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The Judges

THE ART AND DESIGN CHALLENGE JUDGES

Val & MARTIN ADAMSON - Sculptors

Working from their Studio in Chalford, Martin & Val Adamson have been sculptors for twenty years.

Val’s work is figurative and she runs highly regarded figurative classes from the Studio, as well as teaching at Universities and various Art Bodies.

Martin’s sculptures have developed from an attention to detail gained whilst working for companies such as Aardman and the BBC. His animal sculpts demonstrate his ability to capture the character of his subject and his most recent sculpt has been shortlisted for the Wildlife Artist of the Year 2020.

Both sculptors exhibit their work at various shows throughout the year.

The Rt Hon Countess Bathurst

The Rt Hon Countess Bathurst has previously served as the High Sheriff of Gloucestershire and lives on the 15,000 acre estate at Cirencester Park.

George Butler - ARTIST and illustrator

George Butler is an award winning artist and illustrator specialising in travel and current affairs. His drawings, done in situ are in pen, ink and watercolour. In August 2012 George walked from Turkey across the border into Syria, where as guest of the rebel Free Syrian Army he drew the civil war damaged, small and empty town of Azaz. Over the last ten years his desire to record scenes in ink rather than with a camera has meant he has witnessed some extraordinary moments; refugee camps in Bekaa Valley, in the oil fields in Azerbaijan, in Gaza with Oxfam, in Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Myanmar, in a neo-Nazi murder trial in Munich, on an oil rig in the north sea, down a Ghanian gold mine... the list goes on.

His drawings have been published by The Times (London), Monocle, New York Times, the Guardian, BBC, CNN, Der Spiegel, ARD television Germany, NPR. His work has been shown in the Imperial War Museum North and the V&A Museum which also holds some of his work in the National Archive.

Tessa Campbell Fraser - Sculptor and Artist

Tessa Campbell Fraser is a renowned animal and figurative sculptor who has exhibited widely in the UK and abroad. Tessa has won many awards and exhibited work at the Royal Academy Summer Show, Sculpture at Goodwood and a solo show at the Natural History Museum. Her bronzes are held in private collections including those of Her Majesty the Queen, Sir Jackie Stewart, the Household Cavalry and Knuthenborg Safari Park, Denmark. She has completed several major bronze commissions, including a group of life-size guinea fowl, three half life-size elephants, a life-size Highland Stag, three life-size hippos and in 2011 three life size Highland Cattle. She currently lives in Oxfordshire with her husband, comedian Rory Bremner.

Tracey Elphick

I studied fine art at Falmouth Art College and went on to become Head of Art at Kingshill School. Now I work as a full time professional artist from my studio at the New Brewery Arts in Cirencester. Being open to the public I enjoy daily interaction with my customers and I sell a wide range of originals, prints, and cards from here, online, and through various galleries in the South West.

My work is varied, portraying local street scenes, seascapes, harbour views and still life in both acrylic and oils.

Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen

Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen is a British self-styled homestyle consultant and TV personality, best known for his appearances on the BBC programme Changing Rooms. The famous interior designer has become known for his opulent style and penchant for maximalism. He has a country home in the Cotswolds where he lives with his wife Jackie.

Amy Murrell – Interiors and Lifestyle photographer

I’m an interiors and lifestyle photographer and love to focus on beautifully shot imagery that captures places and people at their most natural. I work with clients ranging from designers and advertising agencies to luxury global brands, travel companies and international hotel groups such as the Soho Houses group, Limewood Hotel and the experiential team at Heathrow airport. As well as lifestyle, I also shoot weddings and love capturing moments that will serve as reminder of a beautiful time in your life. http://www.amymurrell.co.uk

DARRELL WARNER - Artist and Costume concept illustrator

Darrell Warner is an International Award Winning Artist & Illustrator based in the Cotswolds, UK. Traditionally trained he graduated from Falmouth School of Art in 1984 with Distinctions in drawing and painting. Although trained in oils, Darrell paints exclusively in Watercolour, constantly trying to push the perceptions of that medium.

With over 35 years of professional practice, supplying high quality artwork to the advertising, publishing, editorial & movie industries, he has for the past 20 years specialised in modern portraiture & the very disciplined area of Costume Concept Illustration for Feature Film. Subsequently this makes Darrell a very unique artist who constantly strives to produce timeless portraits and is highly admired within those realms. Films he has worked on include Black Panther, Pirates of the Caribbean, Spiderman, Rocketman and The Mummy.

