Friday, 27 November 2015

Matthew Wright from The Wright Stuff Supports Bowel Cancer Charity Book

I met and photographed Matthew Wright for the Lives & Times book in London, and I got to see his vintage motorbikes which are his pride and joy. Matthew has been incredibly supportive of this project and he wrote a lovely foreword for the book. The is out now...

To find out how you can order the book click here. Absolutely every penny I receive in royalties is being donated to the Beating Bowel Cancer charity.

My Mum has been fighting bowel cancer since 2012. Back then her bowel was successfully operated on and the section containing the cancer was removed, but she has suffered from cancerous nodules on her lungs which is a secondary cancer from the bowel. She faces another operation on December 10th to remove the most recent cancer lesion, and this will be the 4th time she has had her lungs operated on, making it 5 operations in total. She is now 79 so I have nothing but admiration for courage and determination to get through this...

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Lives & Times Book Pre-orders Going Well - Having To Restock!

Well with 3 days to go until the book is published I am close to running out of copies of the hardback edition. So this morning I have ordered a new print run which will arrive next week. I never thought that the hardback would sell in such large quantities. I am pretty overwhelmed by the support for Lives & Times and a massive thank you to everyone who has bought the book so far.

I have started to contact people in my address books to ask them to support the book and buy a copy, so apologies to anyone who feels pestered. It's short term I promise, and the quicker everyone buys a copy, the sooner I can leave you all in peace :-)

One thing I would like is for anyone who does buy the book to send me a photo of themselves holding the book so I can build up a gallery. This is an idea I am copying from best selling author Freya North who does it with her books.

Mum has a follow up appointment to her recent PET scan today, so we are hoping for good news and a treatment plan to be put together. She has been quite low recently, which is very unlike her, so it would be good if things can start to move forwards for her.

To find out how you can order the book click here. Every penny I receive in royalties is being donated to the Beating Bowel Cancer charity.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Katherine Grainger in the Lives & Times Bowel Cancer Charity Book

Katherine Grainger, one of our gold medal winners at London 2012, sent a video message of support for the Lives & Times fundraising book for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. 

I met and photographed Katherine at Henley Royal Regatta in the summer, and the book will tell the story of how the photo almost didn't happen. Katherine was really lovely and has always asked about Mum's health in our communications. She is training hard for the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, and let's hope she brings home gold! 

To find out how you can order the book click here. Every penny I receive in royalties is being donated to the Beating Bowel Cancer charity.

Celebrities Supporting The Lives & Times Charity Book For Beating Bowel Cancer

Here is a video trailer for the Lives & Times fundraising book in support of the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. The aim of the video is to give you a taster of what is inside the book, as well as to hopefully help the book reach a wider audience. Please share this video with as many people as you can. 

So what can you expect in the book...

  • Sir Steve Redgrave CBE
  • Katherine Grainger CBE
  • Phil Parkes
  • Jonathan Agnew
  • Lorraine Kelly
  • Christopher Biggins
  • Matthew Wright
  • Freya North
  • Ben Richards
  • Carrie Grant
  • Gail Porter
  • Alan Davies
  • Shaun Keaveny
  • Mike Read
  • John Shuttleworth
  • Tom Rosenathal
  • Status Quo
  • The Stranglers
  • The Alarm
  • Clare Grogan
  • Mikes Hunt& Erica Nockalls
  • Horace Panter
  • My Mum!
And so very much more.... Over 100 photos and about 45,000 words.

So many fascinating experiences all put together in one book. Available in paperback, hardback and digital eBook. To see all the ways to order the book click here. Please support this book and every penny I receive is donated to the charity.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Lives & Times Charity Book For Beating Bowel Cancer 8 Days To Go

With eight days to go until publication things are beginning to get quite exciting. Yesterday I had my delivery of both the hardback and paperback editions of Lives & Times book, so I have begun to send out the orders that I have already received. This means that anyone who places an order now will get their copy ahead of the official launch on the 27th.

Another exciting development yesterday was some contact from Status Quo's management. They were the first to come on board this project 18 months ago, and yesterday they told me that they will publicize the book on the band's Facebook and Twitter pages next month. This is the kind of wonderful help with the marketing that I am hoping for.

Tonight for the first time in Maidenhead United's 145 year history a game will televised live from York Road, with the FA Cup 1st round replay against Port Vale being shown on BT Sport. I am going with my brother, and it will be the first time we have been to see a game there together in about 40 years! I mention this here, because the book features a chapter on the club in its present form and the connection my late grandfather had with it back in the 1930/40s. It was a fascinating chapter to put together, and I am indebted to the club historian, Mark Smith, for all his help. Let's hope for a famous cup upset.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Video Trailer - 10 Days Until Publication

With just 10 days to go now until the Lives & Times book is published, I have put together a sporting themed video trailer featuring some of the personalities featured in the book including Steve Redgrave, Mick Channon, Katherine Grainger, Maidenhead Utd and Michael Holding. 

