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All Posts By FEAST Editorial Team

UK Music Welcomes Amendments On An “Agent Of Change” Principle To Government’s Planning Bill

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The music industry welcomes amendments to tomorrow’s Planning Bill that would place an “agent of change” principle on a statutory basis in to UK law.

Tabled by the Opposition, an “agent of change” principle would offer respite to venues all over the UK.  The music industry is seeing a marked decline in grassroots venues all over the UK.  In London alone there has been a staggering 35% decline over eight years.  Without grassroots venues, there is nowhere for emerging music to find its feet.

The “agent of change” principle ensures that a new development must shoulder responsibility for compliance when situated near an existing music venue.  Similarly, if a music venue opens in a residential area, it too would be responsible for complying with residential requirements.

Leading the charge to save grassroots music venues is Labour’s Shadow DCMS Secretary of State Michael Dugher MP.  Dugher appeared on the “UK Music presents: Turning Words into Actions” panel at Venues Day 2015.  His amendments are a fitting response to the strength of feeling he felt that day.

Senior music industry figures said in response to the amendments:-

Jo Dipple, CEO, UK Music –

“Grassroots music venues are under threat.  They are closing. These venues are the hands that hold the heart of the British music industry.  Without them there are no hubs for creativity, stages for talent or homes for emerging artists.  These small and grassroots venues create a platform for our industry, one that contributes £4.1 billion to the UK economy.  I am incredibly grateful to Michael Dugher MP and John Healey MP who recognise that something needs to give.  Their leadership in this matter is welcome. I urge Government to support the introduction of these amendments into law.”

Mark Davyd, CEO, Music Venue Trust –

“We welcome this important opportunity to take a common sense approach to Housing and Planning. Grassroots music venues are culturally significant spaces, incubating UK music talent at the very earliest stage of their careers. By adopting agent of change principles, we not only ensure these spaces are protected, we also contribute to the development of higher quality residential development in towns and cities. Residents and culture can happily co-exist in our towns and cities, and Agent of Change is a simple supporting measure that encourages that outcome.”

Dave Webster, National Organiser Live Performance, Musicians’ Union –

“This amendment, if carried will help to ensure the many venues supporting live music and  providing community assets across the UK can continue to exist. Relaxation of planning laws allowing inner city, often redundant commercial buildings, to be turned into residential accommodation has in many cases adversely affected venues nationwide.”

Paul Reed, General Manager, Association of Independent Festivals –

“We fully support the introduction of the agent of change principle in the UK. It is a very common sense mechanism and has already been adopted in Australia. This would ensure protection for both grassroots venues and residents. The simple fact is, it would be impossible to create the festival headliners of tomorrow without the grassroots venues that enable emerging artists to develop and hone their craft”.

Andy Lenthall, General Manager, Production Services Association –

“A healthy supply of music venues is not only important for musicians to hone their craft, it is essential for the continued supply of new technicians to add to our world class supply of backstage support for live music. The Production Services Association, as the representative body for these technicians, welcome any move designed to protect the venues that are crucial to our sector.”

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Over 50% Of Brits Lie To Their Children To Ensure They Believe In Father Christmas

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Research has revealed that 52% of parents fib when asked difficult questions from their children at Christmas time, whilst a fifth of parents turn to Google to help out. Other surprising statistics included:

  • Fifty-two per cent of parents will fib when asked a difficult question;
  • Seventy-four per cent of parents believe the magic of Santa is the most important part of Christmas;
  • Most parents believe their children shouldn’t question Father Christmas until they are 10-years-old.

Every year, Father Christmas is pulled around the world by flying reindeer in his quest to deliver presents to billions of children. However, by age 7 1/2, 45% of youngsters will question the legitimacy of his existence, leaving parents lost for words as they struggle to respond to this interrogation. This coming weekend, Mrs. Claus will be visiting WestQuay, Highcross and Cabot Circus shopping centres to meet children and parents alike, set the record straight and help reignite the Christmas spirit across the nation.

