The Secret Britain is a non-profit organisation and as such we rely on the time and generosity of our contributors, who provide us with articles that are either already in the public domain or they have written especially for us. It seems the least we can do to point the spotlight on them for a little while by way of a thank you; we literally couldn’t do this without out these people. Thank you so much, every one of you!
Charlie spent much of his teens creating YouTube video blogs focusing on gay issues but on a trip to Ibiza in 2009 he met fellow blogger Stacey Huttson who was also gay at the time. The two became inseparable and have both since come out as neo-straight, a movement they coined the phrase for after finding love with each other. They are both now freelance journalists. Charlie has an eye for the unusual, the obtuse, the absurd and revels in finding stories about real people who are involved in extra-ordinary causes or organisations. He has been nominated for the “Hipster Times” writer of the year award on three occasions but has yet to win, something he’s determined to put right this year if nominated, “even if I have to bribe someone!”
Cliff is one of the south-west of England’s literary treasures, a man for whom everything is of interest and there can be very few subjects on which he has not written. Never one to get left behind, Cliff recently finished working on the Biography of grime singer/amateur rapper Richard “Wiley” Cowie of “Wearing My Rolex” fame, an experience Cliff described as “difficult, but not without its fair share of ladies and brandy, which suits me down to the ground”. Cliff was a professional footballer in the 1970’s and made five appearance for Exeter City, scoring one goal and earned a crucial penalty in a match against Torquay United that fans still talk about to this very day in those parts of the world. “I was just happy the ref fell for it!”
Of all our contributors we would be hard-pushed to find someone who has done as much with their life as Phillipha has. Originally born into an Iranian family with extremist beliefs she fled the country aged 14 and moved to Holland where she became Jewish. After a few short months she converted to Catholicism in Ireland but eventually made the switch to Mormonism in England. While working as a talent scout and part-time baker she started blogging and, after a recent interview with the Church of Inventionism, joined them and put Mormonism behind her forever. She owns 3 hamsters and a rat, none of which live with her due to her allergies which she says are the result of her difficult life in the Mormon Church.
Chris, to his friends, is something of an enigma; raised in Windsor and educated at Cambridge University Chris shocked his friends, his family and his Professors by turning down an internship at Goldman Sachs to make a name for himself in the Adult Film industry. Known to porn fans as “Tom ‘The’ Flex” he made over 500 films in a ten year career before retiring at the age of 33. He is now a journalist in (and out of) the industry although he’s recently become one of its harshest critics. His “Of Course I Have…” blog attracts 50,000 visitors a week and his YouTube channel almost 100,000 visitors. He recently married his fifth wife, Tomikka Storm, who he filmed a number of torture scenes with prior to his retirement from porn.
Roberta is a former fashion model and designer who gave up the catwalk to have a shot at writing novels, having become a millionaire just shy of her 28th birthday. Free to do whatever she wanted she dedicated her life to just two things: her love of writing and naturism. Known as “The Naked Novelist” Roberta has written four increasingly successful fantasy novels and has turned down countless approaches by movie developers, insisting she has no intention of seeing her work turned into “Star Wars prequels” by anyone. She still lives in her home town, Liskeard, today. TV Presenter Richard Madeley described her as “…definitely, of course you would, you’d have to be blind or something, wouldn’t you, right?”
One of the most experienced contributors to this website is Chip Boddington. An experienced journalist with nearly 20 years of experience he built a reputation for himself as a writer of honesty and integrity so it was a huge shock to everyone in the industry when he was (wrongfully) accused of taking cash from a member of the House of Lords to write a favourable article on him. For three years Chip protested his innocence and when he finally got his day in court the charge was dropped. Chip is soon to release his first novel, “A Man With The Moustache Called By” which is sure to be an essential read. Chip is also a movie reviewer for The Nuneaton Daily Bugle and is openly critical of Tom Cruise films in general and anything starring Adam Sandler.
In 1983 Will Pates wrote the seminal home computer guide “You and Your Micro”, a 4000 page computer Bible that taught users of over 50 different microcomputers, from the Sinclair ZX81 and BBC Micro B to the Amstrad 6128 and the Commodore 128, how to make the most of their computers. He is widely credited with teaching the children of the 1980’s how to code. In 1992 he started his own publishing house and has been writing about technology ever since. Regarded by many as the father of modern technology journalism he brought humour to a complicated subject and delivered technology news to the masses in a way nobody had ever done before. After selling his publishing house he moved to Yorkshire where he continues to write while enjoying semi-retirement.