The pre-orders are coming in and the build up to publication on November 27th continues. I am expecting my first batch of paperback and hardback copies to arrive any day now, so the first lot of orders will be sent out very soon.Grab your copy and help support my fundraising effort.

My Mum had her PET scan this week, so when she sees the consultant in the next week or two a treatment plan should be put together for her.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Lives & Times Book Helping to Beat Bowel Cancer

There are now 11 days to go until the Lives & Times fundraising book for Beating Bowel Cancer is published on November 27th. The main purpose of the book is to help beat bowel cancer. You can see all the ways to pre-order it by clicking here.

The basic facts are that bowel cancer is the 2nd biggest cancer killer in the UK, and 41,000 people are diagnosed with it each year, and it claims 16,000 lives. If diagnosed early 90% of cases can be treated successfully. Whilst it is more common to affect people over 50, it is increasingly affecting younger people.

The symptoms can include a persistent change in bowel habit, bleeding from the bottom, abdominal pain, a lump in your tummy and unexplained weight loss.

Risk factors include a high intake of saturated fats, processed or red meat. Drinking more than 4 units of alcohol per day, being overweight, and having an immediate relative with bowel cancer all could increase the chances of being affected by it.

To reduce the risk eat or healthy diet with plenty of fruit, regular exercise to reduce weight, cut down on alcohol, and be aware of any change in bowel habits. My Mum recognized a change in her bowel habit and when she was sent to have an endoscopy the bowel cancer was discovered.

It was only when the first book, Beating Bowel Cancer, was published back in 2012 did I begin to realize how important raising awareness is, and it wasn't just purely about selling copies to raise money for the charity. It was pointed out to me that the articles about the book that appeared in the local papers would be good for raising awareness regardless of how many book sales they generated. Since then my aim now has been to sell as many books as possible raising funds for the charity, but each time either book gets bowel cancer mentioned in the media, on social networks or even in normal conversations then hopefully it is playing its part in raising awareness.

Sadly too many people are lost to this illness, and if Lives & Times can play any part in raising awareness about bowel cancer, saving just one life, then all the efforts in putting it together over the last 18 months will have been worthwhile.

Friday, 13 November 2015

Lives & Times Book For Beating Bowel Cancer Release Date 27/11/2015

The countdown begins today. I can confirm that the Lives & Times book will be published on Friday November 27th. It will be available in ebook, paperback and hardback. I have uploaded the final manuscript proofs to go live and once I have the links through I will provide information on how you can buy the book.

I can reveal straightaway that I am happy for anyone to buy the paperback and hardback editions directly from. Please contact if you want to buy direct by clicking on email.

Today the hardback proof arrived and, although I am totally biased, it is absolutely stunning in appearance. The photo of the hardback and paperback copies together on top of my order book at work doesn't really do it justice, but I wanted to share an image straight away.

So with just 14 days to go the marketing of the book starts here. I am very happy for anyone who can spare a little bit of time to help me with this. I will of course appreciate shares on Facebook and retweets on Twitter, but if anyone can also do some proactive marketing I would be very grateful.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Miles Hunt & Erica Nockalls From The Wonder Stuff On Board The Bowel Cancer Charity Book

To read the introduction about the forthcoming Lives & Times book, which will feature a chapter on Miles & Erica click here. All proceeds I raise will go to the Beating Bowel Cancer charity .

Back in March I went to meet and photograph Miles Hunt & Erica Nockalls from The Wonder Stuff at their acoustic gig at The Railway Inn in Winchester. They were really lovely, and I got to spend a few minutes with them shortly before they went on stage. Through the wonders of Twitter, Miles had quickly responded to my book request with an enthusiastic yes, and with the help of their manager Tom it was arranged for me to go to the Winchester gig to do the photo. I am pretty excited about the terrific photos I have chosen to use in the book. These will not be revealed here, so all I can show you here is one of the other photos I took from the gig, which is not going to make the book. You will have to buy the book and see for yourself of course :) I am now the proud owner of one of Erica's prints from her other job as an artist, and of Miles' book The Wonder Stuff Diaries '86-'89.

I had thought that when the time came to meet Miles & Erica, that it was going be the last photo I would be taking for the book, and that its publication would shortly follow. How wrong could I be? The photography continued all the way into October before I could finally draw a line under it all, and I am chomping at the bit to get the book out there. It's looking like a November 27th publication date. I think that it is now as good as I can make it...

Like so many people who have so very kindly given up their time to be photographed, Miles & Erica were great sports and posed with the Beating Bowel Cancer tie for the Facebook group that I am part of which is helping to raise awareness about bowel cancer. Have a look at the page here.

