October 11, 2022

The Lightbulb: Alastair Campbell

For the second interview in our series, we sat down to discuss obsessions, inspired thinking, and optimism for the next generation with one of Rankin’s own personal inspirations: writer, communicator, and strategist, Alastair Campbell.

Best known for his role as former British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s spokesman, press secretary and director of communications and strategy, this month sees Campbell bring his political expertise to the new Channel 4 series ‘Make Me Prime Minister’, where he appears as co-host and judge alongside Baroness Sayeeda Warsi. The six-part series sees 12 ordinary - albeit opinionated - Brits with views from across the political spectrum compete in a series of challenges to see what it really takes to succeed in the cutthroat world of politics.

What has been the biggest lightbulb moment in your career?
It was probably in 1986 when I was in a psychiatric ward, having had a psychotic breakdown. I had a realisation that the problems that had got me there were created by me, and not by other people.

Where do you look for inspiration?
I look for inspiration in the younger generation. I’m working on a book, and I’m writing a chapter about Greta Thunberg. She inspires me. It’s not even about who she is and what she believes, but that she’s shown the absolute nonsense of people who say that one person can’t make a difference. I see lots of young people who depress me because they don’t care and aren’t interested, but I do also see a lot of young people who really inspire me.

What’s your weirdest obsession?
I’m a very obsessional character. My weirdest obsession is probably the fact that I can’t be anywhere near ketchup. It’s actually a condition called Mortuusequusphobia. If I’m in a restaurant and I see someone spraying ketchup all over their food, I just have to close my eyes. I can’t look at it. If it’s on the table, I have to ask somebody to move it, because I can’t touch it myself, it’s a bit weird, and it’s an obsession. I think it’s to do with blood — I’m quite squeamish.

What’s one piece of advice you live by?
I try to live by this: focus on sleep, diet and exercise.

What do you think is the key to understanding people?
Listening to them, and learning to read them — especially their eyes. We all make mistakes about people, but I do think I’m quite good at reading people now. You genuinely do have to listen, and this is the other thing that Rory Stewart and I talk about, a lot of politicians stop listening. When they become senior politicians, they just go on broadcast mode the whole time. I’m on broadcast mode a lot of the time when I’m in an argument, but if I’m out and about, I do really try to listen.

Read Alastair Campbell’s full interview with HUNGER magazine here.

Join us next month as we sit down with Asma Khan - chef and founder of Darjeeling Express, the only Indian restaurant in the world run by all women - to discuss creativity, finding inspiration, and the lightbulb moments that shaped her.

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September 30, 2022

‘Nothing can prepare you.’ For the Celebrity Issue. LIVE NOW.

In 2022, celebrity is everywhere.

From global superstars to niche influencers, platforms such as Instagram and TikTok have only increased our fascination and desire to follow, analyse and dissect some of the most famous faces and talent on the planet. No longer is it just actors, musicians and sportspeople on our radar, we now have reality television starlets, à la Kim Kardashian, ascending to the upper echelons of fame. We’re endlessly intrigued by their every move — and so, in this issue of HUNGER, we explore what celebrity really means to us as a society.

We speak to some of the culture’s most recognisable faces, including Blink-182 drummer, Travis Barker, who talks openly about the aftermath of surviving a near-fatal plane crash 14 years ago, and the joy of finding love. Next up, acting royalty, Chloë Grace Moretz and Lili Reinhart discuss the reality of growing up in the limelight and the toll that social media can take on young stars. Up and comers, including musician, Hak Baker and Showtrial actor Céline Buckens, chat about navigating newfound fame, while our Future Famous section shines a light on the stars of tomorrow, with Top Boy’s Araloyin Oshunremi leading the way.

But it wouldn’t be an issue dedicated to the reality of being famous in 2022, if we didn’t look at all aspects of celebrity culture, including those who were born into it — enter our wide-ranging conversations with Raff Law, Mabel McVey and Leni Klum. Then, there’s the other side of the coin; the stars that have come out of the social media boom. YouTube comedian and musician, Yung Filly, talks about the mental health issues that come with his breed of fame, while our ‘New Faces of Sex’ report looks into the NSFW sites that are making lucrative stars of sex workers.
Of course, we all want to know what makes a celebrity, so we consulted the experts to see how celebs are able to climb to the upper ranks of the fame game in our ‘From D-list to A-list’ feature. Our Harry Styles infographic breaks down the megastar’s success and the key to his longevity.

In the Speaker’s Corner section, experts discuss everything from the dark side of reality television to stan culture. Stand-up comedian, Daniel-Ryan Spaulding analyses how social media will allow everyone to get their “15 seconds of fame” while Bailey Slater hones in on the long-standing relationship between fashion and fame.

Finally, it wouldn’t be an issue of HUNGER without all the innovative fashion and beauty editorials to feast your eyes on. This time around, we have originality and adventure from Moncler, Off-White, Dior, Chanel, Gucci, Guerlain and more…

Get your copy now!



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