Monday, 9 November 2015

David Ramsden

BBC Children in Need CEO David Ramsden is hoping you are all going to dress up as your favourite childhood hero for his 2015 campaign later this month. The big BBC Children in Need Appeal show is airing on BBC1 on Friday the 13th of November. But the charity is accepting donations now.

The 2015 campaign theme was unveiled last month, with huge celebrity support: Tess Daley, Fearne Cotton, Nick Grimshaw, Sir Terry Wogan, Dermot O’Leary, Sophie Ellis-Bextor all donned fancy dress depicting their childhood heroes: Tess Daley chose Olivia Newton John; Fearne Cotton chose Blondie frontwoman Debbie Harry; Dermot O’Leary chose Arctic explorer andadventurer Sir Ernest Shackleton. You get the picture.

David tells me: "BBC Children in Need’s vision is that every child in the UK has a safe, happy and secure childhood and the chance to reach their potential, So we thought that portraying childhood heroes was a good way of underlining ideals and dreams that should be a big part of a normal growing up."

Children in Need supports some 2,500 projects around the UK that help young people facing a range of disadvantages such as poverty and deprivation; disability; or who have been victims of abuse or neglect.

I first met David at 11 Downing Street. That sounded so good, I’ll say that again: I first met David at 11 Downing Street celebrating an important anniversary of some mutual friends at Changing Faces, the charity that aims to change individuals’ experience of, and public attitude to, facial disfigurement. Changing Faces is one of the many charities that BBC Children in Need supports.

“Whatever you do", David says, "whether it’s a day spent dressed as your childhood hero, a bake sale at work or a ramble with your friends, it will help BBC Children in Need give children and young people in the UK the childhood they deserve.”

After our conversation, I start thinking in contrast about that troublesome theme Red Nose Day picked earlier this year: Make your Face Funny For Money. I’ll leave you to join the dots back to my interest in Changing Faces's work, to guess why I thought this campaign so ill-judged. All I'll say is how much more I appreciate the positivity and creativity of the Children In Need campaign in comparison.  Can I encourage all of us to take part in the fun on 13th November?

Who would you select as your childhood hero?  You can join in the Twitter chat here
There were no fireworks at Kysen this week, as we had to say goodbye to Honey

After almost nine years of dedicated, loyal service, Honey had not only became a central figure in the Kysen team, but part of the Kysen brand itself! And being the person she's sat next to for almost a decade, I can't actually imagine what life at work is going to feel like without her. I just know I'm going to miss her.

This week we welcomed Kysen newcomer Nicole Bailey, who steps in to Honey's old role and whom we're all enjoying getting to know.  She's made an excellent start. 

So business-wise I know this transition is going to be perfectly smooth. But personally... well that's another matter. In this sense, as a co-worker, supporter and friend, Honey can never be replaced.

Bonne chance Honey!  Come back to visit us!
We chose a Bond outing for our Kysen bonding session and farewell party for Honey. Almost enough to cheer us up.  Those of you who know me well will be well aware I am a film fanatic and Bond enthusiast.  And I always love to see what Bond on the silver screen reflects back to us about our society, as plot lines and themes in this franchise are always  a good measure of the Zeitgeist. Just consider that in Spectre the main story revolved around Big Data; that this was the first in the franchise to cast a beautiful 50-year-old Bond "girl" (let's hear it for Monica Belluci); and that there was a clear anti-violence thread to the plot line too, and you'll see what I mean.  And if gender equality and political correctness mean the title sequence now has to show as much of Daniel Craig's naked flesh as that of his female colleagues, well we'll just have to put up with that.

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