Photographing Lorraine Kelly For The Lives & Times Book For Beating Bowel Cancer

To read how you can order the Lives & Times fundraising book being published on November 27th for Beating Bowel Cancer click here.

One of the most recent experiences I had for the book was meeting and photographing ITV daytime TV presenter Lorraine Kelly for the Lives & Times fundraising book for the Beating Bowel Cancer. It was a glorious crisp and sunny September morning and I got the opportunity to meet Lorraine in the studio right after her daily morning show had finished.

The chapter in the forthcoming book will describe the experience in full, and it was fascinating spending time watching a live show from the back of the studio behind the cameras. I wasn't expecting to be able to take Loraine's photo in the studio, so that was a real bonus. She was lovely and couldn't have been more helpful and accommodating, and she was happy to do some photographs with and without the bowel cancer tie. She also very kindly did me a short video message to help with the book's promotion which you can view here.

An early morning photo meant that I was actually back at work before midday. Lorraine is a fantastic addition to the book and a massive thanks to her.

Radio DJ Mike Read & Dave Fenton From The Vapors Photographed For The Bowel Cancer Charity Book

I spent a highly entertaining and fascinating half an hour photographing and chatting to ex Radio 1 DJ Mike Read, of course not forgetting his Saturday Superstore show too :) We met up at BBC Radio Berkshire earlier in the year where he was presenting the afternoon show, and he was a great sport putting on the bowel cancer tie.

This was a great chapter for me to write as his nighttime show on Radio 1 all those years ago was something I always listened to while doing my homework. The chapter will also feature the little confession I made to him about an incident over 30 years ago when I told a little white lie that revolved around Mike and Dave Fenton, who was the lead singer in The Vapors back in 1980s. I went on to meet and photograph Dave in London a few days after meeting Mike, and that was another fascinating experience.

Monday, 9 November 2015

Maidenhead United Football Club On Board The Bowel Cancer Fundraising Book

To read about the Lives & Times fundraising book for Beating Bowel Cancer click here.

I thought that the chapter on Maidenhead United and my family's association with the club might be quite newsworthy certainly on the local news front once the book is published. This will still hopefully be the case, but like many Maidenhead United fans I was delighted with their dramatic 1-1 draw at Port Vale in the first round of the FA Cup, which sets up a replay at York Road. Take a look at the Magpies injury time equalizer here.

I saw my first Maidenhead game in 8 years last season, and met up with their then manager Drax Hippolyte, who very kindly agreed to appear in the book. This is my hometown club, and where I would have seen my first game of football in the 1970s with my dad and brother. It was quite an entertaining game against Farnborough in the FA Trophy 2 round ending in a 2-2 draw. It was quite nostalgic for me going back the ground where really everything football all began for me.

It was quite nostalgic seeing the ground, which although has undergone some changes over the years still maintains many of the features that were there when I first went over 40 years ago. One thing I won't be putting in the book is the same outside male toilet in one corner of the ground is still there. It seems to have undergone a minor face-lift, and these does does have a roof, but it's essentially still the same "smelly" WC it was back then.

This chapter will be one of the more fascinating chapters for me to write, as alongside the the photo from the present day there is a strong family connection with the club as my granddad was on the club's committee during the 2nd World War.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Bruce Foxton & From The Jam Support the Bowel Cancer Fundraising Book

To read about the Lives & Times fundraising book for Beating Bowel Cancer click here.

Towards the end of 2014 I photographed Bruce Foxton & From The Jam at SUB 89 in Reading. This was not a normal concert photo as the band very kindly allowed me into the press pit. Normally there is a 3 song rule, where you spend the first 3 songs of the set photographing the band before being kicked out. However on this occasion I was allowed to stay there for the whole gig allowing me to photograph away to my heart's content. It also meant I was able to watch the concert from in front of the front row and for a fan of the music of The Jam this was a real treat.

The Jam played a massive part in shaping my musical tastes as I was growing up. I saw them on their farewell tour at Wembley in 1982, which is now scarily 33 years ago. My one regret with The Jam was not being allowed to go and see them play at the Bracknell Leisure Centre in 1980. I was deemed too young by the folks. Can you believe tickets were selling at £2.50 at, Opus One, the local record shop.

During the course of this book I have repeatedly tried to get Paul Weller to come on board, but all my attempts to contact him ended in failure. So if do another book I shall keep trying... I did manage to make contact with the Facebook page of Rick Buckler, the drummer in The Jam, but I didn't get an answer either way from Rick. Unfortunately this happened quite recently and I finally had to draw a line under everything. Once again another possible target if I do another book. However one out of three wasn't a bad return.

I am going to see From The Jam play the Sound Effects album in Reading next weekend, this time minus my camera and as part of the audience proper. I am looking forward to it very much.

The current plan is for the Lives & Times book to be published on November 27th.

