WE put this story out yesterday following the death of David Bowie. It is on behalf of our client the Guild of Television  Cameramen.



A cameraman has been speaking of the moment he realised he owned footage of David Bowie on Top of the Pops which was thought to be lost.

John Henshall, from Stanford-in-the-Vale, Oxfordshire, who is also the President of the Guild of Television Cameramen, retained a copy of Bowie performing Jean Genie in 1973.

He said: “I just couldn’t believe that I was the only one with it. I just thought you wouldn’t be mad enough to wipe a tape like that.”

It was unveiled at an event held by the British Film Institute in 2011.

The annual event, Missing Believed Wiped, was the first time the footage had been seen since January 1973.

John said he only kept it because he wanted it for his showreel.

In the footage he used Telefex Fisheye lenses which he had designed himself. He also ended up in the background of one of the shots.

After the recording he asked producers for a personal copy on 2in (5cm) broadcast videotape.

John said: “I didn’t realise that it had been wiped by the BBC. They’d been looking for it for years, hoping that somebody had maybe pointed an 8mm home movie camera at the screen, because there was no VHS in those days.

“I didn’t realise that anybody wanted it. I’d just had it because it was my Fisheye.I had loads of ideas for optical effects back then.”

Bowie’s performance of Jean Genie was recorded on 3 January 1973 and transmitted the following day for the first and only time.

After realising he had a “rarer than rare” piece of television history, John went to Westpoint Television in London to view the footage.



John used one of his own lenses to create the optical effects seen in the recording. The lens was then loaned to the National Media Museum who kept all John’s revolutionary special effects lenses for nine years. They were rediscovered recently, deteriorating in a cold hangar including the lens which John had used on the cameras for Bowie’s appearances.

The lens has recently been used on Good Morning Britain, having been rediscovered towards the end of last year.

John filmed David Bowie many times and used his special lenses on many programmes. The BBC destroyed the historic recording but, incredibly, John had kept a copy and was able to save the BBC’s bacon and blushes.


“The hairs stood up on the back of my neck,” he said.There it was in full broadcast quality. Amazing.”


After his time with Top of the Pops, John went on to film professional music videos for Blondie, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Kate Bush, Spandau Ballet, Roxy Music and Queen.




For more information and to interview John Henshall please contact Sarah Edwards 07966 523662 sarah@mediabird.co.uk




Do you run a small (or even tiny) business in a rural area?

I run my business from a building  in my garden-a fancy shed would be a good way to describe it! I love working for myself and have a collection of really interesting clients ranging from a dating website to a global petrochemicals company, education providers to newspaper publishers, third sector enterprises and professional organisations to herbalists-it is a pretty varied mix!

IMG_1959Mediabird is a creative communications company that has its HQ in my garden, but that draws on the skills and expertise of a group of brilliant and talented individuals. For the most part I work alone, as do my colleagues, but we come together to work on various projects-it seems to be working well so far!

We are very honest with our clients and don’t pretend to be a big, glossy PR outfit. We like that we all work from our own offices or kitchen tables and pride ourselves on offering a first class service to everyone we work with. The way we work is efficient and means we can provide cost effective services that are flexible, which means we can work with even tiny businesses with tiny budgets.

Among the services we offer to small businesses are:


PR advice and consultancy

Media training-from how to Tweet to how to handle an interview

Web development and design

Writing and content creation/blogging

Newspaper and magazine design

Training in community journalism

If you run a small business in a rural area and would like a chat about how we might be able to help you. Please email us info@mediabird.co.uk or ring 07966523662

Ok so it’s January…get a grip people!

Yes it is the first and possibly dreariest month of 2016, and apparently tomorrow is officially THE most depressing day of the year-although as it is my dear sister-in-law’s birthday too she may have different ideas about that!

I am currently working on my first novel. I have written other books before but this is an actual grown up work of fiction. Its working title is I Thought I Knew You, and it has been a work in progress for a good couple of years. However, 2016 is the year it has to come to fruition and be actually finished.

The book follows the lives of various characters-some who have lives filled with abundance but genuinely think they have been dealt a shitty hand, and those who literally have nothing or are facing enormous challenges in their lives, but still find time for other people.

One of my characters spirals easily into a major breakdown because she can’t fit into her skinny jeans and her nanny decides to leave, another faces equally first world problems when she can’t have the dream house she feels she deserves. The main male character lies, cheats and is constantly looking for ways to make cash from anyone he comes into contact with, but maintains that the way his life has turned out is everyone else’s fault, and another character, Marcia, is dealing with the sudden and suspicious death of her husband.

The title of the book has been chosen to reflect the fact that sometimes we THINK we know everything about our friends but when things get really bad, the truth inevitably comes out. It is a book about those who have so much and don’t realise it, and those who have so little but just get on with it. I am particularly pleased with the ending but more of that later!

The books is not designed to be preachy BUT, and it is a BIG BUT my hope is that when people read it (fingers crossed they will!) it might just make them realise how lucky they are to have what they have. I am blessed with good health, an amazing family, loyal, kind and considerate friends and a job that I love. I live in an amazing place and I am writing this from my dream Nordic cabin at the bottom of my garden. I am very, very lucky.

I have two very good friends who are both battling breast cancer at the moment. They are amazing women and far, far too young to be going through all this. I have another friend who is dealing with the fact that after being married for 50 years, her parents now have to be cared for in care homes that are miles away from each other. Separation has been foisted onto them because of their advancing years and complex health issues, and they will never live as man and wife again. They have basically been forced into a divorce. After 50 years together in the same house, how can that be fair?

Another friend continues to fight for justice with a health organisation following the avoidable death of her son.

These, my friends, are things to be worried about. Life events that warrant more than a bit of a moan on social media. But these friends of mine don’t moan, they get on with it. They get up every day put on their lippy and start the fight all over again. And I know they will all continue to do this for as long as they need to. They have too much to lose to just give up and collapse in a heap of self indulgent misery-even though that is their entitlement.

So this month, our worst month when top of the list of worries are shockers such as supermarkets running out of the kale needed to feed our juicing habits, or how much we spent over Christmas or how  large our arse has become because of eating our bodyweight in Quality Street, or the fact that we MUST get to the sales and buy that must-have bargain, I would urge anyone who has worries of this level to take a step back, think and look at what you have around you. Chances are you are pretty damn lucky.





Mediabird is flying!



I have spent the day with a lovely bunch of people who are all about to start new businesses in the complementary health practitioner sector. I delivered a workshop this afternoon that will, hopefully, help them to figure out how to promote their new businesses using some simple PR tools and tricks. This is just one of the many things that Mediabird offers to start ups, small businesses, not for profits, the public sector and community groups, and as the headline says-we really are flying!

If you would like to find out more about how we can help your organisation, email us at. info@mediabird.co.uk and tell us your story and we will send you some lovely free  PR advice to get things rolling.

We love a business or an organisation with a great story to tell, so tell us yours and we will come up with some great ideas to help you promote what you do and let other people share your story. Who knows what might happen next?

“Life is what happens when you are making other plans”

Life is what happens when you are making other plans…

I love this quote and it is so true, especially when it comes to dating and relationships. When I married my first husband I was young, in love (or so I thought) and ready to spend the rest of my life with him and live happily ever after. Of course, life has a nasty habit of biting you on the arse just when you think things are going OK, and he had an affair and left me shortly after I had our second baby.

This was not my life plan, and divorce followed along with many, many years of being a single parent. It was tough, emotionally and financially, and at one point I was just a few weeks away from facing bankruptcy and losing our home. There were many times when I felt like either running away, closing the door and ignoring everyone or just standing on a hill and screaming how unfair it all bloody well was!
But, like every other single parent in the world, I had to just get on with it. I changed my life plan and had no option but to embrace what had been thrown at me and make the best of it all. Convinced I would never meet anyone ever again, let alone get married, I just worked hard, looked after my children and spent time with my lovely friends and my family who all looked after me and made sure I didn’t collapse in a heap.
Of course life just happens and once I stopped stressing about the unfairness of everything and realised that no amount of anger was going to change anything, things started to get better. I started to like myself a lot better (always tricky when the man you thought was the love of your life has said you are fat, ugly and not at all sexy!) and decided to let things just unfold.
As you all know, I am NOW married to the actual love of my life and life has never been better. However, he was not the man I thought I would end up spending the rest of my life with, and I could never have planned for the way the things have finally turned out. At the time I was distracted by a man who I genuinely thought I could convince to fall in love with me-it was NEVER going to happen and once I accepted that I could see clearly that I had genuinely lovely, kind and caring people in my life-one of whom just happened to be my husband!
My message to all my single friends is simple. Do not write the script for your next relationship. Just go with the flow and see what happens, because life will chuck good things and bad things at us and we need to embrace this and be relaxed about it because you just never know how life is going to turn out, and if we spend too much time worrying, analysing and stressing we might miss the good bits!