THE CREATIVE WRITING CHALLENGE JUDGES

Paul Cornell – Novelist, Screenwriter and Comic Writer

Paul Cornell is a writer of television, prose and comics, with TV credits including Elementary, Doctor Who and Primeval. His creator-owned comics include Saucer Country and This Damned Band, and he’s written acclaimed runs on titles such as Action Comics and Wolverine for Marvel and DC. He’s a member of George R.R. Martin’s Wild Cards Collective, and has worked with Neil Gaiman, Stan Lee, Russell T. Davies and Steven Moffat. He’s won a BSFA Award for his short fiction, an Eagle Award for his comics and shares in a Writer’s Guild Award for Doctor Who. His Lychford novellas are rural fantasies set in a small Cotswolds market town very like the one in which he lives with his wife and son.

Simon Kernick – Author

Simon Kernick is one of Britain’s most exciting thriller writers, a mainstay of the bestseller lists for almost two decades. He arrived on the crime writing scene with his highly acclaimed debut novel The Business of Dying, the story of a corrupt cop moonlighting as a hitman. Simon’s big breakthrough came with his novel Relentless which featured in the Richard & Judy Book Club and became the biggest selling thriller of 2007. His latest book, “Die Alone”, is out now.

Sarah Pinborough – Novelist and Screenwriter

Sarah is a New York Times and Sunday Times bestselling novelist and screenwriter. She has published more than 20 novels, has written forhe BBC and is currently working with several television companies on original projects. Her recent novels include the dystopian love story, “The Death House”, and a teenage thriller, “13 Minutes” which has been bought by Netflix with Josh Schwartz adapting. Her adult novel, the psychological thriller, Behind Her Eyes, has sold to more than twenty territories worldwide and has been adapted into a six-part series for Netflix, to be broadcast later this summer.

Fiona Sampson - Poet and Author

Fiona Sampson is a leading British poet and writer. Published in thirty-seven languages, she’s received international awards in the US, India, Macedonia, Albania and Bosnia. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, Fellow of the English Association and Fellow of the Wordsworth Trust, she’s received an MBE from the Queen For Services to Literature, and published twenty-seven books. National prizes include the Newdigate Prize, Cholmondeley Prize, Hawthornden Fellowship, and numerous awards from the Arts Councils of England and of Wales, Society of Authors, Poetry Book Society and the Arts and Humanities Research Council. A former violinist, she is also a broadcaster and newspaper critic, a librettist and literary translator, and was editor of Poetry Review 2005-12.

Her biography, In Search of Mary Shelley (2018), has been internationally critically acclaimed and was shortlisted for the Biographers Club Slightly Foxed Prize. The poems in her new poetry collection Come Down (published Feb 2020) have received two major European prizes, the 2019 Naim Frashëri Laureateship of Albania and Macedonia, and the 2020 European Lyric Atlas Prize, Bosnia. She is Professor of Poetry at the University of Roehampton, and has recently completed a new biography of Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

Kevin Wignall – Author

Kevin Wignall is the bestselling author of more than a dozen books for adults and young adults, as well as a number of acclaimed short stories. One of his novels, The Hunter’s Prayer, was turned into a movie starring Sam Worthington and Odeya Rush, and one of his short stories, Retrospective, was turned into a short film starring Charles Dance. People Die, When We Were Lost and To Die in Vienna are all currently in development in Hollywood.

The Innovation and Entrepreneurial Thinking Challenge Judges

GEOFF BURCH - AWARD WINNING INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS KEYNOTE SPEAKER, BEST SELLING BUSINESS AUTHOR AND TV PRESENTER

Geoff Burch is an internationally acknowledged authority on Change, Leadership, Sales and Customers. An inspirational speaker who has a genuine in-depth understanding of business, has made Geoff one of the most respected authorities speaking today.

A best-selling author and business guru, Geoff has been voted ‘Business Communicator of the Year’ by the UK Speechwriters’ Guild and is considered to be one of Europe’s most exciting and motivational business experts, working extensively with major global blue chip and FTSE 100 companies to inspire, motivate and inform their people.

Geoff contributes to, and presents on, TV and radio programmes, including starring in the popular ‘All Over the Shop’ series on BBC2 helping small businesses to survive and thrive, and is also a regular business presenter on BBC1. Popular titles include, ‘Resistance is Useless’, ‘Go It Alone’, ‘Writing on the Wall’, ‘The Way of the Dog’, ‘Irresistible Persuasion’, and his latest publication ‘Self Made Me’. The Press referred to Geoff as ‘The Hell’s Angel of Management Consultancy’ and ‘The World’s Most Persuasive Man’, Later magazine called him ‘Britain’s Toughest Business Guru’ and the Daily Mirror said ‘He makes selling a joy’.