There’s much more to Toyah than meets the eye; her quirky look and winning smile are so distracting it’s impossible to believe that in her 27 years on the planet she has enjoyed a no.1 single in the USA, has held cage-fighting titles at 3 different weight divisions, has trained as a dentist, a chef, a security guard and has owned a fleet of ice cream vans. Her first loves have always been poetry and music, though, and she’s just finished her first album, a jazz/hip-hop effort entitled “Mandem, Jessie? No.” which she’s very excited about. Recently she became the co-editor of “In My Pink” magazine, a highly controversial erotic story magazine for women that she says “gives me more than a thrill, it gets me off, each and every time”.
You probably don’t realise how well you know Paul Duboise; for ten years he was the writing force behind comedians such as Frankie Thomson, Jenissa Wort, The Handwork Brothers and “Mock The Week” regulars Jonah Harse, Matilder Twott and O’Shea Paddy. A top performer in his own right and a regular at the Edinburgh Twinge Festival, Paul gave it all up after being introduced to The Church of Chemistology by French actor Jean Pisse. Now a Level 14 Autoclave with the controversial Church he has fully retired from comedy and is a political pundit with a growing reputation behind him.
You may recognise Geoff Thrush from his many appearances on TV Dramas “Ultimate Force” and “Soldier Soldier” – he was originally an extra but was given several speaking parts, including greeting Sgt. Henry Garvie (Ross Kemp) at a door. During his time on both shows he regularly contributed script ideas. He is a feature writer for magazines such as “TA Monthly” and “Army Surplus” and was once a guest on ITV Central News. After a brief period as a private detective Geoff has settled into a new job as a freelance investigative journalist, specialising in “covert surveillance and neutralisation tactics”.
Theresa Mintoe is the enigmatic and controversial author of “200 Days On Tinder”, which detailed her quest to find a man on the dating service who would be able to resist the offer of sex with her on or before a first date. After her shocking revelations on “This Morning” (no spoilers!) she insists that she can no longer take men seriously as potential life partners despite admitting she craves love and affection. She is openly anti-feminist and has written countless articles on the subject. She is a lifelong fan of Viz and a regular contributor to “Top Tips” and “Letterbocks” which, she says, “shows I have a funny side too, despite what some men might think of me”.
In the 1990’s Simon Pennycross was a name feared by students in Devon, Cornwall and Dorset. Author of “So You Think Your Arts Degree Means Something?” and “Undergrads: The Arseholes Of a Nation” he positioned himself as the head of the anti-student movement, a man feared and loathed by the NUS. He disappeared from public life in 2002 and was neither seen nor heard of again until 2011. Now living in Carlisle he is a writer of children’s books and a keen amateur rally driver as well as being a critic of racing commentary on Eurosport which he describes as “flaccid and amateurish at best, like undergrad students”.
After training under award-winning chef Ross Burden, Danny opened the briefly successful “Le Coq Effrayant” restaurant before selling-up and moving to the east coast of England where he worked as an executive chef for Wetherspoons for a number of years. Tired of the unsociable hours he hung up his whites for good and became a freelance food critic. He soon found he had a flair for the written word and branched out into journalism which is the industry he has worked in ever since. He is now the official East of England correspondent for Russia Today (RT) and also works for ITV Anglia as a food critic and roving reporter.
Despite being just 22 years old, Sally is already the most sought-after social media commentator in East Sussex. She has just completed filming the second series of ITV 4’s Social Media Fails show “Get Yer Bits out” and is a self-confessed “online swinger”, organising digital webcam playrooms for online fetish lovers around the world. She is regarded as one of the most beautiful women working in the tech media and was ranked #2 in FHM Holland’s last-ever “Top 100 Hottest Nerds and Geeks”. She is also a guest host on the English version of the official Japanese RPG Gaming podcast “私のドラゴンズに屈するがた”.
The Reverend Cyril Blanchard is most certainly not the first person we’d expect to be submitting articles to a website like ours. However, it serves us all well not to judge a book by its cover as this is one cool Reverend. In the 1980’s, while a regular church-goer, Cyril was a much-respected breakdancer in Manchester, going by the alias “Flyguy” and featured in a number of pop videos as a backing dancer. He also started the “Ethical Graf” movement and was responsible for hundreds of legally-commissioned Christian graffiti artworks in the north of England. He became a Reverend in 1994 and has been an outspoken voice for the Church of England ever since.