Category Archives: Cake Trolley


As you all know, 42 is the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything but by the time you read this, if indeed you ever do, I will no longer be 42

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On the eve of my 42nd birthday I destroying The Sumners cake trolley.  It was an act that defined my life but then I bought a Tilley hat and moved on.

As I reflect on my 42nd year on this planet, it was a strange year as I had very little work. Unfortunately in this modern world, what we do for a living can sometimes be the only thing that defines us?

When I say I did very little work, I really mean it. Endless months of waiting for the phone to ring but amongst this void I managed to cut a pilot for the best series that never got commissioned, I graded my first ever commercial which resulted in an unpleasant experience of extortion. I was involved in a failed coup, helped revamp Dragons Den and graded my first ever feature film before finishing the year in familiar territory, a cutting room at ITV.

I will be celebrating my 43rd birthday by on-lining a film for my dear friend Chris Malone who has spend most of the year filming a man, filming the Queen.

As a man who has managed to miss most of life by working, my 42nd year will be defined by the voids and how I filled them. I have had a remarkable number of new experiences in the past 12 months.

My top 10 highlights of my 42nd year are as follows, in no particular order.

1. I destroyed the cake trolley. If you don’t get it don’t worry you are in good company.

2. I was interviewed on local radio station, Bolton FM about my legendary cake trolley explosion. This led to the some not entirely complimentary fan mail but what is history but a fable agreed upon?

3. From local radio to national radio, I was spring-boarded onto the Nicky Campbell show where I bemoaned the fact that the Labour party needed to offer the nation hope. No fan mail followed

4. From local radio to national TV. Not quite sure what happened here other than I guess BBC bookers are lazy and go for the easy option?

5. I displayed my art work in a pop up art gallery. Regardless of my fan mail, I rather suspect this confirmed my place as an artist.

Pop up

6. I went to my inaugural theatre workshop and ended up selling out Bolton’s Octagon theatre in a hit musical about the futility of war. Quite some achievement for a virgin Thespian and a theme that resonates loudly with the shenanigans in Syria.

7. I won my first ever sporting trophy when I helmed my Miracle sailing dinghy to first place in Delph Sailing clubs novice series. My crew promptly retired because “I am either scared or I am bored and that is no basis for a hobby.”


Speaking of Delph, I became a director of the sailing club and having largely managed to avoid the joy of meetings all my working life, I discovered how it can take upwards of8 months to discuss changing a door handle…

8. A failed quest for Dutch wine resulted in one of the drunkenness experiences of my life. This in turn led to a forming new friendships with The Van den Bergs and The Gandhis. Almost worth the entry fee?

9. The Bongo. There is much debate about who may have been the 5th Beatle but there is no debate about who is the 7th member of our family. The Bongo is the backbone behind a life of adventure and free spirit. What a magnificent vehicle to have transported me through my 42nd year. From helping me help feed the homeless, it doubles as a holiday home, a mobile office and a makeshift dormitory.


It also became notorious when I filled in for Northern rails ineptitude and enacted a random act of kindness. I love my Bongo.

10. In despatches, I also became did a soup kitchen run, raised money for charity, had my super slowmo gimbal footage shown on North West Tonight , experienced mindfulness at Manchester art gallery, became an RTS Judge and finally became a Patron of the Arts!



Adventures aside, apart from having very little money, there is one shadow which cast itself large over my 42nd year . The death of Jo’s mother Ann.

Ann was not just the mother to my wife, she was a  friend and keen participant in one of my most enjoyable hobbies, bitching.  Ann could help create whole ludicrous back stories to people actions and personalities, I enjoyed her company and miss her. Her death broke Joanne and shook me out of a world I was creating based on my self pity.  Being strong for my wife as she dealt with losing her best friend was one of the most important roles I have ever had to play.  I am still learning my lines and am prone to occasional fluffs.


When we got the phone call, I was busy working on the worst thing I had ever worked on in my life. Battling life and death with the twins was always a journey built on a foundation of hope. The foundations of that hope was Ann’s successful fight against cancer 10 years previously. With her death, our foundations were eroded. The under pinning is ongoing.

So that was my 42nd year. A compendium of experiences and possibly the most memorable year of my life.  The twins continue to blossom and Thomas despite his considerable challenges, brings more joy to my than I could ever transcribe in prose.

As my 43rd year brings me nearer the mid point of my life than I comfortable with, I plan to grasp it by the horns and ride it for all its worth. Thank you to everyone who helped share 42 and make it one of the greatest years of my life. I love you all x

Goodbye and Thanks for all the Cake

The most frequent question I am asked about destroying the cake trolley is “Why?”

The most common answer I have to give is “Why does there have to be a why?”

If you have any knowledge of the wonderful Douglas Adams, you will know my Kickstarter campaign slug is based on the title of the 4th Hitchhikers book “So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish”. Some of this is in here.

If you know anything of the mighty KLF you will know what Jimmy Cauty and Bill Drummond are purported to have done. There was a bit of that thrown in there too.

“Will it be cathartic?” people also asked. “Not really”, I reply lying mildly, “I’m just creating a full stop.”

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93 people supported my Kickstarter campaign. Admittedly many of them were family and friends and most of them were either bullied or cajoled but some people actually gave of their own free will!

These nutters either “Got it” or felt some sympathy for me. I prefer the former explanation.

To anyone trying to raise money via Kickstarter, be warned although it is both challenging and rewarding it is also incredibly hard work  (and they take roughly 11% of the total in admin fees). I saw no other conceivable way of getting this event funded though and am extremely grateful for EVERY contribution no matter how small. I must also thanks the Stooshpr page on Facebook, It was via advice on there that I decided to add the Thai pie and  pint option for £15. This was by far my most popular donation point.


Unfortunately as very few of my ex colleagues seemed to buy into my campaign of cake trolley destruction, the fund raising became much harder than I had initially anticipated. I began to fear I may have misjudged the love of the Trolley and it would escape to live another day at Penelopes. (Ironically in the end, it almost did.)

To any of those I mercilessly harangued, I apologise for any offence caused. I hope you enjoy the video and we can one day laugh about it all over a beer?


Hard as it was and although it was definitely a squeaky bum experience, we amazingly crossed the finishing line with a magnificent transfer deadline day donation from Thomas Urbye. We then managed to add another £167 taking us comfortably into the winning straight. With the catering done at cost or better still given freely, we also managed to raise £130+gift aid for Scope on the night.

I initially didn’t want to attach the event to charity as it needed to float on its own merit but once it became clear it was in danger of making a profit it was an obvious thing to do. Thank you all who helped out with special thanks to Angela & Dave Sweeney at the Bank top Brewery, Dean & Becky Howarth from The Real Thai Pie Company and Brett Dawson at Turton Wines.

The icing on the cake, if you excuse the pun, was when in an extraordinary generous move, Paul Lilley donated the use of his high speed Phantom Flex Camera to film the event. Adam Barlow, the DOP on the night played an absolute blinder and the super slowmo footage looks, in my humble opinion, utterly stunning.

There were also numerous direct to Scope donations from well wishers who wanted to support me whilst distancing themselves from the perceived political nature of the event bringing us to just over the £200 mark if my sums are correct?

And not forgetting of course, Sitcom Soldiers who were amazing in hosting and filming the event for cost. Their studio space is fabulous and we planned to execute a video that would have been broadly like this. Anybody who works in telly should take a look at their space, its amazingly flexible. We used the derelict studio but they have 3 studios, a tremendous infinity curve and a fabulous green room area.

On the night, in front of nearly 40 people the cakes exploded magnificently but despite extensive test runs, when it came time for the trolley to detonate, like a stubborn Dibnah chimney (A bit of that in here too) it refused to go.

The charges were checked out and an extra one was added.

Take 2 – it shuddered but still nothing, was it indeed cursed?Eventually I was persuaded by a crowd baying for destruction, to finish the job with a sledgehammer. Did this feel cathartic? Possibly, but I was more concerned that the event stood on false pretenses. The spirit in the room told me otherwise.


A huge thanks again to all of those who turned up, I think you will agree it was an unforgettable evening?

So that’s that. And for anyone still looking for a bit of meaning in this act, the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything is in there if you look closely enough…