Mrs. Claus will be heading to WestQuay, Highcross and Cabot Circus to take part in a live Q&A. She said: “We are always getting letters for Santa Claus here at the North Pole from curious children. Obviously, this is his busiest time of year so he needs to stay focused on getting everything ready for the big day, so I’m taking a little road trip to speak to the nation. I’ll be answering any questions they might have – I’m his wife after all I’ve got the inside knowledge.”

Alex Thomas, regional marketing manager, said: “We’re so excited to have Mrs Claus in centre this year, Christmas is such an important time of year for families so we want to make sure parents are prepared for any questions their little ones might have and help them reignite the Christmas joy in their homes.”

The centre’s have asked Mrs Claus to answer the most common questions children ask to arm parents with the information they need.


How does he manage to eat billions of mince pies?

 It takes millions of calories to fly around the world in one night so they keep him fuelled – he’s the gold medallist in his field.

How does he get into houses without chimneys?

He has a magic key which only works on Christmas Eve and allows him to access every house, chimney or not.

Why can’t normal reindeer fly?

Santa’s reindeers are a rare festive breed related to the pegasus but they can only fly in December – we take them on some practice flights, you need to be prepared after all.

Why does Father Christmas look different in every grotto?

He looks different in different lights and he likes a variety of outfits – it’s a nightmare keeping them all clean!

How old is he?

He stopped counting a while ago…! But he’s older than the tooth fairy and younger than the Easter Bunny.

With festive fun for all of the family, WestQuay, Cabbot Circus and Highcross will be offering extended opening hours this Christmas, to ensure that visitors can truly enjoy the most magical time of the year. Parking after 5PM is just £1 in our multi-storey car park.

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Responsible Reporting Or Sensationalist Headlines?

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A prominent article in The Telegraph newspaper reported: “Martin Grootveld, a professor of bioanalytical chemistry and chemical pathology, said that his research showed “a typical meal of fish and chips”, fried in vegetable oil contained as much as 100 to 200 times more toxic aldehydes than the safe daily limit set by the World Health Organisation.”

This is the most recent of several articles in prominent publications quoting experts giving cause for concern using vegetable oil and promoting the use of olive oil.
As a producer of cold pressed rapeseed oil, married to an agriculturist involved in the production of rapeseed amongst other foodstuffs, I am fully supportive of gaining better understanding of the benefits or indeed risks of the food we produce and how we consume it.
I am concerned that some reports in reputable news publications are sensationalised and use scaremonger tactics and are potentially influenced by large PR budgets of interested parties.
My own interpretation of very many scientific articles and which I would suggest most people would already understand is that:
 It is advisable that deep fried food is consumed occasionally rather than regularly
 Oil degrades after use and all chefs understand and adhere to strict guidelines of when to discard
 Saturated fat can cause heart problems when consumed excessively
 It is advisable to have a balanced diet with fresh ingredients produced responsibly

From the perspective of research information on rapeseed oil I would recommend the website: and from personal experience our cold pressed rapeseed oil does not denature when used for cooking at high temperatures. The plant based omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids found naturally in rapeseed oil that are understood to be beneficial from some scientific research are transferred in significant proportion to food when cooked with our oil. This was evidenced when we sent potato crisps cooked in our oil for independent testing.

Author: Angie Curwen, Managing Director, AMC Foods Ltd, producers of Kentish Oils, Kent Crisps & The British Oil & Relish Co product ranges.

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De SOUSA Champagne And Its Talented Brut Tradition

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A favourite Christmas drink with its effervescent fizz, champagne will truly sparkle this year with the De SOUSA Brut Tradition.

This renowned champagne is a well-balanced combination of grape varieties: 50% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Black and 10% Pinot Meunier. It also includes 20% ‘reserve wines’, which give it a rounded and rich finish characteristic of big champagnes.

The balance is also perfect when accompanying food: completely vinified in vats, it brings freshness and liveliness to the table, from the aperitif to the Christmas pudding! Its floral notes from white flowers, citrus and ripe pears gives it a lively and smooth palate and a round and creamy texture that goes perfectly with the finest dishes.

