Luke Collyer appears on BBC Breakfast with Mark Barrowcliffe

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Returning home from Walking The Amazon, Luke Collyer dealt well with the numerous media enquiries that arose off the back of the press release sent out by Press Contact to announce that he would no longer be walking the amazon alongside Ed Stafford.


Luke appeared on BBC Breakfast to duscuss the issue alongside novelist Mark Barrowcliffe.

Mark Barrowcliffe has since been out to meet Ed in the jungle and is writing up his experiences...............

posted by Vikki Rimmer at 9:38 AM 20 comments

Daily Mail pick up on Walking The Amazon press release sent out by Vikki RImmer


Two friends on 18-month Amazon trek fall out after just 68 days - in row over iPod

By Paul Sims and Niall Firth
Last updated at 4:51 PM on 10th July 2008
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When friends Ed Stafford and Luke Collyer decided to set out on their adventure of a lifetime they thought they had prepared for every eventuality.
Packed with equipment for their epic trip across the Andes the two young adventurers were ready to tackle snakes, Maoist guerrillas and more than 4000 miles of jungle paths.
What they hadn't counted on, however, was how they’d cope with each other’s company.
Ed Stafford (right) and Luke Collyer planned to walk the Amazon until they fell out
The two Britons Stafford, 37, and Collyer, 32, had planned to walk the entire route of the Amazon from source to its mouth – a massive trek that had never before been attempted.
The trip was due to last around 18 months but within 68 days the two had fallen out – over an iPod.
Last week, Stafford lost his temper when Collyer asked for a supply parcel to be sent which only contained one MP3 player.
Writing on the expedition’s blog, Stafford wrote:

‘I insisted that Luke wrote an email to ... his fiancee's mother, asking her to only send specific items essential to the expedition.
'I could tell he was not happy but I wanted to make sure we were not sending stuff unnecessarily. On the list Luke read to me was 1 x MP3 player.
‘This annoyed me, as he had told me he was ordering one and offered to get me one too.
‘I said to him, 'Mate, why have you only put 1 x MP3 player? You know that I wanted one too.'
‘'Because I'm leaving the expedition, that one's for you,' said Luke.
Stafford continues: 'There was a hint of defiance in his voice but mostly tiredness.

'We need to discuss this.? I said, my leg actually staring to tremble because of the gravity of the situation.

'No point, Luke replied, I have been waiting to tell you for a while now my mind is made up.'
They set off on April 2 from the source of the Amazon river in southern Peru to the mouth in Brazil but within weeks had fallen out on several occasions.
Early last week Stafford, from Leicester, wrote: 'If I'm honest at this stage the hardest thing has been getting on well with Luke ...

'Basically when your brain has nothing to focus on it can direct this energy into the only thing it can - your partner! We knew that we could be susceptible to this but underestimated the degree.'


The pair were attempting to walk the entire 4000 mile length of the Amazon through thick jungle
'I have to agree with Ed on this,' Collyer wrote. 'So far we have had to deal with dry arid desert conditions, altitude, snow and freezing temperatures, steep climbs followed by steep descents, and fast flowing rivers. But the real test has definitely been with each other.'
The exact reason why the pair failed to get along remains unclear but according to their public relations team it had more to do with the stresses of the expedition than any bad blood.

Their spokeswoman, Vikki Rimmer, said : 'The expedition is incredibly tough both physically and mentally.

'Their back packs are 45lbs each and yet they're climbing mountains and wading through jungle.

'It's an enormous undertaking for anyone, let alone experienced adventurers like Ed and Luke.

'It's not a walk in the park and is something that will test every part of you and Luke has a fiance back home, so maybe he couldn't bear to be apart from her any longer.'

In the meantime Stafford is seeking a new companion and has instructed a survival expert, a good friend and, more importantly, his mother to sit on a selection panel back in the UK.
Battling on alone: Ed Stafford has advertised for a new trekking partner to join him on his epic voyage
In his blog entry on Wednesday, Stafford has said that he will battle on alone.
"Luke left this morning at 5am on the bus to Lima. From there he will fly home to the UK. It was a funny day walking without him but the expedition goes on.
Meanwhile, Stafford’s press release is quite specific in the qualities required in a potential trek buddy:
‘Must have GSOH, no fear of snakes or gun-toting guerrillas, have three months to spare, an interest in the environment and an ability to walk long distances without asking 'are we nearly there yet?’
Whilst Stafford headed into the Peruvian jungle controlled by the Maoist Shining Path guerilla group, Collyer claimed he had decided to quit the expedition to preserve his friendship.
'I didn't want to end up bitter and angry with [Ed] after two years, and our friendship meant a lot to me,' he said.

