Mark Kebble: editor of Angel magazine

16 Dec

Everyone has a story. Mark Kebble was just 23 when he started editing the Angel Resident. Now that he’s in charge of a suite of Archant magazines how much does he love Angel Resident and Islington? Interview by Nicola Baird.

Mark Kebble 2015

Mark Kebble, editor of Angel Resident. (c) Archant, 2015

“Journalists need to be a master of lots of different skills,” says Mark Kebble to a class of attentive University of Arts* first year degree students based at Elephant & Castle’s London College of Communication (once known as London College of Printing) and still a centre for turning out talented journalists.

And Mark knows about talent. Not only is he a whizz at Teeline shorthand, and management, after all he has edited Angel Resident for the past 11 years, he also reckons he was the first magazine editor to put Benedict Cumberbatch on the cover.

Some of the perks of Mark’s job are interviewing celebrities with an Islington link. Benedict Cumberbatch was starring at the Almeida Theatre. “ I saw him in a show and he was superb so I got him on the cover. It’s my claim to fame! I had to fight my case. I’m proud to know that the Angel was the first to put him on the cover… Now he’s everywhere.”

He’s also interviewed impressive James Nesbitt (who starred in the cult show, Cold Feet). Sadly this was an interview that Mark remembers went badly wrong when he insulted Nesbitt’s football team on the day Arsenal had beaten Man Utd.

And he’s interviewed Peter Capaldi – now Dr Who, but at the time famous as the scary, sweary, spin doctor, Malcolm Tucker from the TV show The Thick Of It.

Screenshot 2015-12-16 10.18.14

Mark Kebble,editor of Angel Resident since 2004. (c) Archant

Places Mark Kebble from Angel Resident likes in Islington

  • The Almedia.

  • I’m always blown away by Sadler’s Wells and I don’t even really like dance.

  • Even though I don’t live in Islington I go up there and know everyone!

20151212_123400 (1)“Interviews are best if they are like a conversation – as if you are having a coffee with that person,” advises Mark who also takes a list of questions and always does as much research as he can before meeting his interviewee.

Archant Group Editor Mark Kebble with Year 1 BA students from London College of Communication, University of the Arts.

Archant Group Editor Mark Kebble with Year 1 BA students from London College of Communication, University of the Arts.

“Interviewing feels very natural now, I’ve done so many, and I don’t really think about doing them,” says Mark to the LCC students, but he has tricks. “I like to make everyone feel important. It’s easy now. But in my first year when I was really interested in music and film I’d sometimes feel that I hadn’t spent three years studying to talk to a man who made radiators. Then I interviewed a guy who made radiators and he was a great chap,” admits Mark who is a very friendly person.

Loving North & South
Mark was brought up in south London where he still lives, but he enjoys working in Islington. “I love both areas equally and I will probably stay in South London. But I know Islington so well and like bashing the local drum – there are so many people and places in the area who are doing great things. And I’m never short of a story. There are great theatres, there’s a choice of celebrity interviewees and I get to meet very interesting people – and I’ve made good friends too,” says the unflappable Mark.

Mark’s tip for getting a good story, whether you are on locals or nationals, or are just sending a tweet is to get it right. “I’m devastated if there’s a mistake,” says Mark, “even if it’s just the wrong postcode.”

He also suggests limiting journalists to just one in-depth interview a day. “Then you can do it really properly, and be focussed on that person. When I was younger I was a bit more blasé.”

Now that Mark is a Group Editor of Archant, based at Kensington’s W14 media village interviews aren’t the only perk: there are also free holidays (he’s just off to Dubai for a week), restaurant reviews and travel opportunities. “It’s a very nice job,” he says – and one that he does supremely well.

Words*
The University of the Arts now incorporates several Islington campuses including St Martin’s School of Art at King’s Cross and fabulous new accommodation blocks such as Sketch House at Finsbury Park. 

Over to you
If you’d like to nominate someone to be interviewed who grew up, lives or works in Islington, or suggest yourself, please let me know, via nicolabaird.green at gmail.com. Thank you.

If you liked this interview please SHARE on twitter or Facebook or join the Facebook group. Even better follow islingtonfacesblog.com (see menu top right) or follow me on twitter @nicolabairduk

This blog is inspired by Spitalfields Life written by the Gentle Author.

If you enjoyed this post you might like to look at the A-Z  index, or search by interviewee’s roles or Meet Islingtonians to find friends, neighbours and inspiration. Thanks for stopping by. Nicola

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