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A Letter From Lockdown

23rd Apr, 2020

Even though we have spent another week in lockdown, we have lots of great new things to share with you . . .

There were four book launches to celebrate this week – first up, How to Save Your Planet One Object at a Time by Dr Tara Shine was published by Simon & Schuster. It can feel overwhelming thinking about all that needs to be done to save our planet. Tara’s book is the antidote to that feeling. Easy to read and easy to action – she shares all the information and inspiration you need to make a difference, simply by making smart choices about everyday objects, tasks and habits. Most pertinently, Tara’s message is that change starts at home…

If I Had Your Face by Frances Cha was published by Viking in the UK and is currently available exclusively at Waterstones. It will be available from all other retailers on 23rd July. Sparkling, compelling and utterly original, it is fast becoming one of this spring's most talked-about debut novels. The heart-breaking but ultimately hugely uplifting Exploited by Maggie Hartley was published by Orion and the joyful and uplifting My Pear-Shaped Life by Carmel Harrington was published in the UK by HarperCollins.

We are incredibly proud of Colin Furze who was awarded the Diamond Play Button this week for reaching the utterly incredible milestone of 10 million subscribers on YouTube! Bring on the fireworks once lockdown is lifted… In the meantime, Colin has been busy in isolation, making all manner of brilliant inventions including the ultimate social distancing tool, the #Hicycle.

It certainly has been an amazing week for chart positions. Unnatural Causes by Dr Richard Shepherd re-entered the top 10 of the Sunday Times bestseller list almost a year to the day after it was first published in paperback. Secret Service by Tom Bradby hit the number 1 spot in the Audible charts in audiobook and Jess Ryder’s The Girl You Gave Away has been riding high in the Kindle top 20 chart. We were delighted to learn that Sorry Not Sorry by Sophie Ranald was the 12th bestselling eBook in the UK in 2019, and we were also thrilled to see Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella longlisted for the Comedy Women in Print prize.

Today, on 23rd April, BBC Children in Need and Comic Relief are getting together for their Big Day In on Radio and their Big Night In on TV, a massive fundraising special to celebrate the incredible people making a difference in communities across the UK and to support people who need it most during the Covid-19 crisis. Tim Peake is taking part – he is hiking his way to the Moon for the charities, with the help of the Scouts and Bear Grylls. Tim and Bear appeared on BBC Breakfast to explain more about the Hike to the Moon.

We are all looking for great TV to binge during isolation so we could not be more envious of those of you Down Under who will be treated to The Secrets She Keeps which airs on Channel 10, Australia on 22nd April. Lingo Pictures’ six part series is based on Michael Robotham’s bestselling novel and stars Laura Carmichael, Jessica De Gouw and Michael Dorman. We have enjoyed a sneak peek and it is devastatingly good. It is coming to BBC One later this summer and we cannot wait!

If you are looking for your next podcast, look no further than Alonement which is hosted by our new client, Francesca Spector. This week’s episode features another client of ours, Poorna Bell. They actually recorded the episode back in February, before Covid-19 worries really hit the UK, but their conversation will resonate for anyone learning to value their alone time right now.

Although we can’t physically get out to theatres at the moment and we are so sad to see the many productions our clients are involved in having to be on hold, we are cheered to see theatre making its way into living rooms across the country via the magic of recorded live streams. Pilot Theatre’s production of Crongton Knights designed by Simon Kenny will be available to stream for free between 22nd April (from 7pm) and 9th May. The fabulous West End and UK touring production of Curtains starring Jason Manford – with Set Design by David Woodhead and Costume Design by Gabriella Slade will be available to stream for £7.50 from 7pm on 22nd April for 24 hours. All profits will go to the #FundsforFreelancers charity. Last but not least, Simon McBurney’s 2017 production of The Rake’s Progress with astonishing Video Design by Will Duke is available on the Complicite website.

One of the upsides of having to conduct everything virtually is that we can have a nose at what people have on their bookshelves in the background of Zoom meetings. Atlantic Books have asked some of their authors to share details of their lockdown libraries – head over to their Instagram page to see what Robert Morrison has been reading.

It has been incredible to witness the outpouring of support for our NHS and we love the sentiment behind Dear NHS: 100 Stories to Say Thank You edited by Adam Kay. Kate Mosse will be contributing a story to this wonderful love letter to the NHS and all profits from the book will go to NHS Charities Together to fund vital research and projects, and The Lullaby Trust which supports parents bereaved of babies and young children.

Until next week . . .

With all our best wishes,

The Soho Agency Team