This generous, beautifully elegant champagne has proved a great success in more than 25 countries. What better way to brighten up these end-of-year celebrations?

Based in the Champagne region for three generations, the De Sousa family knows how to get the best out of its soil, its grape varieties and its wine production. Profoundly attached to this land at the heart of the Côte des Blancs, with its Grands Crus (Avize, Oger, Cramant, Le Mesnil sur Oger), the De Sousa family has always strived to preserve the authenticity and typicality of this region.

It is this driving force that gives champagne from this great house a recognizable character all of its own, due as much to its old vines (many are over 50 years old) as to its naturally low yields and traditional know-how
(use of small oak barrels, extended aging in typical chalk cellars, …).

And not content just to demand the best for its champagnes, the De SOUSA Family also wants the best for the environment and manages its vines
organically and biodynamically. A requirement that has given the De SOUSA champagne house a reputation that has spread far beyond its frontiers and is now sought after by the best wine shops and the grandest hotels and restaurants in the world.

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Manchester Based Individual Restaurants Announces The Opening Of A New Flagship Piccolino In Alderley Edge

By Posted on 6 m read

Individual Restaurants promises to bring a touch of Italy to Cheshire with its latest opening of a flagship Piccolino in Alderley Edge. The brand new restaurant will open on Monday 23rd November for lunch and dinner, quickly followed by the launch of their Juice bar, The Juicery, and breakfast on Monday 30th November.
The Manchester based company also recently announced a deal with the UK’s favourite Italian chef Gino D’Acampo who has moved into premium casual restaurants with the launch of his new restaurant brand: Gino D’Acampo -My restaurant.
Two restaurants will open before Christmas. The first in central London, in Euston station, quickly followed by a site in the newly refurbished Corn Exchange building in central Manchester.

Located on London Road in the ground floor space of the former Panacea club, Piccolino the Italian restaurant and bar, will be open from 7:30am all day everyday, serving breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner until late.
At the same location on the first floor, Yu and You Chinese restaurant will also be opening at the same time. The new Piccolino restaurant will seat 250 guests and brings a new meaning to ‘all day everyday, dining’ boasting; a 20 metre eat at open kitchen, wine boutique, island cocktail bar, private event space, an all year outside terrace with fully retractable roof and much, much more.
In addition to all of this, Piccolino have brought in the skills of celebrity juicer Cindy Palusamy, to open a brand new juice bar called The Juicery which will open on Monday 30th November.
Founded in New York, The Juicery boasts locations in LA, London and now Alderley Edge working alongside leading nutritionists and doctors, all over the world.
The Juicery will open from 7.30am daily from Monday 30th November and guests will be able to “juice in or takeaway”.

Cindy comments of her collaboration with Individual Restaurants: “The mission of The Juicery has always been to bring a taste of the famous New York/Los Angeles well-being culture to all parts of the world. In Steven Walker and the team at Individual Restaurants, we found an amazing group of dedicated foodies who share our passion for bringing our version of ‘expert goodness’ to life. Our truly collaborative menu at the new Piccolino in Alderley
Edge, will not only feature our signature juices and smoothies, but also booster shots, superfood hot chocolates and teas, salads and takeaway snacks that are as good as they are good for you.”
Also launching on Monday 30th November and served weekdays from 7:30am and weekends from 9am, the new breakfast and brunch menu, offers a range of breakfast favourites from waffles, crepes and pancakes to panini’s, eggs and porridge.
All of the eggs served on the menu are sourced from Brookside Farm in lancashire, so whether you choose to start the day with your eggs scrambled, fried, poached or in an omelette you can guarantee that they’ll always be free range.
The restaurant has a very Mediterranean look designed to allow guests to feel comfortable from morning until night in its many diverse areas. The refined use of classic timeless materials including; Carrara & Nero marbles imported from Italy, antique brass, Oak & reclaimed white washed woods, are brought to life with striking light blue leather where inspiration was taken from the
famous Italian yacht builder Riva.
The centre piece of the restaurant is the 20 metre kitchen bar. Providing the feel of a Harrods food hall, guests can watch the chefs in action from the working food displays. The kitchen includes; a salad bar, salumeria, fish and shellfish bar, meat and poultry bar, pizzeria, pasta bar, pastry and Ice cream bar. Most of the cooking is done on a bespoke open charcoal and wood burning grill, or one of three handmade Italian wood burning ovens that take centre stage. Piccolino only use natural lump wood charcoal and sustainable wood specially sourced from the English countryside.

