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Celebrating Towel Day and Douglas Adams: Why We Love City of Death

It’s Towel Day, a time to celebrate the work of much-loved writer, Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy; Dirk Gently). And I’ve been working with Lovarzi to make this infographic.

Adams scripted the fan-favourite Doctor Who serial, City of Death, so we thought it would be the ideal time to look back on this four-parter from 1979. It meant I had to rewatch the story for research purposes. I worked with Maninder Singh Sahota, director of Lovarzi, and a great designer to fulfill this idea, but boy am I happy with how it’s turned out.

Plus Maninder’s running a competition until tomorrow night over at the Lovarzi site.

I obviously wrote all the copy, but I also worked with Maninder to whittle it down and then expand it further in several edits, and created a basic design. Oh, and then I helped distribute it. So all in all, I’m very proud of it. I’m proud of Maninder, the designer, and how well it’s done.

As a side-note, I met Julian Glover last year, and he’s a very nice guy – and of course, a great actor!

doctor-who-city-of-death

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Posted by on May 25, 2015 in PR, Published work, Television

 

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100th Post: Reflecting on Nearly 3 Years

It’s really surprising to see that I started this blog nearly three years ago. And to find that this is my 100th post. Have I really had that many interesting things to say?! Excuse the self-indulgence here, then, as I look back at what’s changed since my very first blog post on 30th April 2010. (In no particular order…)

1. I’m now a freelance writer.
2. I’ve interviewed Matt Smith. (I know; I haven’t said anything about this massive event on this blog yet. But stay tuned!)

Matt and Moffat

3. I launched the Make Mine A Marvel Omnibus site in October 2010.
4. I had my first article printed in Real Travel magazine.
5. I work for the Doctor Who site, Kasterborous.
6. Amy and Rory left the TARDIS last year. (Don’t press me on the matter; I’m still a bit teary.)
7. I have an FdA in Professional Writing. (You can read more about that course here.)
8. Spooks has finished. (Thank God for DVDs!)
9. I’ve started my first novel.
10. I’ve written for the Weston College Higher Education Prospectus.
11. I did the web copy for Lovarzi’s Fourth Doctor Scarf for both their own website and Amazon.

doctor-who-scarf-4

12. As well as doing the official press release!
13. I’ve started my first children’s book.
14. The Amazing Spider-Man reached #700.
15. I’ve worked for Kasterborous’ sister site, CultBritannia (and you can read my first article here.)
16. I’ve learnt how to add videos to my blog!
17. I wrote The British Comedy Guide’s 10th anniversary celebratory article of The Office.
18. I’ve started a few scripts…
19. … And am searching for an agent.

Armstrong and Miller Guide2Bristol review

Armstrong and Miller Guide2Bristol review

20. I reviewed the Armstrong and Miller Tour for Bristol247
21. … And for Guide2Bristol.
22. The latter of which has been quoted on the official A&M website!
23. I copy-edit regularly for Kasterborous.
24. I reviewed the Day of the Daleks: Special Edition DVD for Kasterborous in two parts (here and here).
25. Then reviewed it for ItchyBristol here.
26. I’ve ran two blog advents across December 2011 and 2012.
27. I’ve worked on four Doctor Who ReKapped articles (learn more about that here), with another one in the works.

A Town Called Mercy 3

28. Clara Oswin Oswald has joined the TARDIS (sort of).
29. Neil Armstrong has passed away.
30. And so has Sir Patrick Moore.
31. The Killers have released a new album, Battle Born (and you can read a review of their single, Runaways here).
32. Avengers Assemble! has been released.
33. My review of the Doctor Who graphic novel, The Dalek Project went online here.
34. I’ve contributed two features to the upcoming Kasterborous Magazine (stay tuned for that).
35. Ray Bradbury has died.

The Illustrated Man

36. I’ve joined Twitter!
37. I’ve reviewed the last episode of Sherlock, The Reichenbach Fall, for Cult Britannia.
38. I have worked in a shop, Giggs, during the Christmas 2011 period – a shop which has since gone bust! (Nothing to do with me, I might add.)
39. I’ve read countless books – and you can see my top 10 reads of 2012 here.
40. Two episodes of 1960s Doctor Who have been found!
41. I reviewed Mission to the Unknown for Kasterborous’ Doctor Who@50.
42. The Gunfighters too! (And that’s certainly not the last of my involvement in the project.)
43. I created the Introducing: Doctor Who series for Kasterborous.

