Close-Up: Live Issue - Adlanders' extra-curricular activities

From painting to pig farming, Noel Bussey reveals what some adland staff get up to out of hours.

It isn't strange for the heads of any industry to have a few other little ventures going on outside of the day job, such as non-executive roles or charity work.

And advertising is no different. For example, Adam & Eve's James Murphy is on the board of the Royal Albert Hall, while Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO's Farah Ramzan Golant is involved with the Royal Opera House.

Meanwhile, Gary Sharpen, the executive creative director at WDMP, looks a little closer to home by running something called The Shelf, an awards scheme and programme aimed at young creative graduates who want to work in the integrated creative industry.

But charity doesn't have to begin at home as Natasha Adley, a young creative, has proved by setting up WalkForCrohns in 2002 to raise awareness of Crohns Disease. It has raised more than £100,000 so far.

But it would appear that the type of person advertising attracts - often just off-kilter from the norm - can favour much stranger extra-curricular activities if you do a bit of digging.

Take, for instance, DDB's Drew Leavy, who heads up an improvisation troupe, Grand Theft Impro, and creates new plays based on Shakespeare or Pinter, writes new horror novels or creates 15-minute musicals from a bare stage, an audience suggestion and four wide-open minds.

Or John Florsheim, the former chief marketing officer at Sky and now the chief executive of Homeserve, who breeds rare pigs.

Many extra curricular activities are based around hobbies or built out of a passion for something that can often be extremely strange - for example, Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R's Nick Flugge, who, on the 18th of this month, will host Crispival, the country's first festival dedicated to, yep, you got it, crisps.

Among other things, the festival, which will be held at Exmouth Market, will include The Great Crisp Quiz, taste testing, potato printing and the unveiling of the world's first alcoholic crisp.

And, of course, this being a creatively led industry, there are plenty of ways in which that creativity can be indulged.

For example, Dave Harris, a creative chief at Wunderman, is a painter, and is having his first-ever exhibition at a gallery in Battersea in November, while Mark Waldron, from RKCR/Y&R, is a poet and is having his first book of poetry published in October.

Even Hamish Pringle, the director-general of the IPA, is a keen painter and photographer.

Plus, let's not forget that adland is made up of businessmen, so some business ventures on the side are not uncommon, such as Tai Chi Nation, a company backed by Work Club's managing partner, Martin Brooks, which has been set up to bring the joys of Tai Chi to the nation, surprisingly.

Campaign asked three adlanders to give us an insight into their work outside of work.

KATE RAWLINSON - assistant, Saint; AKA Agent Lynch - burlesque dancer

My life as Agent Lynch started about two years ago when the burlesque photographer Tony Rusecki gave me his card in a nightclub and asked me to model for him.

Six months later, I did my first 60s Bond Girl-style burlesque performance just weeks into my job as an account executive for Wieden & Kennedy.

Burlesque was less mainstream then than it is now and I did think twice about telling my colleagues, but I decided to be open about it as I'm really proud of what I do. After I left the agency, W&K hired me for its Christmas party last year, which must have been a little odd for my old clients seeing me jump out of a huge glittery present with a pistol in my knickers.

Now I'm an assistant for Saint, I have more time to focus on my performance work. They are great people to work for and I even modelled for them in one of their recent ads, so I guess having someone willing to pose in diamond underwear in the office has its perks. I'm lucky they are flexible too as they have kindly given me some time off to go to Bollywood to make a film in Mumbai this month, which I'm very excited about.

Sometimes it's hard to juggle both my jobs but my experience in advertising has certainly made me think about how I market myself as a performer and also supported me along the way.

DAN DAVIS - payroll manager, Iris; breakfast DJ, South London Radio 107.3FM

For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a radio presenter. I've been working for Iris for more than three years and thought that the closest I'd get to a career in the media would be in my current role. However, things gradually started to change last October when I applied for a weekend position on the new London station South London Radio 107.3FM. Luckily, I got the gig and in April this year I took over the breakfast show.

Thankfully, Iris is amazingly supportive of its people both in and outside of work and agreed to my new start time.

Now my working day begins at 5.45 and ends around 12 hours later. The 5am alarm calls are tough but the breakfast show really is a dream. I'm proud that the listeners choose to wake up with me, especially when you consider that I'm up against Johnny Vaughan, Chris Moyles and Terry Wogan, to name just a few.

The hardest part of having two lives is transforming from breakfast DJ to payroll manager in the space of half an hour. On air I do a daily quiz and I road test the questions the day before on my colleagues in the HR team at Iris. If they know all the answers, I know it's probably too easy.

I feel incredibly luckily to be able to live my dream job on air while continuing to be part of Iris ... but if Radio 1 comes knocking, I'm sure my bosses will understand.

MARTIN NIERI - managing director, Clark McKay & Walpole; property developer

We bought Casa Alice in 2005. It's a 150-year-old, ten-bedroom townhouse in Tavira in the Algarve, and we are renovating it into a boutique hotel that will be known as Tavira House.

At the time we bought it, we were looking to make an additional property investment and having looked at numerous opportunities in London, we decided that we wanted a more interesting project than renting out a two-bedroom flat in Tooting. We have family in Tavira and so buying Casa Alice ticked most boxes, although it took a few glasses of wine over lunch to tick the final one.

Given the building is a listed one and of local historical interest, cutting through the red tape has been a long affair (amanha, which means tomorrow in Portuguese, is a word we very much now understand but deplore). But we are now motoring and will finish the work by the end of December. We then plan to open in spring next year. Tavira House will target the corporate market - making it an ideal venue for business planning/golf trips, where the entire house will be booked out - and also the leisure one, Tavira being an ever growing destination of choice for British and European holidaymakers.

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