In response his former partner added: 'I'd like to say thanks for everything mate and good luck in whatever you decided to do now.'

posted by Vikki Rimmer at 9:35 AM 25 comments

Guardian article - Walking The Amazon


Wanted: new partner for 3,000-mile Amazon trek - must have own iPodRow over MP3 player is final straw for adventurers facing piranhas, peaks and MaoistsEsther Addley The Guardian, Thursday July 10 2008 Article history The pair were equipped to cope with Amazonian perils such as piranhas. Photograph: Ricardo Beliel/Alamy

It was to be the expedition of a lifetime, two friends and adventurers who set out to complete the first source-to-mouth walk of the Amazon, a 4,000-mile trek which they expected would take 18 months.

But while Ed Stafford and Luke Collyer had foreseen everything from piranhas to Andean peaks and Maoist revolutionaries, they could not prepare for something a little more prosaic - falling out over an MP3 player.

Today Collyer, 37, an outdoor activities instructor originally from Sussex, is in Lima awaiting a flight back to the UK while Stafford, a 32-year-old former army captain from Leicester, is hacking his way through dense Peruvian jungle alone, after the pair had a bust-up having completed only an eighth of their journey.

Stafford is advertising for a new companion - one with whom he can get along. As a press release issued yesterday put it: "Must have GSOH, no fear of snakes or gun-toting guerrillas, have three months to spare, an interest in the environment and an ability to walk long distances without asking 'are we nearly there yet?'"

Ed Stafford (left) and Luke Collyer found the ultimate test was each other The pair, both experienced adventurers, have known each other since 2004 when they met while leading separate expeditions to Belize and got on "like a house on fire". They decided to embark on the record-breaking walk, Stafford recently wrote on the expedition blog, "over a drink".

The intention was to raise awareness of climate change and raise funds for a number of medical and conservation charities. "We came to the decision that walking the river would provide us with the ultimate challenge that we were looking for. The fact that no one had ever done it before was hugely exciting and has spurred us on to get to the mouth."

Almost 90 days in, the strain was showing. Early last week Stafford wrote: "If I'm honest at this stage the hardest thing has been getting on well with Luke ... Basically when your brain has nothing to focus on it can direct this energy into the only thing it can - your partner! We knew that we could be susceptible to this but underestimated the degree."

"I have to agree with Ed on this," Collyer wrote. "So far we have had to deal with dry arid desert conditions, altitude, snow and freezing temperatures, steep climbs followed by steep descents, and fast flowing rivers. But the real test has definitely been with each other."

Exactly what the problem was remains unclear, though according to the expedition's PR representative, Vikki Rimmer: "They admit they weren't good at expressing their feelings." The final straw came last Thursday when Stafford admits he got into "a bit of a mardy" over a supply parcel that Collyer had ordered from the UK which he feared would be too heavy.

"I insisted that Luke wrote an email to ... his fiancee's mother, asking her to only send specific items essential to the expedition. I could tell he was not happy but I wanted to make sure we were not sending stuff unnecessarily. On the list Luke read to me was 1 x MP3 player. This annoyed me, as he had told me he was ordering one and offered to get me one too.

"I said to him, 'Mate, why have you only put 1 x MP3 player? You know that I wanted one too.'

"'Because I'm leaving the expedition, that one's for you,' said Luke."

Neither man was available for comment yesterday - Stafford's satellite phone, according to Rimmer, was off, while she had no contact for Collyer in Lima.

Stafford is currently in an area of Peruvian jungle controlled by the Maoist Shining Path guerilla group, she said, which along with the dense jungle canopy meant he might be unable to power up his internet connection to check his email or update his blog. She was keen to stress that the split had been as amicable as possible, releasing comments from the two men wishing each other well.

"I didn't want to end up bitter and angry with [Ed] after two years, and our friendship meant a lot to me," Collyer said.

"I'd like to say thanks for everything mate and good luck in whatever you decided to do now," his former partner responded.

The website might suggest otherwise, however. Collyer's photograph, and any mention of him, have been removed from the home page, which now reads: "On April 2nd 2008, Ed Stafford started his attempt to walk over 4,000 miles from the source of the Amazon river in southern Peru to the mouth in Brazil. The expedition will be uninterrupted ..."

Rimmer said this omission was because Collyer had yet to confirm how he would like to be represented on the site, and insisted there was no ill-feeling between the two men.

The new companion, she said, would be selected by a panel put together in the UK, comprising a survival expert - who would know the levels of experience and fitness required - a close friend of Stafford who could advise whether they would get on, and his mum.

The type of person sought? "I think that it would need to be someone who wouldn't hold Ed up or cause him any problems."

Might that mean someone who would defer to his leadership a little more than Stafford had done? "That might be fair," Rimmer said.

posted by Vikki Rimmer at 9:32 AM 0 comments

David CAmeron mentions the Speling Society in his Conference Speech


David Cameron's conference speech was memorable for its mention of the Spelling Society.
The Society employed Press Contact in order to 'raise awareness' of the Society and the issues faced.

A mention in the speech by the PM in waiting, was 'awareness' indeed!