Passion for provenance is at the forefront of the menu, no matter where you look. The company has close links to artisan suppliers all over Italy bringing some of the best cheeses, salamis & grocery items to the UK.
Boasting its own butchery in Cheshire where a team of nine full time skilled butchers source the very best meat & poultry direct from farms.
All their beef is sourced direct from carefully selected farms across the British Isles and they specialise in certified Black Aberdeen Angus. Individually selected cattle are hung for 7 to 10 days and dry aged on the bone for a minimum of 35 days in their own bespoke Himalayan pink salt brick, dry ageing room. Every single steak is hand cut buy their own skilled butchers.
In addition to this the menu has an extensive selection of wild shellfish sourced mainly from the clear waters of the UK via small independent suppliers. Fresh hand picked crab from the Isle of Man, native lobster, wild Scottish langoustines, hand dived scallops, rope grown Scottish mussels and Mersea island rock oysters to name just a few of the amazing items on the menu.
Piccolino goes to great lengths to bring you truly amazing fish, responsibly caught from sustainable sources, including some of the finest day boat fish from around the British Isles. The company has developed strong partnerships with small independent family run suppliers, like Chapmans of Rye on the south coast of England, to ensure the best fish direct from their boats.
Artisan filled pastas are all made in house by Marcello Ghiretti, the pasta specialist from 00’ flower, free range eggs, extra virgin olive oil and sea salt.
Piccolino strives to serve the very best of the season. Seasonal fruit, vegetables, salads and herbs are from hand picked growers and organic wherever possible.
You are sure to be tempted to a dessert too, with the pastry chef in full view of guests showing off their waffle and pancake making skills. Piccolino also has its own bakery run by skilled pastry cook Antoine Quentin. It prides itself on the fact that all ice cream, sorbets, cakes and desserts, are made in house.

The wine boutique showcases an extensive all Italian wine and Prosecco list, together with a vast selection of champagnes. The boutique is run by two Italian sommeliers and can be hired for wine and cocktail masterclasses.

“So keen are we for guests to try our fine and rare selection, we have only added a small mark up, charging a fraction of the prices compared to other restaurants”, says Dario Barbato the in house sommelier.
The central cocktail bar offer a drinks list that is both extensive and very Italian, offering a diverse selection of seasonally inspired classic Italian cocktails, Italian Vermouth, Amari, sweet liquers and an impressive list of craft beers.
To add to the Mediterranean feel DJ Julienne Jeanne – who has worked in some of the coolest ski and beach resorts throughout the Mediterranean – and his team, will play music on the outdoor terrace from Thursday until Sunday, midday until midnight.

Steven Walker, founder of Individual Restaurants, the company behind Piccolino says; “We are really excited to be opening a flagship Piccolino restaurant in Alderley Edge and feel the partnership with Vinnie and Victor Yu, who own and run Yu Chinese restaurant, will make this a fantastic eclectic foodie destination and I wish them every success for the future.
“After visiting the best outdoor terraces at some of the coolest restaurants and hotels in major capitals of the world, we are also excited to bring a taste of this to Alderley Edge with the creation of the all year terrace.”

Victor Yu, Head Chef comments; “We’ve been looking to expand the business and open a second restaurant for a while now, but we wanted to find the right location. Both Vinny and I think Alderley Edge is a fantastic place that will complement the restaurants sophisticated style and food offering. We’re looking forward to bringing a new concept to both residents and visitors from the surrounding area. Also on the agenda is an exciting local area delivery service alongside Piccolino that will launch in early 2016, so watch this space!”
Individual restaurants continues to go from strength to strength. It owns and operates a growing collection of over 35 restaurants in London, major cities, affluent towns and suburbs across the country as well as providing services to other leading restaurant brands. Its restaurants are often frequented by celebrities, well known sports and TV stars.

