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Andrew Davidson - award winning journalist

Andrew Davidson is an award-winning journalist and writer whose weekly interview page appeared in the UK’s Sunday Times from 2003 to 2012. He published a book about his grandfather’s war photography, Fred’s War, in 2013, and another book about WW1, The Invisible Cross, in 2016. You can find a list of his interviews here and online links where available.

The Invisible Cross Buy Here

Latest Book:
The Invisible Cross

Publisher: Heron Books (Quercus)
Published: July 2016
Price: £20.00

Praise for The Invisible Cross

“We have Andrew Davidson to thank for bringing these beautifully ordinary letters to our attention. As a bleak yet somehow uplifting portrayal of a wretched conflict they are as eloquent as any war poem… Davidson has produced a superb selection of [Colonel Graham Chaplin’s] letters… framed by a vibrant narrative of events” — The Herald

“It is indeed Chaplin’s uncompromising stance towards both superiors and subordinates, as well as the candour of his letters, that make this book so compelling. Besides history, it is a timeless lesson in the art, practice, rewards and perils of command, and of the nature of morale in battle.” — The Spectator

“This very compelling book” — The Soldier Magazine

Praise for Fred's War

“Thanks in part to Davidson's cracking narrative – he uses the present tense throughout so that one gets a real sense of immediacy – and in part to some remarkable photos, with the changing faces of the soldiers telling their own story of seeping morale and growing desperation, this is a deeply affecting account of men struggling to keep hold of their sanity amid a ceaseless round of daily horrors.” — Daily Mail

“Told in a gripping style by his grandson Andrew, [Fred's War paints] an intimate snapshot of history that puts the Great War firmly into focus.” — The Express

“An incredible story.” — The Scottish Express

“A treasure trove of photographs offering a unique insight into the grim reality of life in the trenches.” — Press and Journal, Aberdeen

“Using an inspired and original concept, [Andrew Davidson] blends 250 original photographs with a crisp, contemporary narrative to give us a new and amazingly intimate perspective on the danger, hardships and playful camaraderie of a dismal, deadly battlefront. If you only buy one book about the war, make it this one.” — Lancashire Evening Post

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Recent and Past Articles:

Thomas Heatherwick, designer, April 2015

THE owner of the business can see where this photo shoot is heading. ‘He took me with my hood up,’ laughs Thomas Heatherwick, shaking his curly-haired head and stripping off his voluminous duffel coat. Sinister monk? Deranged trawlerman? He smiles.

 Heatherwick is many things – designer, entrepreneur, studio boss and assured networker – but sinister is not one of them. A zealot, maybe, though with his saturnine good looks and shirt/waistcoat/trouser combo, maybe he should be rigging the ropes in a gypsy circus. He is certainly one of the most deferential mavericks you could meet, gently spoken and anxious to accommodate.

 So here we are, fluffing around, choosing where to talk. He wants the better-looking table smack in the centre of reception at his business, Heatherwick Studio, a vast sprawl of desks, screens, artefacts and ducting wedged beside a Travelodge just down from London’s King’s Cross station. I want the quiet corner where the clattery noise created by so many hipsters working under so much exposed concrete is lessened. He easily defers.

 Heatherwick is still best known for devising the most effective stunt of the 2012 London Olympic Games: the beautiful, multipetalled cauldron that gently rose to conjoin in one symbolic flame. Some believe he is a design genius – an awkward, indefinable term that rests on his ability to conjure up playfully textured objects, buildings and spaces that surprise and delight.

. . .

John Vincent, co-founder Leon, November 2016

I APPROACH in peace, which is a sensible starting point as John Vincent has barely sat down before he's standing up and offering me a demonstration of his martial arts.

'I'm learning Wing Tsun, which is a martial art first developed by women.' It involves: 'staying relaxed, recognising that most conflict is created by your own ego, never attacking but always hitting first ...'

He is a big man. Hold on, hitting first?

'Only if someone has begun to attack. I really wish I could show you,' he smiles. 'Come on, try and put me in an arm lock.'

Please don't hurt my right hand. 'Why, have you injured it?' No, I write with it. That's why I'm here.

For all the world, it looks like Vincent has forgotten. And that's his charm. Curly-haired, bedenimed, aged 45, he appears totally in thrall to his enthusiasms. Behind the toothy grin, however, he's also a smart organiser, trained at Procter & Gamble and Bain, and still an adviser to Vivian Imerman, the cash-hungry South African best-known for turning round Del Monte.

. . .

Sir Martin Sorrell, chief executive WPP, May 2012 *

WE all like a decent payday but, you have to ask, why does Sir Martin Sorrell keep falling into this trap? He has built the world’s biggest marketing services group, he has established himself as one of Britain’s best-known business leaders, but yet again he has provoked a row over his earnings — ditto many times since the 1990s.’

Is this a flaw in his personality, or in ours? Sorrell, tanned and suited, hunched over a boardroom table in his London office, just laughs.

“Probably both,” he says finally.

Then he launches into a long defence of his proposed remuneration, how he started his WPP empire 27 years ago, what he borrowed to launch it, how few FTSE 100 bosses invest as substantially in their own shares. An avalanche of statistics and percentages follows.

It is 7.30am — Sorrell loves an early meeting just as he adores a legion of numbers. Short and dapper, he is in his element, gazing with bemusement at a plate of squashed pastries his staff have laid before him. “Croissants that someone has sat on — have one.”

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* articles in The Sunday Times are now subscriber-only