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Andrew Dickens

Freelance writer, editor and copywriter

Location icon United Kingdom

I'm a freelance writer, editor, interviewer, copywriter, broadcaster, podcaster, content-creator, media consultant and all-round good egg.

As one of the UK’s most experienced and highly-regarded writers, with four PPA Writer of the Year nominations, I have written on film, food, drink, travel, physical and mental health, sport, music, television, video games, and politics.

I spent 11 years at ShortList and have also written for Observer Magazine, Empire, Vera, The Independent, YOU magazine, the Daily Mail travel pages, Jaguar, The Jackal, Marie Claire, Stylist, Guardian Labs, easyJet Traveller, Fashionbeans, Flash Pack and Changeboard. I have literally hundreds of celebrity and non-celebrity interviews under my belt, from Pacino and De Niro, to Jolie and Gervais, via Corbyn and McCartney. Below is a tiny fraction of the work I've done.

Whether you want editorial, advertorial, commercial or SEO writing, I will deliver it in style. I can write for any audience (and to a word count), whether in-depth features or brand-enhancing copy for a website or campaign. I'm also comfortable in front of a camera or a microphone and my face and voice are completely inoffensive.

Portfolio

Profile Interviews

Shortlist
11/06/2013
Robert De Niro: Still Raging

Quiet extrovert, cultured street kid, gentle nutcase; Robert De Niro's life is one of contradictions. Speaking to the actor, and his old friends in Little Italy, Andrew Dickens goes in search of the real "Bobby Milk" Robert De Niro's waiting. No, I'm not quoting Bananarama - he really is.

Shortlist
05/26/2017
Exclusive interview: Can Jeremy Corbyn actually make you care?

Jeremy Corbyn: has there been a more emotive name in modern British politics? Maybe it's the initials. After all, he's not the first JC to have both a devoted following and passionate detractors. Just ask Jeremy Clarkson. And that other chap with the beard.

Shortlist
11/28/2017
Stephen Graham: Who's a pretty boy then?

Turning around is an art. Turning around can be done well, like an Olympic ice-skater. Turning around can be done badly, like a drunk uncle on a dancefloor. And, just occasionally, turning around can be done to such effect that the turner ends up facing in the direction of greatness.

Shortlist
01/27/2011
The Elton John interview

Preconceptions are a lot like greatest hits albums. You know you shouldn't really have them, but in reality, they involve a lot less work and are easy to listen to. They're also a lot like analogies in this introduction: very hard to avoid.

Shortlist
07/22/2012
Paul McCartney 2

He's Britain's greatest musical export, a living legend and, when the Olympics finally arrive, the man who will say, "Hello, World." In the meantime, ShortList's Andrew Dickens says, "Hello, Sir Paul" The subject of this interview needs no introduction, but he's going to get one anyway. He is Sir Paul McCartney.

Shortlist
04/19/2018
Meet Jimmi Simpson: TV's nicest weirdo

We at this magazine possess great power. Not supernatural power - not yet - but the power, the privilege, to say to thousands: this is a man you should know about. He's talented, he's interesting, he's one of the good guys and he's going places. He's one of us.

Shortlist
03/11/2013
Jude Law

Megastar, pretty boy, tabloid villain; how much do we really know about Jude Law? ShortList's Andrew Dickens shares a late breakfast with the reinvigorated actor Jude Law says he's never used moisturiser. As I sit, looking - OK, staring - at his annoyingly youthful, tanned and handsome face, I find this hard to believe.

Shortlist
05/26/2016
Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe: Real nice guys

"Have you spoken to Ryan?" asks Russell Crowe. I have, yes. "So you don't get an opportunity to talk to him again?" I don't, no. Two jets of white smoke escape from Crowe's nostrils, he begins to smile with his eyes. To 'smeyes'. "His nickname is 'Spanky'."

Shortlist
01/28/2016
Dermot O'Leary: highly driven

Through sheer force of friendliness, Dermot O'Leary's takeover of TV land continues with his new car-themed game show. Andrew Dickens hops in his passenger seat [Photography: Greg Williams] Believe it or not, magazine interviews aren't easy. There is actually an element of skill involved; to pick and position questions that will best elicit entertaining and informative words on a particular subject or subjects.

Shortlist
10/21/2012
Robbie Williams

Robbie Williams is going it alone again. Andrew Dickens cornered the refreshingly self-aware pop star to talk fatherhood, fidelity and ash-covered Weetabix Robbie Williams: two words that conjure up mixed feelings in most men. On one hand, he comes across as the kind of cocksure lothario who'd whip your girlfriend away, only to return her three days later, a shell of her former self.

