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Tomorrow’s People: Making Cultures for Creativity

Posted on September 2nd, 2015 in Television Industry PR,Television PR.

Essays from Sharon Horgan, Piv Bernth, Matt Brittin, Chris Chibnall and more

A new book from UKTV promoting British creativity – launched to coincide with the 40th annual Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival – is available for download now.

UKTV Book - covers for social

Tomorrow’s People: Making Cultures for Creativity features stories and anecdotes from inspirational contributors and organisations about how creativity gives them their edge.

The book features eight essays from creative luminaries, each of whom have a unique take on the ways to foster the power of imagination. The issues covered range from the uneasy relationship between ‘the creatives’ and ‘the business’ and making an inspirational working environment, to the art of collaboration and the hurdles of solo endeavours. .

Contributors include the actress and writer of smash hit Catastrophe, Sharon Horgan; Google’s Matt Brittin; DR’s Head of Drama Piv Bernth (The Killing, The Bridge); award-winning screenwriter and executive producer of hits including Broadchurch, Chris Chibnall; Endemol Shine Group President Tim Hincks; and the feted advertising and music video director, Dougal Wilson.

Throughout each essay the contributors ruminate on topics including how they keep their imaginations alive, why pushing creative boundaries is important, making sure inspiration runs throughout their organisations and how to encourage the next generation of creatives.

Darren Childs, CEO, UKTV, who commissioned the book, says of its launch: “One of the most important remits of a creative organisation’s leader is to make sure the right people are able to produce great ideas, their working days are structured around them having great ideas, and their colleagues and environment are supportive of great ideas.  My hope is that Tomorrow’s People will fuel a new debate – about creativity, about diversity, about the nature of success – across the TV industry.”


SHARON HORGAN is one of British comedy’s most successful writer-performers. She stars in hit show Catastrophe and, through her production company Merman, is running Sarah Jessica Parker’s upcoming HBO series, Divorce. She describes the hard work and lucky breaks that helped her become a success in the creative world.

MATT BRITTIN is President, EMEA Business & Operations for Google. Based in London, he previously worked at McKinsey & Company and Trinity Mirror.  He discusses the creative workspace at Google, the importance of innovation and the opportunity platforms such as YouTube give new (and existing) talent.

PIV BERNTH is the head of drama at DR, Denmark’s national broadcaster, with a slate that includes The Legacy and The Bridge. She previously produced all three seasons of The Killing.  She advocates the benefits of separating the ‘creatives’ from the ‘organisation’, and the importance of giving people time and space to develop their ideas.

CHRIS CHIBNALL is an award-winning screenwriter, playwright and executive producer. His credits include Broadchurch, The Great Train Robbery: A Robber’s Tale and A Copper’s Tale, Doctor Who, United and Life on Mars.  He passes on what he has learnt as a screenwriter, offering his experience to those aspiring to break into the TV industry.

TIM HINCKS is President of the super-indie Endemol Shine Group. He was previously Chief Executive Officer of Endemol UK, overseeing hits including Big Brother, Fortitude and Pointless, and is a former Executive Chair of the Edinburgh International TV Festival.  He reflects on the jump from turning an idea into a physical piece of content, and the need to put creativity above the numbers.

JOHN KAMPFNER is Chief Executive of the Creative Industries Federation, the national membership organisation for the public arts, cultural education and creative industries. He is Chair of Turner Contemporary and the Clore Social Leadership Programme.  He believes it’s crucial that, as a key part of Britain’s economy, the arts become a core subject in education and that the creative pool must be socially and disciplinarily diverse.

DOUGAL WILSON has directed music videos for Jarvis Cocker, Will Young and Coldplay and TV ads for Ikea, Coca Cola, Stella Artois and most notably, John Lewis.  His awards include Gold and Silver Cannes Lions, two MTV video award nominations, and a Grammy nomination.  He talks about the science of creativity and the formula he follows to create his ideas.

HENRY MASON is the Managing Director of TrendWatching, who help forward-thinking business professionals in over 180 countries understand consumer behaviour; the needs and wants to uncover compelling and profitable innovation opportunities.  He discusses how we can achieve insight in one industry from looking at trends in another and how to continue capturing consumers’ attention.

DARREN CHILDS, CEO of UKTV, has had a prestigious international career in broadcast media spanning two decades.  Darren joined UKTV – a joint venture between BBC Worldwide and Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc. – in September 2010. Darren previously held senior executive roles at BBC Worldwide Sony Pictures Television, HBO Europe and News Corp’s Star TV.

In commissioning these thought leadership essays, Darren hopes we can fuel a new debate about creativity, diversity and success across the TV industry.

Tomorrow’s People: Making Cultures for Creativity

A book by UKTV is available for free download now at iTunes, Google Play and UKTV

Poohsticks – a game of luck or strategy?

Posted on August 26th, 2015 in Taylor Herring News.