The Gunfighters 4

44. Doctor Who Confidential has been axed. (And was voted the best show ever on BBC3. Typical.)
45. I previewed Forbidden Planet’s Doctor Who Fun Day for ItchyBristol.
46. And in a short piece for The Mercury.
47. And finally for Bristol 247.
48. … For whom I also reviewed it.
49. The price of a 1st class stamp has increased to 60p.
50. I reviewed Lovarzi’s Fourth Doctor Scarf.
51. I write a regular column, Bristol Comics Corner, for Guide2Bristol.
52. Death in Paradise debuted on BBCOne.
53. Tuition fees increased, with a cap at £9,000.
54. … Something which I argued against in this Bristol247 article.
55. Brandon Flowers released his first solo album, Flamingo, and I reviewed it here.
56. I was thanked for my article about Jack Vettriano’s Bristol exhibition.

Vettriano on the Bristol247 homepage

Vettriano on the Bristol247 homepage

57. I previewed the Slapstick Festival in 2011.
58. I created my own website, using Moonfruit…
59. Then deleted it, as I wasn’t happy with the inability to update.
60. The Dandy ceased publication. (Read my article on that here.)
61. I’ve submitted an article to the Doctor Who book, Celebrate, Regenerate.
62. The Doctor Who Experience opened in London –
63. – Then moved to Cardiff.

JLC dress and Dalek

64. I reviewed Mack the Life, Lee Mack’s autobiography, for The British Comedy Guide.
65. I interviewed comic writer and artist, Jerry Holliday.
66. The Ice Warriors have been confirmed to return in the second half of Doctor Who, Series 7.
67. The world didn’t end on 21st December 2012. (Always a good thing, I find.)
68. The Bristol Comic Expo returned to Brunel’s Old Station.
69. I previewed the 2012 Expo here.
70. And reviewed it here.
71. The James Bond film franchise hit the big 5-0.
72. My former tutor, Marc Leverton, who’s a freelance writer, has written a guest blog post about his experience of publishers.

How To - Journalism

73. A review of his book, How to work as a Freelance Journalist, can be read here.
74. Steven Moffat has left Twitter. (Again, nothing to do with me!)
75. I’ve seen Steven Moffat at the Doctor Who Experience!
76. Sherlock burst onto television in July 2010.
77. I’ve helped Kasterborous begin their 50th anniversary celebrations with monthly Introduction articles.
78. January’s was Frontier in Space.
79. And this month’s is Vengeance on Varos.

Frontier 3

80. Tying into this, my editor called a second Frontier in Space piece I wrote one of the best articles the site has ever published. A massive compliment. You can read The World Behind: Frontier in Space here.
81. I reviewed Lee Mack’s Going Out live tour for Guide2Bristol
82. … And Bristol247!
83. I’ve visited the National History Museum for the first time.
84. Colin Baker appeared on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!
85. My article, Room with a View?, was the most-viewed article on Kasterborous in 2012!
86. I’ve begun work on a number of non-fiction books – but researching is a long task!
87. I reminisced on the anniversary of Matt Smith’s debut as the Doctor, Karen Gillan as Amy and Arthur Darvill as Rory here.
88. And celebrated Matt’s Doctor here.

The 11th Doctor

89. I’ve started a short story collection.
90. My jewellery article, With This (Time) Ring…, was surprisingly popular, making the Kasterborous top 10 list of the most-viewed articles of 2012.
91. I looked at the top 10 guest stars in the Tenth Doctor era here and here.
92. I’ve started reading the Sherlock Holmes novels by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
93. T4 On The Beach (held in my hometown) has been cancelled.

David Tennant

94. I’m working on a particularly-exciting documentary idea – though it’s only in development in my head at the minute!
95. I’ve seen Peter Kay live at Manchester’s M.E.N. Arena.
96. Parts of Doctor Who: The Snowmen were filmed in Bristol, as were bits of Night Terrors.
97. I previewed tours by Micky Flanagan, Ed Byrne and Stewart Francis for my local newspaper, The Weston and Worle Mercury.

Micky Flanagan Mercury preview

Micky Flanagan Mercury preview

98. I’ve seen the asteroid, 2012 DA14!
99. I’ve added a new section to my blog: Testimonials.
100. I’ve written 100 posts!

But don’t go anywhere. This is just the start.

Thanks for sticking with me this long.

 
 

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Doctor Who Scarf Press Release

ADVENT DAY SEVEN: Christmas. It’s not long away. And to celebrate advent, new content will be added to this blog every day in the countdown to the big day. You’ll see reviews, opinion pieces, links to some of my other work, videos – maybe even a short story! Remember to check back every day (in between the mad rush of packing presents, getting the freezer stocked up and watching Home Alone on repeat).

