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Copywriters on the rack #14: Katie Thompson

Hello and welcome to Copywriters on the Rack. Make yourself very uncomfortable and I’ll begin.

Who are you and what do you do to pay the bills?

Hi, I’m Katie and I make jokes when I’m uncomfortable. I write website copy, blog posts, magazine features, press releases and angry tweets to Tesco when they deliver bad spinach. Not such a great earner, that last one.

What was your career path to get to where you are now?

Back int’ day I worked in print media. I was editorial assistant at a few local magazines while training with the NCTJ. (I also had a relatively useless Spanish and Linguistics degree. Hola.)

I moved to a new magazine, got fired for suggesting Morocco wasn’t in Europe, then moved into a content mill where I managed a freelance writing team.

Soon after I discovered they couldn’t pay their staff, I got a propa job in a digital marketing agency. I worked there for three years while building my ‘side hustle’, Katie Lingo. Left the job, trained with the CIM and the rest, as they say, is history.

What’s the best thing about your job?

Megalomania. I choose the clients.

What’s the worst?

Bad briefs and amends…as a result of bad briefs.

How do you fill the gaps when you’re not doing the day job?

Did I mention I’m a five-time marathoner? That never comes up. Also failing to learn guitar at the mo.

Now we’ve got the formalities out of the way, let’s go rogue:

What makes your toes curl?

Michael Gove.

What makes you go mmmmm…?

Regé-Jean Page.

Who would win in a fight, S Club 7 or Maroon 5?

Are there actually five people in Maroon 5? S Club 7, hands down. That Jo looks mean and Maroon 5 would run off to a payphone, trying to call home. Haar de haaar.

If you were alone on a desert island for a month, what 6 items would you take with you? (they have to fit in a Morrison’s bag for life and yes, you can keep the bag)

1) A Swiss army knife because I am no Tom Hanks.
2) A picture of my cat next to the Christmas tree. It’s cute as.
3) Matches! Bear Grylls has nothing on me, tsssk.
4) Sensible shoes.
5) I want to say a guitar but that’s not allowed so perhaps a Rubik’s Cube to keep my brain active.
6) Hub’s going to be v. offended I’ve not included him. He can be in the photo. Hmm…some sort of everlasting food packed with preservatives, perhaps? How about Twinkies?

Write me three straplines for:

1) The world’s worst greasy spoon

Escupimos en su alimento.

2) The Campaign for Human Kindness

Because Twitter ruined everything.

 3) Mike Tyson’s US Presidency posters

The Hangover. Part IV.

What would you like to come back as, if there’s a next time?

Melania Trump. I’d wake up one day in our relatively crappy Mar-a-Lago mansion and walk out on Trump, a-la-Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. BIG mistake.

I like your style. Now, draw me a picture of Kevin The Disco Sloth (yes I know you’re a writer, but do it anyway).

What’s the worst thing anyone’s ever said to you?

The year is 2001. My mother is watching The Exorcist.

“She’s about your age. That could happen to you.”

I like your Mum’s style too! Now, what is love?

Accepting their flaws and being honest about it. If you ask me, you’re not a superfan of anyone’s music if you think it’s all amazing. Hang Cool Teddy Bear was a terrible album, Meat Loaf, but do I still love you? Yes I do.

Pick a random pic from your camera roll and tell us about it.

Here I am at Comic Con in 2018, about to meet my hero, Ade Edmondson. As you can see, other fans made more of an effort.

Is there anyone you’d like to say thank you to?

Craig, the wife. Aaaaaaw.

Anyone you’d like to say sorry to?

Anybody who did Dry January. I’m trying February and it’s terrifying.

Write me a very short story featuring: Benedict Cumberbatch, semolina pudding and false eyelashes

“Do you think casting Benners to play a zombie Pat Butcher was a bad call?” said the director.

“Too late now,” said the gaffer. “We’ve spunked the budget on him. Make-up’s had to resort to semolina.”

“Semolina? As in, that weird soggy stuff?”


Over in the distance, a rather unfortunate work experience lass tried tirelessly to apply false eyelashes to a very soggy face. As it turned out, Mr Cumberbatch was far from the perfect gentleman we’ve all seen on the telly. Scowls, scoffs, C-bombs – the lot.

“It’s no use. This make-up just isn’t sticking,” sighed the stylist. “Shall we try the earrings?”

The gaffer’s ears pricked up. Budgets, budgets, budgets.

“Bit short on those, Jen,” he replied. He gestured to a conspicuous toy box, which apparently contained props.

“Anal beads?”

Dear reader, in case you were wondering (Ed)

What’s the last thing that made you laugh?

Handforth Parish Council. By the time this goes live, HPC will probably make no sense.

What’s the last thing that made you cry?

It’s a Sin. Give us back Colin, oh Lord – take me instead!

Make up your own question and tell me whatever you want to get off your chest.

If you could go back and do it all again, what would you change?

To get off my chest…hmmm. You’ve caught me on a good day. Why can’t Spotify allow two users at once? That’s marginally annoying.

At this point, the dungeon master realised the above question was open to more than one interpretation. And that the victim may not deliver one question that allowed her to get something off her chest, as intended. Rather than worry about semantics, he simply cranked the wheel another quarter turn and laughed maniacally. (Ed)

Give me three reasons why I should let you go.

1) The world needs a clown.
2) I sing loudly when I am bored.
3) I know where you live.

And before I remove the shackles, tell us where we can find you online.

Katie, it’s been a twisted pleasure. Now get out of my dungeon!