My amazing friend Jane

Garden by Jane Yates.  www.janeyates.co.uk

Garden by Jane Yates.

Last night I had the huge pleasure of being a guest at a very special event in Oxford. It was the official launch of Garden, a brilliant book that has been written by my good friend and fellow writer Jane Yates. You can find out all about Jane by following her on Twitter @JYParadoxchild or by visiting her website www.janeyates.co.uk

I met Jane a few years ago when she came to volunteer with us at the Community Media Group. I was hoping that she would be able to write some stories and features for us, but at the time she told me, in no uncertain terms, that she definitely could NOT write. Lots and lots of our volunteers have said this to us over the years, and in most cases I know that actually people CAN write, they just need to be given the confidence to do it, and have some self-belief!

However, Jane is an accomplished artist and crafts person (among many other things) and so she offered to create a regular cartoon strip for us. This was based on her rather plump spaniel Mandy and my equally plump labrador Jack. The cartoon was a massive hit with all of us at the office, as well as our readers and it wasn’t very long before Jane started coming up with other ideas-but this time she WAS going to write as well. Since those early days we have published a whole range of work from Jane including a monthly diary about her plans to start running, features about things she wanted to achieve before hitting 50, craft projects and short stories. Most recently she has been reviewing books for us to support fellow authors in their endeavours.

Jane has always been very open about the fact she has the challenge of dyslexia, and until recently a lower than average reading age, for her actual age but neither of these have stopped her publishing a trilogy of books and launching her latest novel Garden at a very special event last night at the Pitt Rivers Museum.

The evening was a unique and special celebration, not only of an exceptionally good read, but of the fact that Jane has overcome some serious challenges in her life to fulfil her ambition to be a writer. I urge you to read all of her books and when she is winning prizes remember-you heard it here first!

My work from home week

THIS week has been pretty amazing…and a bit stressful in equal measure! Being self employed does have some massive advantages and means that my week is often very varied and hectic. This last week has been really interesting so I wanted to give you a flavour of what working from home is really like-perhaps it will inspire you to try and ditch the 9-5!

One of my newest contracts is with a global organisation and I am producing a series of training videos for them. This involves a whole new load of learning and getting to grips with new tech-so it has been really enjoyable as I have the good fortune to be working with a really good friend of mine-but it is also a huge learning curve (vertical if I am brutally honest!)

Other jobs this week have included writing the weekly blog for www.honestlydating.com a brilliant online dating company who I have worked with since their launch last year. I usually draw on my own previously disastrous dating experiences to provide the content, and you can read all about this on the dating and cautionary tales page of this blog!

This week has also been production week for one of the community newspapers I manage. Leys News is one of 12 community or hyperlocal papers that are in the Community Media Group. We work with communities across Oxford and Reading and recruit volunteers to our free journalism training programme, and then my two colleagues and I help them to produce their newspapers. You can follow us on Twitter @leysnewseditor or @OxcommunityM to find out more about what we do.

When I am not busy working in the media I work as a community tutor for Oxford Brookes University, and this means I get to work with some vulnerable but amazing and inspiring people. At the moment I am teaching Personal Development Planning for the probation service and trying to give people the tools they need to start rebuilding their lives. It is hugely rewarding and really interesting and I am encouraging them to write their own blogs too.

The point I am trying to make is that if you really take a good look at the skills you already have you will be amazed at how you can make them work for you in a different way. This could be the first step you take towards working for yourself.