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Talgarth Mill Receives Prestigious World Responsible Tourism Award

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A 200 years old renovated water mill in Talgarth has won Silver in the World Responsible Tourism Awards in London this month, recognised amongst projects around the globe in the Best for Engaging People and Culture category, and beaten only by Urban Adventure in Australia.

Felin Talgarth Mill has put the small Welsh town on the map as a tourist destination since 2010 when the community project won backing from a BBC and National Lottery regeneration scheme to breathe new life into a mill that had fallen into disrepair since closing in the 1940s.  Following screening of Village SOS in August 2011, the mill received 12,000 visitors, and now attracts some 5,000 a year, with over 15 tonnes of flour milled since 2012.

The award announcement was made at the World Travel Market at ExCel, London. In his citation, Professor Harold Goodwin, Chair of the judging panel, said: “A community project run by 30 very committed volunteers – the cultural activities of milling and baking have brought economic vitality back to the town and enabled the co-located craft and cottage interior businesses to launch.  They have used tourism to restore their mill and bring economic development to their market town.”

The judges were looking for tourism providers with deep, long-standing connections and commitments to the local community and exciting policies and practices for celebrating local culture and ways of life.

Liz Rose, Manager of Felin Talgarth Mill said: “This is such good news for our amazing team of volunteers who have worked so hard.  Many of our volunteers have been involved since the renovation of the mill five years ago, and it’s great to see their commitment recognised.  It’s been an exciting year at the mill with no less than three Great Taste Awards for our various types of stone ground flour, and now recognition on the world stage alongside some tourism industry giants.”


Previous mill Manager, Gez Richards, was in London to receive the award the day before sailing off with his wife Sue to pursue his life-long dream of crossing the Atlantic on the tall ship, the SS Tenacious with a crew of both able bodied and disabled.

Founded in 2004 by Responsible Travel, the World Responsible Tourism Awards are a global search and celebration of the most inspiring and enduring responsible tourism experiences in the world.

Felin Talgarth Mill is now one of Brecon Beacons’ leading visitor attractions, bringing in thousands for tours, milling experiences, baking courses, and The Bakers’ Table, a superb café, and the designated Best Place to Eat in Wales this year. The mill has rejuvenated other businesses in the community.

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JLL Experts Comment On Black Friday: How Will It Develop And Evolve?

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JLL’s Industrial and Retail experts make their comments and predictions for Black Friday and its future.

Tim Vallance, lead director of JLL UK’s Retail & Leisure team said:

“Black Friday has changed the Christmas retail goal posts in the UK for good. It now marks the start of the Christmas trading period and last year we saw that strong retail growth in November balanced out the more subdued figures from December. The question is how will Black Friday develop and evolve? Retailers need to strike a balance between good marketing and making sure they are not losing out due to the price dilution that the event commands. The day is beginning to become synonymous with queues, brawls and general mayhem and consumers and retailers alike will want to see more orders driven online. As a result, we may see greater deployment of services such as UBERrush, googleexpress and amazon flex and vacant or underused retail space acting as temporary pick up locations for online consumers hoping to avoid the crowds.”

Jon Sleeman, director UK Logistics & Industrial Research at JLL, commented:

“Last year, Black Friday caused major issues for certain retailers and parcel operators which were unable to handle the sales volumes. This year we are seeing a range of responses with some retailers scaling back their Black Friday discounts, whilst others seek to spread sales over a longer period of promotions. In addition, a number of parcel operators have invested significantly in new handling capacity.  Retailers and parcel operators need to find ways to meet peak sales to service customers and protect their brands.”

Richard Evans, director in JLL’s Industrial & Logistics team added:

“Supply chain strategy is often defined and reasserted on a brand’s performance following how well or poorly it handles Black Friday.  It may only be once a year, but the lessons learned about the limits of current supply chains and possible creative solutions to address them are invaluable all year-round.”