Formula for the perfect Poohstick is revealed by leading scientist to celebrate new Winnie-the-Pooh Poohstickopedia book

  • Dr Rhys Morgan reveals the formula for the perfect Poohstick, disproving the 57% of Brits that believe it’s a game of luck
  • Top 12 Poohsticks-perfect bridges as recommended by VisitEngland, ahead of the August bank holiday
  • To celebrate the release of “The Poohsticks Handbook: A Poohstickopedia” featuring charming new Winnie-the-Pooh illustrations


More than half of Brits (57%) who believe Poohsticks is a game of luck have been proven wrong by a leading scientist as a brand new study puts the quintessential family game under the microscope and reveals it is in fact a game of skill and strategy!

The research, commissioned to celebrate the release of ‘The Poohsticks Handbook: A Poohstickopedia’ (Egmont Publishing), a humorous new book featuring Winnie-the-Pooh and friends written by comedy writer Mark Evans and illustrated by Mark Burgess, reveals the secrets to finding the ‘perfect Poohstick’ according to a leading scientist and names the best places in the country to play the traditional family game.

Egmont Publishing has joined forces with Dr Rhys Morgan (Royal Academy of Engineering) to equip the 39% of us who already take serious time sourcing the perfect Poohstick with the necessary formula to ensure we pick the speediest stick and float us to victory. This comes after a survey of 2,000 British parents also reveal that 41% of players even take the time to personalise their sticks to ensure they know exactly who wins.

Poohsticks first featured in The House at Pooh Corner, published in 1928, and has remained one of the nation’s favourite traditional games alongside Hide and Seek (52%) and It (33%). Poohsticks, which 25% vote as their favourite traditional game, is also revealed to be how 48% of British parents hope to ‘bridge’ the generational gap this summer by heading down to the river to play with their children. To celebrate this, VisitEngland has come up with the top 12 bridges for playing Poohsticks on across the UK.  And as the majority (87%) of parents reveal they’re keen to encourage their children to play outdoors, the list comes just in time for a fun-filled family August Bank Holiday this weekend.


The Perfect Poohstick:

Dr Rhys Morgan, Director of Engineering and Education at the Royal Academy of Engineering as well as a dad of two and avid Poohsticks player himself, has used his expertise to create a formula for the perfect Poohstick.  According to Dr Morgan, the main variables that need to be considered when designing the perfect Poohstick include: cross sectional area, density/buoyancy, and the ‘drag coefficient’.

PP (Perfect Poohstick) = A x ρ x Cd


The perfect Poohstick = tubby and long, fairly heavy (but not so heavy it will sink to the bottom of the river), with quite a lot of bark to catch the flow of the river like paddles

However, it turns out that only 11% of Brits naturally pick the right sort of stick, with a third of us (30%) heading straight for a long and thin stick, which according to Dr Morgan is only half right.

Parameters for the ‘control’ river

Dr Morgan outlined the parameters for a ‘control’ or ‘perfect’ river. This is rectangular, like a very long bath, and the flow of water is smooth, so the Poohstick would not have to contend with turbulence or whirlpools.

Cross Sectional Area (= A)

(length x width) The greater the area of an object, the more drag it creates. Normally, a large cross-sectional area decreases speed, however when it comes to Poohsticks, drag is key. If more water is able to influence the trajectory of the stick, it will accelerate more quickly. So when it comes to Poohsticks – the tubbier, the better!

Density (= ρ)

The density of the stick affects its position in the water. The fastest part of the stream is below the surface, so theoretically, a waterlogged stick which sinks a bit into in the middle of the stream will go faster than a stick which is floating right on the surface (where it could be slowed down by wind or other external variables).

Drag Coefficient (= Cd)

The drag coefficient describes the shape of stick and roughness of its surface. Generally, a rough stick will create more drag than a smooth stick, so in general, bark is good. However according to Dr Morgan, a certain roughness can make the stick ‘apparently’ smoother, similar to the effect created by dimples in golf balls, so choose carefully.

The Perfect Bridge:

The next step is to find the perfect bridge to put it to the test – VisitEngland has compiled a list of the best Poohsticks bridges across the country, alongside the original Poohsticks Bridge in Ashdown Forest (East Sussex).

Top 12 Poohsticks-Perfect Bridges, as recommended by VisitEngland

  1. Sheepwash Bridge, Ashford in the Water, Derbyshire
  2. Morden Hall Park, London
  3. Heale Gardens, Salisbury, Wiltshire
  4. Packhorse Bridge, Watendlath, Cumbria
  5. Mottisfont, Romsey, Hampshire
  6. Little Wittenham Bridge, Abingdon, Oxfordshire
  7. Mathematical Bridge, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire
  8. New Lower Bridge, Boscastle, Cornwall
  9. Bridge over Bourne Eau, Bourne, Lincolnshire
  10. Cantlop Bridge, Shrewsbury, Shropshire
  11. Essex Bridge, Shugborough, Staffordshire
  12. Hutton-le-Hole, Ryedale, North York Moors National Park

The list includes bridges from all over the country, from Cumbria to Cornwall, which have been rated against a strict set of Poohsticks criteria*.