Lives & Times Book Justgiving Page For Beating Bowel Cancer

To go alongside the Lives & Times book I have created a fundraising page on Justgiving. This means that when I donate royalties from book sales I will be able to keep an exact tally of just how much has been raised. Also I got one or two very generous extra bonus donations with the first book from people so it's worth putting a page up. I am not expecting many donations this time around as anyone who buys the book, be it the Ebook, paperback or hardback edition, is being more than generous enough.

The address of the justgiving page is

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Lives & Times Fundraising Book Press Release


Contact Tim Darvell



Lives & Times Portrait Photography Book

Reading, November 7, 2015– Tim Darvell from Reading has written a book to help raise money for the charity Beating Bowel Cancer after his mother was diagnosed with the disease.

Bowel cancer is the second biggest cancer killer in the UK, but if detected early over 90% of cases can be successfully treated. Tim’s mother was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012 and had her fourth operation at the beginning of 2015, and made a complete recovery. However as the book neared its completion in October 2015 the cancer has come back once again, and his mother has to face another course of treatment.

Over the course of 18 months he met and photographed people from all walks of life to form the chapters of Lives & Times. Every single person taking part in this book has given up their own time to do it and all funds raised from the sales of the book are being donated to the charity. The stunning photography takes a closer look at the energy and dynamism of human beings and the joy in life when energy and health are as one.

Some of the celebrities taking part include, Sir Steve Redgrave, Katherine Grainger, Lorraine Kelly, Gabby Logan, Christopher Biggins, and Matthew Wright.

Tim said, “Every chapter tells a different story, and it was fascinating to see how they unfolded. Whether I was meeting a celebrity or an ordinary person, I found that everyone has a tale to tell and all are stars of the book.”

Tim is available for media interviews and can be reached via email at

More information can be found at his author website:

To request a copy of the book please contact Tim Darvell on 07545335480 or by email at

Thursday, 5 November 2015

First View Of The Lives & Times Fundraising Book For Beating Bowel Cancer

I could almost explode with excitement as this morning I got my hands on the first test copies of the Lives & Times fundraising book of which all the proceeds raised will be donated to the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. Having spent 18 months taking photographs and working away in Microsoft Word it's a wonderful feeling to have the finished product in my hands! I know I am biased but I couldn't be happier with it.

After one more proof read the ordering links will be put up for pre-ordering. There will be paperback version as shown in the photo, a super duper large high quality premium hardback edition, and the good old Ebook too.So hopefully there will be something there for everyone's budget.

The other development on the marketing front is with the help of Antonia Mariconda, who features in the book, I have put together a press release for the book which I will be unveiling soon. 

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Ben Richards Part of the Lives & Times Book for Beating Bowel Cancer

One of the first people I approached and photographed for the Lives & Times book 18 months ago was the actor Ben Richards. Ben is now over 2 years in remission from bowel cancer and was very enthusiastic to get involved.

In this particular photo he posed with the Beating Bowel Cancer tie supporting the Follow The Bowel Cancer Tie group on Facebook. You can take a look of what that is about here. I won't reveal too much of what happened when I met Ben here and instead save it for the book, because the afternoon turned into a great story in itself with me getting unique access to rehearsals for the Rock of Ages musical that Ben was about to go on tour with. Once again the support for this project never fails to surprise me and every time that I think things couldn't get any better they did!

Thanks so much to Ben for his help and support and I followed up our meeting by going to see Rock of Ages in Oxford on the tour a few months later which was fantastic. Ben is currently playing Sergeant Ben Bradley in the Channel 4 series Hollyoaks. Finally congratulations to Ben and Kirsty on the recent addition earlier this year to their family with the arrival of little Freja-Amelie.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Writing a Press Release

To read about the Lives & Times fundraising book for Beating Bowel Cancer click here.

With the book in the proofing stage, I have turned my attention to marketing matters. One of the biggest challenges I face is getting the book out there into the public domain, and reaching out to as many people as possible. My own efforts on social media will hopefully provide a solid platform. The support of the many people featured in the book will also be key, because if I can tap into their followers and fans, it might prove quite fruitful. The other thing is to try and get as much coverage in the media as possible. Local newspapers will hopefully support me in the same way they did with the first book in 2012, and if I could get some coverage in the national press or weekend supplements that would be seriously good. Coverage on radio and television would be fantastic, and how amazing would it be to get on the BBC or ITV? I will give it my best shot and keep knocking on doors.

To do this I need to construct a decent press release. This is not as easy as it sounds as it needs to be concise and to the point, yet have a big enough wow factor to get people to read it and want to find out more about the book. I am hoping one or two people featured in the book may be able to help me with this, and also there might be people in the book with connections to the right people in the media. Once again I can but ask and see what happens.

As things stand I am still aiming on a November 27th publication date.

I am always happy to listen to any fresh ideas so please contact me if you have any thoughts of any of the above or the book marketing in general.