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Vodafone’s Terry The Turkey Christmas Advert Wins PETA Award

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Heart-Warming Ad Recognised for Promoting a Compassionate Meat-Free Christmas

The spotlight is on Vodafone UK, whose high-profile Christmas ad campaign has earned the mobile phone retailer PETA’s Compassionate Marketing Award. In the heart-warming advert, Vodafone, with the help of advertising agency Grey London, tells the story of a family who decides to raise a turkey, Terry, in the run-up to Christmas. The gentle and intelligent bird quickly becomes a beloved family companion, and the final scene sees Terry sitting at the Christmas table as a guest, not a meal, while Dad serves up a delicious nut roast.

Christmas is a time for generosity and kindness, which we can celebrate by allowing turkeys to live in peace”, says PETA Associate Director Elisa Allen.

“We applaud Vodafone for spreading a message of compassion and hope the advert will inspire others to leave animals off their plates this holiday season.”

The turkeys used in the making of the advert now live at a farm animal sanctuary in Warwickshire – but most turkeys aren’t as lucky. Turkeys in the wild can live up to 10 years, but those in the meat industry are normally slaughtered between 12 and 26 weeks of age. The young birds are hung upside down from metal shackles and dragged through an electrified bath that can cause them to have full-body tremors. Sometimes the turkeys are still conscious when their throats are slit and they’re placed into a bath of scalding-hot water that’s used to remove their feathers. More than 18 million turkeys are killed in the UK every year – more than 10 million for Christmas dinners alone.

In recognition of its efforts, Vodafone will receive a framed certificate and a festive hamper filled with delicious vegan treats, including a succulent Tofurky roast.

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British Public Unconvinced By Soft Drinks Tax

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Only four in ten Britons think introducing a tax on sugar-sweetened soft drinks would be effective in tackling obesity, according to an independent poll of GB adults by Populus for the Food and Drink Federation. Even fewer think a ban on supermarket price promotions, for example, buy-one-get-one-free offers, would be effective.

Over two thirds of the 2,005 consumers polled think a tax on sugar-sweetened soft drinks would:

  • Penalise the majority of people who consume soft drinks responsibly (67% agree)
  • Increase substantially year-on-year (67% agree)
  • Inevitably lead to taxes on other foods (78% agree)


Ian Wright CBE, Director General of the Food and Drink Federation, said: 

“Instead of presuming to speak for the British public as some health campaigners have done, we’ve asked consumers directly whether they think a sugar tax would be effective at tackling obesity. The public’s instincts mirror what the facts are telling us – that there isn’t evidence that a tax would make any difference to obesity. Last month, Public Health England, which called for a new tax on top of the 20% VAT charged on soft drinks, conceded that there was no long-term data showing it would work.

“The causes of the obesity challenge we face in this country are far more complicated than any single ingredient, food or drinkWe need to follow the evidence, and help people to improve their overall diets and become more active. Food and drink companies are already playing their part by adapting recipes and limiting portion size, and are willing and ready to do more.”

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Holland And Barrett Join Forces With I’m A Celeb And X Factor Star Jake Quickenden

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I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! star Jake Quickenden has been announced as ambassador of Holland and Barrett’s sports nutrition range.

Singer and TV favourite Jake, 27, will work with the high street health food chain in promoting their wide of range of sports nutrition supplements and protein shakes.

The former semi-pro footballer and keen body builder has kickstarted his role with a series of inspirational fitness blogs and videos.

Over the coming months these will include fat blasting, a ‘jungle workout’, body building techniques plus fun motivational guides to getting in shape.

Jake Quickenden said: “It’s been great fun creating the series of motivatonal videos and blogs with the sports team at Holland and Barrett. I’m passionate about health and fitness and I hope the tips we’ve designed inspire people of all ages to get active and have fun at the same time.”

A spokesperson for Holland and Barrett added: “We’re thrilled to be working with Jake. He has a great passion for keeping fit and well using sensible eating, quality sports supplements and achievable work out plans. We are sure Holland and Barrett shoppers will enjoy his informative, entertaining online blogs and fun videos over the coming months.”

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