Belle Blog

A Decade To Remember

Posted by Richard on December 31st, 2019

It’s been quite a decade for us at Belle Media. We’ve moved from consultancy on high profile projects such as the Olympic Legacy and the World Cup, through innovative solutions to well-being and now are focussed much more on the development of our own multi-platform IP. Highlights, in no particular order include:

Olympic Legacy

Kay successfully saw through the legacy vision that she had championed from her first involvement in the Olympics. Watch the film she produced at Red Bee to promote the vision:

As Chair of the 2012 Broadcast Legacy Group, Kay was determined to ensure that the £300m, 1 Million sq ft, International Broadcast and Media Centres had more than just a 10-day working life over the Games. The then Mayor of London (one Boris Johnson) at one point championed the idea of converting the site into an indoor ski area!

Despite the short-term pressures around the hosting of this global event, and unhelpful suggestions from City Hall, she managed to keep the project at the very heart of legacy planning, even when the economics looked challenging and other priorities seemed overwhelming.

The site (in the north west corner of what is now the Queen Elizabeth Park) is now ‘Here East’ – a joint venture between developer Delancey and InfinitySDC. It’s home to BT Sport, includes a major data centre serving Canary Wharf and welcomes tenants such as Loughborough University, UCL, Studio Wayne McGregor and a research arm of the V&A. In all, over 3,500 people work and study at the site every day – a real legacy for a unique and special place.

For more details see: www.hereeast.com

England – Host Nation 2018 Bid.

In 2011 Richard wrote the media services part of the bid – an interesting opportunity, and a great insight into how major sports events really work and how host nations actually get decided… despite all the work, as many predicted, the event was awarded to Russia.

Poppins

In early 2014 we were invited to take part in Innovate UK’s Long-Term Health Care Revolution – we wanted to find ways of breaking down the isolation so many older people feel as their family, friends and social networks start to fail. Poppins was a collaboration with the BBC and other media organisations, the National Libraries of Scotland, Scottish Screen Archives, Getty Images and local volunteer groups.

The pilot was based in Greenock, West of Scotland (a once thriving community, but now an area with more than its fair share of social deprivation and a rapidly ageing population). The project pioneered an innovative high street presence, touch screen access to relevant digital archives and its own local digital currency to help bring people together and build a heightened sense of community.

It was a great success, bringing people and voluntary organisations together, providing training and employment for local people and serving as an example of what can be done to help revitalise a high street, and all the while helping combat loneliness.

Photograph shows local celebrities Carol Smillie and Capt Robin Hutchison (Hurricane Hutch) with Helen Monaghan, one of the stars of the BBC Documentary on the 1981 Lee Jeans Factory sit-in.

For more details see: www.poppinsproject.co.uk

Publishing

It all began with a spur of the moment decision in 2013 to publish Kay’s father’s memoirs, Hurricane Hutch’s Top 10 Ships of the Clyde. We went on to produce two acclaimed children’s series – Tigeropolis and The Adventures of Captain Bobo and have now added the publication of My Life in 37 Therapies. Multi-platform publishing and IP development are now at the heart of what we do.

Hurricane Hutch’s Top 10 Ships of the Clyde – This coffee table book is both a pictorial record and a social history of the Clyde from its post-war heyday to modern day told by one of Scotland’s most respected Captains. It proved a popular seller in Waterstones and made us think that publishing might be an interesting business to be involved with.

For more details see: www.hurricanehutch.co.uk

Tigeropolis – the fun story of a family of vegetarian tigers battling poachers and bumbling officials as they attempt to turn a long forgotten tiger reserve in the heart of the Himalayas into one of India’s ‘must see’ destinations.

The first Tigeropolis book was published in 2015 (reprinted 2019). So far there are 3 books in the series – Beyond the Deep Forest, The Grand Opening and Caught in the Trap. There is also a Tigeropolis Adventure Game on the App Store for iOS and a Tigeropolis Activity Book. The books are available at good bookshops, on Amazon, or here

The first Tigeropolis Audiobook, is read by Oscar Nominee, Richard E Grant. We asked Richard to narrate as we knew he was brought up in Swaziland and had a real affinity with nature. During the studio recording he commented:

“Growing up in Africa I took for granted seeing wild animals, so I realised that my upbringing was slightly different than if I’d grown up in London… that longing to be in close proximity to wild animals is something that never leaves you.”

The audiobook is now available on Audible and, since Dec 2019, we are also delighted to say you can get it on new, UK specialist, children’s audio platform CloudAloud

Photograph of Richard, Kay and Richard E Grant from the Christmas-time recording session at Molinare studios, London.

For more details see: www.tigeropolis.co.uk

The Adventures of Captain Bobo – This, fun, full colour, picture book series set on the West of Scotland features a paddle steamer that bears a distinct resemblance to the famous Clyde paddle steamer, PS Waverley – the world’s last “Ocean Going Paddle Steamer”. We are pleased to learn that the real-life Waverley is due to return to sailing the UK’s coastal waters in the summer of 2020, after a year-long, £2m refit. The Captain Bobo books have been sold onboard since 2017 and featured in the Christmas shop in 2019.

2020 will see an audio book of Captain Bobo finally launched in collaboration with our friends at CloudAloud.

For more details see: www.captainbobo.co.uk

My Life in 37 Therapies – Kay’s life-affirming memoir and self help guide was published in association with Red Door in the summer of 2019 to very positive reviews and press coverage (see blog below). Worldwide Spanish language rights were sold in 2019 and other markets are actively being discussed.

Audiobook – Kay recorded the audiobook of My Life in 37 Therapies at Sound House studios in London in December 2019 and it will be available on a range of digital platforms as well as Audible in early 2020.

For more details see: www.kayhutchison.com

We became members of Publishing Scotland in 2015 and the Independent Publishers Guild (IPG) in 2018.

Royal Appointment

Oh, and yes, we should not forget that in Feb 2017 Kay was introduced to the Queen (and to other members of the Royal Family) when she was invited to a reception at Buckingham Palace to mark the start of the first ‘UK-India Year of Culture’. It was great to see Tigeropolis getting recognised for its success in raising children’s awareness of the value of conservation and the need to protect tigers and India’s wild places.

For more details see blog entry: https://bellemedia.co.uk/blog/uk-india-year-of-culture-reception-buckingham-palace/

—0—

…Just a few of the highlights, in what has been a busy 10 years…

…we look forward to the next ten

Posted in: Belle Media in the Press | No Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *