Karen with Mayor of Pendle, Neil Butterworth (right) and Mayoress of Pendle, Victoria Fletcher (left)

Editor’s Letter – Who the ‘Eck’s That? Mar/Apr 22

by Karen Shaw

And now, it’s time to turn the spotlight on our home-grown heroes when I invite them onto ‘Karen’s Couch’

Over the last 17 years I’ve had the pleasure of chatting to hundreds of celebrities – from stars of stage and screen, rock stars to pop stars through to inspirational folk like Terry Waite and Sir Ranulph Fiennes. Some of you will have been familiar with my interviewees, others, may have questioned– who the ’eck are they? Never ’erd of ’em!’ 

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the term ‘celebrity’ and what it actually means. The dictionary’s definition states it’s ‘a famous person’, and the definition of the word ‘famous’ is ‘known about by many people’. 

Throughout my time as editor of Northern Life I’ve had the good fortune to meet some wonderful folk, you know the ones – the ones who light up a room when they enter, radiate positivity and are intent on making a difference in their community. They may not be household names, appear on TV or perform a triple salko while Dancing on Ice, but, nevertheless, these are people who inspire others without seeking acclaim, these are the folk who embody the true definition of celebrity. 

“As someone with an abundance of kindness for his fellow man along with a bucket full of true northern grit, he, in my opinion is the very definition of a celebrity

And now, it’s time to turn the spotlight on our home-grown heroes when I invite them onto ‘Karen’s Couch’ – a new, regular feature where I interview local, northern celebrities, over a brew. For my first-ever ‘Karen’s Couch’ interview I invited the Mayor of Pendle, Neil Butterworth, round for a chat, the former army sergeant talks passionately about how helping others is the secret of his success, and how he dealt with losing the love of his life through to staring suicide in the face. As someone with an abundance of kindness for his fellow man along with a bucket full of true northern grit, he, in my opinion is the very definition of a celebrity… so, if you’ve ’erd of him or not, after reading his interview I’m sure you’ll be a firm fan. 

If you know a Northern Life celebrity with an incredible tale to tell – maybe a community champion, someone who goes above and beyond and has overcome adversity, yet continues to thrive, then email me, karen@looppublishing.co.uk, and I’ll invite them onto Karen’s Couch for a brew and a chat (once I’ve scraped Barnsley’s cat hairs off with a damp cloth!) 

Barnsley and Karen’s Couch

Once again, I’ve rabbited on, but I’m so egg-cited about the latest egg-dition… 

Craig Andrews tells us why he’ll be walking from the centre spot of Wembley Stadium in London the centre spot of Valley Parade in time for the home game on Good Friday. 

Former police woman turned photographer, Michelle Howell shares her wonderful wildlife images and Laura Grace Conway tells us how capturing the great outdoors with her camera has been a great healer. 

Geoff Crambie amuses us with tales of his grandfather Carel, who enjoyed clowning around with Buffalo Bill and we doff our caps by order of the Peaky Blinders when former press photographer Eddy Rawlinson shares a few of his favourite captures of Chaps and their Caps. 

Do you ever get that gut feeling that all’s not well with your belly? Then be sure to read our chat with the Macfarlane twins, authors of new book, The Gut Stuff about how maintaining a healthy gut is vital for our wellbeing, and we discover the importance of including fermented foods into our diet. 

For those of you who prefer to go wild in the country, rather than stay in a cosy hotel, then we investigate the laws surrounding camping in the wilderness. We also uncover the dark secrets behind our favourite fluffy fairy tales, offer tips on how to avoid hoarding, and now that spring has sprung, let’s not forget our egg-cellent Easter what’s on guide, packed full of places to visit. Right, I’ll stop yolking about and let you enjoy the read, I’ve so many egg puns… it’s just not bunny! 

I hope you enjoy our latest offering.