Long Read Features

Vera
11/01/2019
State of Play

A look at the future of toys and how technology is shaping it.

Shortlist
02/02/2017
We tried running a country pub and it nearly killed us

Some of the names in this article have been changed to protect the innocent, and the not so innocent. And me, should I ever return to the village of Great Barrington, Gloucestershire. It's a Sunday morning in December and I'm showering in my bathroom above the Fox Inn, Great Barrington, Gloucestershire.

Shortlist
04/20/2016
One man's struggle with depression and why more people need to open up

Hello and welcome to Depression Awareness Week: a week of campaigning, chatting and, apparently, wearing hats, all aimed at, you guessed it, raising awareness of depression. Back in pre-austerity 2010, halcyon days I think you'll all agree, I wrote the following article in an attempt to do just that.

Shortlist
02/27/2014
The cult of the 'Ultra Marathon'

Sometimes you kick, sometimes you get kicked. For months, these thoughtful lyrics from INXS have been my inspirational mantra as I prepare for today, the biggest physical challenge of my mostly unchallenging life. But now, I'm pretty certain Michael Hutchence is cursing me from beyond the grave.

Shortlist
08/08/2016
The Island of the Rocket Men

In Rio de Janeiro this weekend, all eyes will be on very fast guys in green, black and gold. Andrew Dickens visits Jamaica to discover their secrets of speed. The crowd are livid, out of their seats and hurling abuse from the stands. It is quite the reaction to a red card.

The Independent
01/09/2019
Getting a tattoo in Japan - from a super secretive master with half a missing thumb

As I lie on my back in a small Tokyo apartment, a 70-something Japanese man, half his right thumb missing, is rhythmically piercing my skin with minute ink-tipped needles on the end of an aluminium stick. This is tebori, the traditional Japanese method of tattooing. And I'm getting myself a very permanent souvenir.

Shortlist
10/11/2017
Why does everyone hate Arsenal fans?

"Over-entitled bunch of whingers." "Perfectly pleasant, except when talking about Arsenal." These are all answers to the question, 'How would you describe Arsenal fans?' It was asked because it has become increasingly obvious that, in 2017, Arsenal fans have overtaken Manchester United's as the most hated by other football fans.

Shortlist
11/16/2016
This man should still make you angry

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED So, Donald Trump is about to be US president. Bummer, eh? I bet when you saw the results you were pretty distraught, pretty angry. A proper WTF moment if ever there was one. I mean, he's a lecherous demagogue with no experience of public administration, who is due to face a number of legal battles in court.

Shortlist
03/08/2018
This is what it's really like to lose a fortune

In January, it emerged that Boris Becker had misplaced a few items. These items were five tennis Grand Slam trophies. To be precise, five of his six Grand Slam trophies: two Australian Open and three Wimbledon. He hadn't sold them or donated them; he simply didn't know where they were.

Shortlist
03/14/2018
High on spice: How British men got addicted to heat

Hundreds of people, mostly men, squeeze their way past each other and the two rows of stalls flanking the room. They stop every shuffled yard to peer closely at labels on bottles and jars, and the samples of their contents in corresponding ramekins.

Shortlist
08/02/2018
Why are our memories getting worse?

"I want to have those memories," says Mike 'Pretty Boy' Hales. "I want to tell my kids about my career, the excitement, the journey. The places, the people. It's a rollercoaster. I want to think back to good times, the way I think back to great moments at school.

TV and Video

Other stuff

FashionBeans
The Hardest Wedding Dress Code (And How To Nail It)

White tie for men just might be the hardest dress code to master. Whether it's for a wedding or a state dinner, here's everything you need to know including the difference between white tie and black tie, the key pieces to buy and how to wear it.

Shortlist
02/09/2017
We pitched Valentine's card ideas to Hallmark and it got weird

"Death really isn't a good subject for a Valentine's card," says Ruth Turner, Hallmark's head of editorial. "And we would never do anything gun-related for obvious reasons." I'm at Hallmark House, a vast and impressive art-deco building in rural West Yorkshire.

Shortlist
08/16/2017
Samuel L Jackson: "If Donald Trump broke into my house, I'd shoot him"

Samuel L Jackson is 68 years old. Sixty-eight motherf*cking years. Hard to believe, isn't it? This vision of youthful energy sitting before me, dressed in so much white that he has to drink his coffee through a straw from a plastic cup housed within a ceramic mug in order to minimise the chance of speckling, is 68.

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