have less time for his music was not an option.

Running a business in your early 20s is a fairly daunting task, so he co-runs it with his father.
New gigs are being planned all the time, and George is definitely looking to perform more in the South West London area.

You can find out about future gigs at www.maxwellbarrett.com or on his Facebook page.