A letter from lockdown

Well, what a week it has been…  We hope, wherever you are at the moment, you managed to enjoy the long Easter weekend and the glorious weather that accompanied it. Once again our clients have been proving just how brilliant they are. In this week’s #letterfromlockdown, we are delighted to share some of the highlights…

Rev Chris Lee’s first book, The OMG Effect: 60-Second Sermons to Live a Fuller Life, will be published by Century this November. It has been inspiring to see him streaming his Sunday sermons over Zoom and hosting prayer meetings on IGTV – the response from his online congregation has been fantastic. Pat Allerton, the vicar at St Peter’s church in Notting Hill, has also been lifting spirits. For the past two weeks he has taken to the streets of London to sign hymns and conduct mobile church services via a loudspeaker that he packs into his car each day. Take a look at what Pat – or the ‘Portable Priest’ as he has been named by The Telegraph – has been getting up to on YouTube.

Joe Fattorini has been busy lifting spirits in a different way. At the end of each day’s long commute from the kitchen back to the sofa, we have thoroughly enjoyed unwinding by watching Joe host The Wine Show @ Home. Filmed from Joe’s attic at home, each episode sees Joe recommend three wines and answer questions from viewers with his custom wit and expertise.

We are also enjoying listening to Steths, Drugs & Rock ‘n’ Roll – a health podcast with a twist hosted by Dr Sara Kayat and her colleagues Dr Ranj, Dr Zoe and Dr Tijion.  Each week they are giving their opinions on the latest health news and headlines, as well as offering a few much needed laughs as they lift the lid on what happens when doctors go off duty. And, if you missed Dr Michael Mosley presenting an informative and insightful Horizon special on BBC2 last Thursday, you can still watch him investigating the facts and science behind COVID-19 on the BBC iPlayer. Over on Instagram, Poorna Bell has been sharing beautiful, honest and thoughtful writing on mental well-being during this pandemic.

As well as keeping informed about our health, it also feels more important now than ever to be keeping a close eye on our finances. Rhiannon Llewellyn has been dispensing invaluable advice on how to manage your money during this crisis and how to navigate and access the UK benefits and grants system.

Songwriter Tom Rosenthal has been writing songs for those in need. If you know a healthcare professional, somebody who is vulnerable at the moment, or anyone struggling who could do with some cheer, then send Tom an email at alittlesongforthoseinneed@gmail.com, sharing some details about the person you have in mind. Over the coming weeks, Tom will write as many personalised mini songs as he can – he has already hit the 100 mark! Even though Tom is sending these songs directly to their subjects, you can listen to a song he wrote for BBC Radio 4’s Life on Lockdown here and to the rest of his beautiful music on YouTube or Spotify.

During lockdown many of us have been performing the complicated juggling act of trying to work from home while looking after children – we see you and we salute you. If you are looking for things to entertain your children, we can heartily recommend listening to Chris Riddell’s reading of his and Paul Stewart’s brilliantly inventive tale of Hugo Pepper on his YouTube channel and Jane Porter’s reading of the deliciously funny and heart-warming Brian the Brave on the Otter-Barry books channel.  Children’s writer and illustrator, Niamh Sharkey has contributed to an activity book available in the Irish Times, and this wonderful resource can also be downloaded for free here. And Emily Gravett has been hosting #drawalongwithemily sessions on her Instagram, which are fantastic fun for budding illustrators.

This week we’ve especially loved falling back into the world of Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic series. Don’t miss the lockdown diary of Becky Bloomwood, the hilarious and much-loved heroine of the series, which Sophie Kinsella has posted on her Facebook and Instagram pages. Back by popular demand, Sophie has written a second instalment – #Shopdown.

We regularly look to the awesome Bolder for life lessons from those older and wiser than us and now is no different! Dominique Afacan and Helen Cathcart are running a special edition of #BolderTogether quarantine interviews, so make sure you’re signed up as a Bolder subscriber to read the next installment. But for now, we thought we’d leave you this week with some words from the inimitable Muffie Grieve, 87 – senior world tennis champion and cover star of the Bolder book:

“Am I afraid? No! There is no point in panicking; that is a useless and negative approach to solving the problem. The coronavirus is affecting everyone in the world, none of us are exempt, so we have to look at it as a problem each one of us has to deal with. The only thing we can do is be sensible and follow the advice of the scientists. I lived through World War Two, with the hell of bombs dropping indiscriminately, killing thousands of people in the space of a few minutes; there was nothing one could do about that situation. At least in this case, we can – each one of us – fight it and wait for it to eventually subside.”

With all our best wishes,


The Soho Agency Team