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Copywriters on the rack #15: Chris Miller

Hello and welcome to Copywriters on the Rack. Masks are mandatory – yours has spikes in it. Right, here we go…

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

My name is Chris Miller. I am an alleged copywriter.

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

1) Did a D&AD advertising workshop.
2) Resigned from non-copywriter job.
3) Worked on putting together a portfolio in a variety of settings midway between our respective homes (e.g. the National Gallery’s café) with @blokewriter when he was still an (aspiring) art director.
4) Secured work placements.
5) Got job.

What’s the best thing about your job?

Getting something decent past the rotating knives, cheesewire and landmines.

Ooh, three of my alltime favourite things. What’s the worst?


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

Bellowing at my three sons. Being bellowed at by my three sons. Feverishly not writing a book.

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

What was your nickname at school?

Initially (and indeed latterly): CC (Christopher Charles).

What’s the stupidest thing you did as a teenager?

Turn 55. IDIOT.

Mushy peas, gravy or curry sauce?

Mushy peas wrap gravy.
Gravy blunts curry sauce.
And curry sauce cuts mushy peas.

Who would win in a fight, Val Kilmer or Valerie Singleton?

Valerie Singleton. Because her fight would be against Peter Purves.

And she’s notorious for being a bit tasty with a Stanley knife and skewer.
But Val Kilmer, equipped only with a tube of tomato purée, would be fighting an enraged family of honey badgers.

Write me three straplines for:

1) Chocolate-coated whelks.
From the yoghurt-coated-snail people™.

2) The Campaign Against Common Sense.
Balancing the TV on the side of the bath since 1972™.

3) Sidney’s Sexy Corn Plasters
There’s a reason they rhyme with porn masters™.

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

Someone less dismissive of reincarnation.

Draw me a picture of a cat going undercover as a dog (yes, I know you’re a writer, but do it anyway).

Copywriting is like tickling strangers on the N68 to Camberwell Green, discuss.

The strangers may well enjoy the sensation of the tickling. But the moment they realise that you’re the one administering it, it ceases to be OK for them. Hearing the ensuing screams, the bus driver performs an emergency stop and soon the police arrive with snarling dogs and an armed response unit. If that isn’t a metaphor for copywriting, what is?

What is love?

It’s tennis’s way of telling other sports that it doesn’t give a damn about their stupid old scoring systems.

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

I saw this atop a local shopping arcade. Meet the Lemmings.
Daddy Lemming: “Follow me, kids.”

Write me a very short story featuring: Soreen, Chlorine and a Sumo Wrestler called Maureen.

Very short story/limerick: potayto/potarto.

A sumo who swam, curvy Maureen,
Had a diet of nothing but Soreen.
She passed a green stool
’Cause she’d dropped in the pool
Her malt loaf, then tainted with chlorine.

What’s the last thing that made you laugh?

Can’t say. It would sound immodest.

What’s the last thing that made you cry?

One of the Netflix Dirty Money documentaries featuring a sweet soul being royally screwed by wealth and power. The combination of impotent fury and sadness was too much for even me and my flinty old heart to bear.

Write me dictionary definition entries for ‘Wilcock’s Lexicofantabulous Compendium of Oddities and Soddities’:

1) The Peducci Triangle
n. the moist region between the O’Malley Heptagon and Aristotle’s Rhombus.

2) Metagoffles
n. apparent bubbles of unapologetically flamboyant flatulence innocently caused by air pockets in one’s swimming trunks.

3) Schmeenly
adv. the frictionless manner in which a car washer wipes the soapsuds from your windscreen with a squeegee.

What would you do with your last tenner?

I’d send it to the Iranian widow who emailed me recently. It’d be a good investment. She needs it for a stamp so she can post me a cheque for $74,000,000. Well, if I don’t get it, the Tehran donkey sanctuary will.

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

Me: For the jackpot, Chris, what was Groucho Marx’s real first name?
Was it A: Bertrand? B: Joseph? C: Julius? Or D: Leonard?

Also me: Can I ask me?

Me: Yes.

Also me: Was it Julius?

Me: Yes, it was. So is that your final answer?

Also me: Yes, C: Julius.

Me: You’ve just won a million pounds.

Give me three reasons why I should let you go.

1) Because I’m absolutely bursting.
2) I’m starting to enjoy myself.
3) I’ve had the third “Where the hell have you got to?” text from my parole officer in under ten minutes.

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

Thanks Chris. I hope you’ve had a truly horrible time.