Introducing… Heydon Prowse. Bafta winning comedian!
We are thrilled that Heydon is joining our panel to discuss life in his twenties, the experiences he had and what he wish he’d known! As a successful activist, comedian and journalist, Heydon has a wealth of experience in the world of media and broadcasting that he will be sharing with you on our headline panel.
When Heydon was 11 he acted as Colin in the Agneska Holland film The Secret Garden. He decided not to pursue his childhood acting career as he had a lot of school work to do. He studied philosophy and cognitive science at the University of Sussex and then went on to study journalism. This ultimately led to his role as editor of online magazine Don’t Panic, which was the birthplace of the BBC3 comedy series The Revolution Will Be Televised, which went on to win a Bafta, a Rose D’or and a Broadcast Digital Award.
Heydon’s online videos for Don’t Panic were a mixture of comedy pranks and investigative journalism and achieved wide coverage in national newspapers and television. Protesting MPs second homes expenses claims Heydon would put satirical blue plaques on MPs houses. He would fish for bankers in the city with a £5 note on the end of a fishing rod or D-lock the door of the Nobu sushi restaurant to protest their use of endangered blue fin tuna.
In perhaps his most explosive film Heydon dug a whole and planted pansies in the shape of a pound sign in MP Alan Duncan’s lawn as a protest over his taxpayer funded gardening expenses. The film went viral and hit the front pages. In a later meeting with Alan Duncan in the Houses of Parliament Heydon took a secret camera and filmed Alan Duncan complaining that MPs were being ‘treated like s***’ and ‘living on rations’ when Alan was supposed to be in charge of Conservative Party expenses reform and was saying the exact opposite in the press. Heydon released the footage on the Don’t Panic website. It hit the front pages and most major news broadcasters and drew responses from David Cameron himself.
As a journalist Heydon’s humorous investigations have featured in The Guardian, The Independent, BBC Newsnight, The Telegraph, The Evening Standard and Huffington Post. He has exposed – among other things – government complicity in the sale of fraudulent bomb detectors to Iraq for Newsnight. Heydon’s undercover films into the BNP and government departments posing as a mercenary also made the papers. His investigations were always satirical. In one film he posed as a representative of arms company Lockheed Martin and exposed an ‘environmental’ charity that was willing to help the arms company draw attention away from the collateral damage their bombs had caused in Iraq by finding an endangered bird of prey to sponsor in the middle east that ‘suited Lockheed Martin’s brand.’
As a director Heydon has made films for Channel 4, Vice, Sony, BBC, The Guardian, W Hotel, The English National Opera, Greenpeace and Shelter. He has won a Lovie and a W3 Gold award for directing branded content films.
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In 2016 Heydon presented a documentary for BBC2 entitled “The Town that Took On The Taxman” in which Heydon goes offshore and explores the world of tax evasion, and if anyone can do it.
He has presented documentaries for BBC3, Channel 4 and The Guardian and there are some exciting things in development for the rest of 2016.
Be inspired. Be informed. Get involved.