Phil Duff

Phil Duff is one of the most well respected entrepreneurs in the equestrian industry. His experience with leading equestrian and country lifestyle brands is second to none. Phil’s experience in the equestrian industry began in 1983 with the launch of his innovative clothing brand, HAC-TAC.

In 1997 through his SMD Group company, he introduced ARIAT to the UK market and by 2010 had grown ARIAT sales by 30%, year on year. He fulfilled another ambition, selling the company that he had created and took on a new challenge, establishing the structure for ARIAT to become the number one footwear brand not just in the UK, but also throughout Europe, the Middle East, southern Africa and Japan.

In 2014 Phil embarked on a career as an independent business management consultant; he presently holds a number of long-standing, non-executive director roles and is on the Board of FAIRFAX & FAVOR, Finest Brands (TOGI and CHAMPION helmets), HICKS & BROWN and Animalife. Between 2014 and 2019 he was tasked by Hugh Thomas, Director of Badminton International Horse Trials, to evolve the trade stand village and to enhance the consumer experience at this world famous event. He remains the trade advisor on the Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials Steering committee.

In 2016, he became a Freeman of The Worshipful Company of Saddlers and is active in the Company’s charitable work. He is a Freeman of the City of London.

Nicky Godding

Nicky Godding is the Co-owner and Editor in Chief at NK Media Ltd, which publishes Business & Innovation Magazine, the fast-growing, editorially-led regional business magazine. Before launching NK Media in 2017, Nicky was a freelance journalist and PR consultant specialising in international retail.

Suzannah Harvey – Cotswold Airport CEO/GROUP MD

Following four years as a consultant in the recruitment industry, Suzannah started Universal Model Management Ltd in 2003, a successful model and promotions agency with over 1000 personalities represented world-wide. In 2007 Suzannah began organising the corporate entertainment at Cotswold Airport and, in 2008, has taken a full-time post as a Director looking after marketing, events and business development. In June 2012, Suzannah was appointed as CEO and Group MD.

A champion of getting women into the sport, Suzannah has launched her own polo team and runs a scholarship programme helping 12 children aged 14 -18 to receive flight training and experience all sectors of the aviation industry.

Adam Henson

Adam Henson is perhaps the best-known farmer in the UK, presenting his own section on BBC’s Countryfile to millions of viewers each Sunday evening. Adam Henson runs the Cotswold Farm Park which his father started.

Henson’s television career started in 2001 when he was successful in gaining a presenting position on the BBC’s Countryfile programme. Since this time he has worked on programmes such as Countryfile Summer Diaries and also worked on BBC Radio 4’s On Your Farm and Farming Today. In November 2013 he starred alongside Nigel Slater on Nigel and Adam’s Farm Kitchen as they tried to get people back in touch with where our food comes from.

In 2015 Adam presented a series of BBC1’s Secret Britain with Ellie Harrison and has also presented Countryfile Summer Diaries, Big Wildlife Revival, BBC2’s Coast and Inside Out. Adam has a column in Countryfile magazine, as their resident farmer, as well as the Cotswold Life magazine.

Verity Manners

Verity Manners is the co-owner of Wrag Barn Golf Club near Highworth. Verity and her husband Tim have expanded and diversified the business over the years to include not just a wonderful 18-hole golf course, but also a stunning venue for weddings, parties, and tribute nights. The Club house has panoramic views of the countryside from the fabulous balcony overlooking the 18th green and Verity has turned it into the perfect leisure facility.

Caroline Summers – The Paperback Shop

The Paperback Shop is one of the most successful online booksellers in the world.

The Paperback Shop started life in a refurbished cowshed and now occupies a large commercial site in Fairford. With a team of 50 employees, the company recently celebrated their 20th anniversary and are very proud to have achieved this milestone. Sales Director, Caroline Summers, believes that The Paperback Shop leads the way and is a real innovator. The Paperback Shop: https://paperbackshop.co.uk.

Jeevan Thandi

Jeevan Thandi is a senior software engineer currently working at ride-hailing provider ‘Karhoo’ (https://www.karhoo.com) on the Karhoo ‘iOS and Android SDKs’. (https://developer.karhoo.com/docs/build-apps-using-sdks). This platform allows any company or organisation to offer ride-hailing and vehicle transport to their end users.
Jeevan started making websites and smartphone apps as a secondary school / college student at Bradon Forest School and Cirencester College. His first business started in Cirencester College thanks to the Young Enterprise scheme in 2013. Since then over the last 7 years he has worked for various tech startups in London as a consultant, application engineer and software development manager.

Jeevan also produces music (https://www.soundcloud.com/airlaorg) and writes poems on instagram (www.instagram.com/airlaorg) in his spare time.