I’ve mentioned before my involvement with Lovarzi’s Doctor Who Fourth Doctor Scarf, whereby I wrote copy for their website, Amazon and a press release. You can read my initial article about this here.

doctor-who-scarf-4

The press release has been distributed to various physical publications and online too, and has got coverage in Doctor Who Magazine, SFX and Starburst, amongst many others.

So here I proudly present the official Fourth Doctor Scarf press release, written by me and approved by the people at Lovarzi and the BBC:

Doctor-Who-Scarf-Press-Release

I’ll be doing a round-up of coverage soon, so keep an eye out for that.

I loved doing it, and I love the actual scarf too. It’s been a pleasure working for Lovarzi, and I hope to do so again in the future.

 

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Doctor Who Reviews: The Dalek Project; Fourth Doctor Scarf

Any followers of my blog will know that I’ve been a busy bee doing some PR for Lovarzi’s Doctor Who scarf. (And if you didn’t know that, you can do your research here.)

I happily received a scarf as part of my fee, and proudly displayed it where no one could see it, so it’ll avoid getting damaged. Naturally. Hey, I’m a fan, first and foremost – and a worrying, pernickety one at that.

But I still put it on, because I’m only human. Plus it gave me chance to do a review for the Doctor Who website I write for.

You can read the review here. And here’s a brief snippet. Ooh, I’m a tease.

“The colours are wonderfully bright, and as it’s 100% Acrylic, the scarf’s resistant to fading caused by sunlight (a massive relief for dedicated fans), as well as some oils, chemicals and, somehow, even moths!”

A big perk of working for Kasterborous is I get some special privileges that others might not. I’ll elucidate on this at another time, but I recently received a review copy of the new Doctor Who graphic novel, The Dalek Project.

You can read my review here, and, again, here’s a sneaky preview:

“There are quite a few new Dalek designs, all impressive, with very effective reveals. Two spoilerific models are particularly cool, channelling the ‘steampunk’ feel. There are some brilliant visuals, especially when a few Daleks emerge from the ground, and there’s a scene that’ll take readers back to that surreal cliffhanger in The Dalek Invasion of Earth.”

Finally, if you hover over my ‘portfolio’ tab, then click on ‘Introducing: Doctor Who,’ you’ll find a newly designed page, which I’ve been mulling over for a while now. Let me know what you think in the comments section of this post.

 
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Posted by on November 29, 2012 in PR, Published work

 

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Web Copy for Lovarzi’s Doctor Who Scarf

My latest project is a really special one: PR for the Officially Licensed BBC Doctor Who scarf (like the one worn by Tom Baker) by Lovarzi.

The assignment involved two bits of web copy and a press release, advertising the scarf by specialists, Lovarzi, and I was immediately interested in not just the project, but also the product itself; after all, I’m a huge Doctor Who fan!

The scarf was worn by the fourth Doctor between his first adventure, 1974’s Robot, and his last in Logopolis (1981), and was known for its ridiculous length. Despite the huge popularity of the recent series, the Doctor will always be synonymous with that scarf, as will actor, Tom Baker. While at one stage, his scarf measured about three times the Doctor’s height, Lovarzi’s edition is a sensible 13ft – long enough to wrap around you, but short enough so you don’t trip up!

The two bits of web copy are now online: product descriptions for the Lovarzi site and Amazon UK. It was quite an enjoyable process; thinking about what people would be typing into Google to create SEO-friendly copy (hence Tom Baker, the TARDIS and the Daleks all getting a mention!). Lovarzi’s customer services had to be highlighted too, I felt, as many companies don’t look after buyers as well as they should – so I was keen to point out the free postage and packaging, and the 90 days money back guarantee.

A far more extensive press release has been approved by BBC Worldwide, and will be distributed by Lovarzi and me. However, it’s already got attention in Forbidden Planet and on websites like Kasterborous and The Doctor Who Site.

It’s got a couple of wonderful 5-star reviews on Amazon UK too. I’m really pleased with mine and definitely recommend it to any Whovians out there!

I’ve been working on it with Maninder Singh Sahota, Director of Lovarzi, who very kindly said:

“We were looking for a copywriter who is Doctor Who fan as well to write us copy for the press release and product descriptions. No one other than a real fan can understand the story behind extremely long Doctor Who scarf. And man, we found someone really good in Philip Bates! He knows the whole story behind the scarf. The way he has put it into words; it’s a no brainer that this copy will be loved by Doctor Who fans and will help us sell our product better. We are looking to hire his services again in the near future.”

Huge thanks to Maninder, who’s a pleasure to work for. You can find further testimonials here.

This definitely isn’t the last you’ll hear about this – I’ll also have some very exciting Doctor Who news coming up too – so stay tuned!

 
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Posted by on October 11, 2012 in PR, Published work, Television

 

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