No other Societies were mentioned in his speech. Clearly he'd been reading some of the cuttings......see below list.

posted by Vikki Rimmer at 7:33 AM 0 comments

Spelling Society press articles for the last quarter

Press release in response to Dr Ken Smith – August 2008

Vikki received a call from The Times to alert her to an article that was being published the following day in the THES. The article in question was written by Dr Ken Smith. Vikki contacted the THES and asked the editorial team to read her the article. After taking notes, she spoke to Jack and they compiled a response to Dr Smith’s article, which they then sent out to 600 radio and television contacts, timed to land on producers and bookers desks the morning the THES was published. Most radio stations and TV news gathering services only take the broadsheets and tabloids and do not take the education supplements . The press release was also sent to the Press Association and released to all print outlets. The resulting publicity to his ‘little article’ took Dr Smith by surprise, but achieved a great deal of positive PR for the Society, along with awareness of the aims.


PRINT MEDIA:


1. The Times: 7th August 2008
August 7, 2008
Alexandra Frean, Education editor
‘I’ before ‘e’ except after ‘c’. Or maybe not
Time to give up on spelling, says academic’

2. The Telegraph 7th August 2008
Graeme Paton, Education editor
‘University students cannot spell’

3. The Daily Mail
By Laura Clark
Last updated at 9:36 AM on 07th August 2008
‘The spell is broken: Lecturer calls for spelling amnesty on students' top 20 errors’

4.Guardian: Mortarboard 7th August 2008
By Anthea Lipsett
Does Student Spelling matter?

5. The Press Association 7th August 2008
‘Misspelt words should be accepted’

6. Buckingham Free Press 7th August 2008
‘Lecturer: overlook common spelling mistakes’
By Oliver Evans
7. Glasgow Daily Record 8th August 2008
Alison Kershaw
‘Common misspellings should become part of language, says professor’

8. Daily Squib (Satire) 9th August 2008
‘Renowned Chav Professor Advocates Use of SMS Text Language and Spelling Errors’
9. Time Magazine :11th August 2008

BLOG ENTRIES:
Ten and counting.

TELEVISION:

1. Newsround BBC Children’s Television Thursday 7th August 2008: Jack Bovill
2. BBC News Channel: August 7th 2008 – Jack Bovill
3. BBC News Channel August 9th – Jack Bovill: two slots at 7:50am and 8:50 am

RADIO:
7th August
1. BBC Worldservice: 7th August 2008: Jack Bovill
2. Radio Five Live Simon Mayo Show (2 million listeners) 7th August: Jack Bovill
3. BBC Wales: (1.2 million listeners) 7th August: Vikki Rimmer
4. BBC Radio Sheffield: Jack Bovill
5. BBC Tees: Jack Bovill
6. Siren FM (twice) Jack Bovill
7. BBC Jersey: Vikki Rimmer
8. Mercury FM: Vikki Rimmer
9. BBC Northants: Jack Bovill
10. BBC 3 Counties: Jack Bovill
11. BBC Newcastle: Jack Bovill
8th August
12. BBC Birmingham (Janice Long show) Jack Bovill 9th August
13. BBC Radio Kent: Jack Bovill
9th August
14. Jack FM (Oxford) Jack Bovill
11th August
15. Good Morning Ulster: Jack Bovill
16. Liverpool City Talk: Jack Bovill
17. Dublin 202 – Jack Bovill
Articles that mention Ken Smith but not the Spelling Society: Daily Mirror/ Daily Express 8th August 2008
Sky News on line, BBC News on line, Reuters.


Centenary Dinner PR – Beginning of Sept 2008A press release drafted by Professor Wells, sent out by Vikki on the 8th September to over 1,000 recipients in the media, along with MP’s and MEP’s indicating an interest in the subject of ‘education’.

The response (in terms of numbers) was similar to the press garnered the preceding month when we sent out a press release to coincide with the publication of Dr Ken Smith’s THES article. However, the response was not as supportive, nor as understanding as the two previous campaigns which seemed to generate a spirit of understanding with regards to the Society’s aims. This pres release did, in some ways, generate confusion as to the aims of the Society.

Radio & ~TV line-up: for 9th September
BBC Breakfast TV – 7:15
BBC World Service 08.25 The World Today (done)
BBC World Service 10.40 World Update (done)
BFBS radio 15.40
BBC R Berks 16.10
BBC R5 17.25
BBC R London 17.50
Sky News TV 19.20
tomorrow:
BBC R Wales 07.15

Press Cuttings:
The Guardian
Press Association
The Times
The Telegraph
Daly Mail
Teletext UK

The Independent (24th Sept)

Financial Times 27th Sept:


Plymouth Evening Herald (17th Sept)
South Manchester Reporter (18th Sept)
Calcutta Telegraph (30th Sept)

The Lawyer (2nd Oct )

posted by Vikki Rimmer at 7:31 AM 0 comments