A website tracking my attempt to publish my own book, "Brighton's Best Pubs". This is a locally produced guide to every pubs and bar in Brighton, the book is a comprehensive guide covering an amazing 300 pubs and bars within the city, utilising a unique pub rating system. Atmosphere, Beer, Barstaff, Food, Entertainment, Decor/Garden and Talent are all rated for each pub/bar. It also features maps, a Club guide and suggested pub crawls.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Celebrity Endorsement

In this crazy celebrity-obsessed world, I decided that it would be a good idea to try to get some kind of celebrity endorsement for the book. I was aiming for a comment that I could put on the cover, but a foreword or a celebrity photo on the cover would have been a real winner. This aim was further backed up by my failed experiences in getting a mainstream publisher - common themes were that you either had to be famous already, or already have a book published. The theory then was that a celebrity name on my cover would accelerate the book from self-publishing to mainstream publishing.

The start was a list of appropriate celebrities. I wanted someone who's name would help sell the book or give it some added value. Celebs that fit the bill were either local Brighton celebrities, or national celebs who live in Brighton (read: have a house in Brighton), or otherwise drink/pub linked celebrities. Unfortunately most celebs aren't actually famous for being drunk (or don't want to be) and the ones that are are also famous for harder drugs, too.
Then I had to get a list of contact points for these people. This is suprisingly easy for some. You can join IMDB on a free trial which gives you agent contact details for most celebs. [Bizarrely there is a kind of celeb ranking process as well, so you can see that suchabody is #6,432 most famous in the world, etc].

So I got my list together and either emailed or wrote to the agent of each celebrity. I offered no money, but said that a share of any profits from the book was negotiable. So far, only 3 have had the decency to reply:

Al Murray (The pub landlord), declined: "Al's schedule does not permit for anything to be added and when he is free, I am only considering paid offers." Which is at least brutally honest.
Gaz Coombes (from Supergrass, who lives in Brighton) declined, no reason was specified.
Mark Little (comedian, soap actor) has been passed the email and is apparently still considering the opportunity.

The other celebs who haven't yet responded, and so fall a little further in my opinion of them are:
Zoe Ball, Sara Cox, Johnny Vegas, Neil Morrisey, Danny Baker, Steve Coogan, Jamie Theakston, Darren Day, Noel Gallagher, Simon Fanshawe, Terry Garrogan & Captain Sensible.
Okay, so I was reaching with some of them, and some are definately scraping the bottom of the barrel (Darren Day - what was I thinking???). But Noel Gallagher does apparently have a house in Brighton and just how good would it have been to have a quote on the cover saying "Fookin' Brilliant! - Noel Gallagher"?

I didn't even bother with a couple of others. Paul McCartney just seemed like no chance, and I bet he can't even go into pubs. Fat Boy Slim (aka Norman Cook) who lives in Brighton has said in an interview that he doesn't like pubs (which is ironic for a man brought to fame by a song called 'Happy Hour'!).

Mark Williams (of the Fast Show) lives in Brighton, but I couldn't get his contact details. Anyone know him?

Update: Mark Little has decided 'not to take up this opportunity'
Update 2: Simon Fanshawe has replied with a personal email offerring to help if he can!
Update 3: Simon Fanshawe cannot help. Maybe people are right about him after all....
Update 4: Letters left for Mark Williams and Atilla the Stockbroker at their favourite pubs.....


Anonymous said...

Mark Williams is a famous fixture around the pubs of Brighton. I can't remember the last time I went through a week without seeing him at least once down the boozer. The Lord Nelson, Evening Star and Golden Cannon are where he's most frequently spotted, but he's known to frequent many others. If you don't want to approach him via his agent, maybe if you left a note for him in the Nelson they could pass it on (it being a pub owned by the brewery sponsoring your book and all). If all other celeb-approaches fail and there's plenty of real ale content in the book, Z-list 'celeb' Attila the Stockbroker will almost certainly do you a foreword. Find him propped up in the corner of the Evening Star most nights. Good luck with it all - I wrote a website when I first moved to Brighton (ten years ago) which aimed to review all 340-odd pubs and bars in Brighton & Hove. I only managed around 200 before I lost interest, but I did get e-mailed death threats from two landlords in the process, which was nice.

Brightons Best Pubs said...

Thanks for the reply. Yes, I've seen Mark several times in the Lord Nelson, but I haven't really wanted to approach him as it seems a bit forward/rude to interrupt his leisure time with my project. Leaving a note for him is a really good idea...
Attila could be worth a go, too.
As for the death threats, I've been worrying about this - was thinking of going ex-directory, and after reading your comment I think it seems like a good idea....

Brightons Best Pubs said...

I've now left letters for both Mark and Atilla in their pubs, though barstaff at both pubs said that they are no longer that regular at them. Watch this space....

Rachel said...

Hello, How did you contact Mark Little as I'm trying to get hold of him too for a project that he is definately going to be up for doing....finding it hrd to get his contact details.


Brightons Best Pubs said...

Email Kerry at:


I think she works for his PR company/agent.

Pat said...

saw mark williams in the Sussex Cricketers in hove tonight. He said hello to my GF as she was staring at him. Think he thought she recoignised him, but she hadn't, she is just is nosey.