Niche work if you can get it

I’ve been a journalist for seven years now. I got into it for the same reason as most others do; writing is something I’ve always enjoyed doing and I’m a little bit nosey too.

Back when I earned my qualification, I had what I now think of as the slightly gauche notion that I would soon be on the staff of something like Empire or Four Four Two. I also remember saying that I would never get married or have kids; stupid boy. These daft ideas aside, however, I could be forgiven for thinking I wouldn’t end up with a quirky claim to fame either. Yet that is exactly what has happened. Last week, I discovered that I have worked on not one but two of the niche publications to have ended up on the guest slot on Have I Got News For You?

The first one catered for a very particular audience and was called The Router. For anyone who isn’t quite sure what a router is – and I’m confident in saying that there are those who don’t, as one high street newsagent hilariously always had it in its computing section – it’s a machine that you can use to complete woodwork projects.

To be honest, I didn’t really understand the technical side of things – I was hired for the spelling, grammar and news writing – but, fortunately, there were experts at hand. As well as being on the editorial team, I was also actually on the cover of one issue, oh yeah. And if you don’t believe me, check this out…

I’ve still got the T-shirt too…
Strangely enough, the issue I was on probably became a collectable to the real enthusiasts out there as it was the last ever one before it was rebranded as Router & Power Woodworking. Now there’s another slightly odd claim to fame. Four years ago, I bade farewell to said magazine and its sister publication, Woodturning, to go to work on guest publication number two.

This one is not quite as niche but certainly an object of amusement to my friends: The Cat magazine, the official publication of the charity Cats Protection. While cats are great pets, you could be forgiven for thinking this title could be a bit dull. You’d be wrong, however. In my time as one of the team on The Cat, I’ve interviewed some really interesting people including a real-life pet detective, an adjudicator from the Guinness Book of Records and a whole host of genuinely nice celebrities. I’ve also been to a few award ceremonies, been shouted at by Brian Blessed and been in some viral videos.

So do I regret working on magazines that others would deem unfashionable? Hell no. You can find creativity in the strangest of places and the titles they happily mock on Have I Got News For You are no exception. In fact, I consider my unusual achievement of working on two of them as something of a medal of honour. Best of all though, Cats Protection is where I met Kate and ultimately became her husband and Dylan’s Daddy. See? You can find your niche where you’re least expecting it.


  1. Chuckalicious

    Now that is very cool indeed and if you can make a living from doing something like that you are very very lucky. I for one would love to make a living doing something such as writing, but I have no idea if I’m capable or if someone would pay for what I can produce!

    Funny to think that we (my wife an I) used to get the Cats Protection mag when we were cat nutters!

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