Rebecca Lowe, Head of PR at VisitEngland says: “Poohsticks is a timeless game. From its first mention in A.A. Milne’s 1928 classic, The House at Pooh Corner, to today, it remains a great way for families to spend time together and enjoy England’s great outdoors just like Pooh! Our recommendations of top Poohsticks bridges are just some of the great spots to enjoy the game across the country, and will hopefully encourage families to get out and engage in some friendly competition over the Bank Holiday weekend.”

Mark Evans, author of The Poohsticks Handbook, says: “As The Poohstickopedia summarises: ‘Poohsticks is a game of sticks and rivers and bridges and friends and fun’. But clearly you need more than that to fill a book so it’s also full of hints, tips and general Poohsticky advice (from warnings for Knights to the latest scientific advances in stick selection) as well as the history of the game and, most importantly, the rules – so that young players everywhere can make sure their elders and (supposedly) betters remain Poohsticks-legal and un-cheaty.”

There’s nothing like a bit of healthy competition when it comes to family fun, with 42% of us only entering into a game with the express intention of winning and 43% of parents saying that they would never feign losing – it’s up to the river who wins!

Why not enjoy the fun created by Winnie-the-Pooh and friends in a game of Poohsticks this Bank Holiday weekend?  We would love to see your photos of your favourite Poohsticks bridge or your own personalised Poohsticks – share them on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using #Poohsticks!

‘The Poohsticks Handbook: A Poohstickopedia’ (Egmont Publishing) is available to buy from all good book retailers – a perfect gift for Winnie-the-Pooh fans of all ages.

For more information on the country’s top Poohsticks bridges, visit www.visitengland.com/poohsticks



Posted on August 25th, 2015 in Taylor Herring News.

  • DARREN WALSH scoops ‘Dave’s Funniest Joke of The Fringe’ Award as his pun-tastic gag is voted top one-liner from a shortlist by a panel of UK’s foremost comedy critics
  • 2015 marks the eighth anniversary of Dave’s Funniest Joke of the Fringe Award

 Comedian Darren Walsh wins the Dave Funniest Joke of the Fringe 2015 award.

Hailing from “a place called Peterborough”, this isn’t Walsh’s first time at the Fringe, but his show Punderbolt is the first time he’s taken on an hour-long performance. Winner of the first UK Pun Championship at the Leicester Comedy Festival in 2013, the 39 year old is no stranger to an award or two and boasts a published book of puns entitled ‘Cheap Laughs’. He even created a ‘Pun Guide to the Fringe’ for this year’s Festival; an animated video punning the name of ‘almost’ every comedian performing in Edinburgh 2015.

On being awarded the top spot, punny-man Darren Walsh said: “I am delighted to win this award. What a punderful feeling. Thanks Dave.”


Honourable mentions – Those one-liners that missed out:


“I never lie on my CV…because it creases it.” – Jenny Collier


If you don’t know what introspection is you need to take a long, hard look at yourself – Ian Smith


I usually meet my girlfriend at 12:59 because I like that one to one time – Tom Ward


Whenever I get to Edinburgh, I’m reminded of the definition of a gentleman. It’s someone who knows how to play the bagpipes, but doesn’t – Gyles Brandreth


“Let me tell you a little about myself. It’s a reflexive pronoun that means ‘me’” – Ally Houston


“Earlier this year I saw “The Theory of Everything” – loved it. Should’ve been called “Look Who’s Hawking”, that’s my only criticism” – James Acaster



Top of the Flops – And some of the jokes voted most groan-worthy included:


“What do honeymooners eat for breakfast? Wedded Wheat” – Lou Sanders


“I am Canadian. But if you think I’m Russian, Soviet” – Steward Francis


“I suffer from PMS. My wife gets it and I suffer” – Jeff Green


In order to compile the shortlist, each of the judges sat through an average of 60 different comedy performances and sifted through more than 3,600 minutes of material. This meant they each had a potential pool of around 7,200* different jokes to choose from.


The Dave award, which is open to both established and up-and-coming comedians, pays homage to the wealth of talent on offer at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe whilst shining a spotlight on the individual jokes, not just the performances. In fact, so as to ensure the jokes are ranked fairly, the comedian’s name or show are not revealed during the voting process – it is purely down to the jokes themselves!


Steve North, General Manager of Dave commented: The Fringe is renowned for being the best place to spot new and emerging comedy talent, and although there are some returning contenders in our top 10 this year, there is a high volume of new talent which is very exciting to see.


The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is widely acknowledged to be the biggest arts festival in the world and takes place every August for three weeks in Scotland’s capital city. Starting in 1947, it was seen as a post-war initiative to reunite Europe through culture, and was so successful that it inspired more performers than there was room for.


This year marks the eighth anniversary of Dave’s Funniest Joke of the Fringe. You can also follow Dave on Twitter at @join_dave and Facebook at facebook.com/davewittybanter.