Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Talking2Minds - Bruce Launches our Summer Campaign With Kilimanjaro Climb

Bruce with wife Mandy and daughter Jessica

TALKING2MINDS is launching a summer campaign to urge the nation to do a sponsored event to help sufferers of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Brave volunteer Bruce Martin is kick starting our mission with a bold attempt to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.
Bruce hopes our nation of imaginative ‘sponsored eventers’ will think about our sick servicemen and women when they are deciding who to donate their money to.
In just four years, Talking2Minds has treated 390 PTSD sufferers with a 97% success rate.
Bruce, 46, will be starting his eight-day assent of the 19,300ft mountain in Tanzania on October 6th and you can donate by clicking the links at the bottom of the page.
To prepare for the tough assent, Bruce works out most days in the gym and is a keen amateur boxer. He is also doing a lot of fell walking in the Lake District.
He said:I am doing it to raise money and awareness for the charity that I'm so passionate about - Talking2Minds. 
In my opinion the suffering caused by PTSD does not yet have a high enough profile in the UK and I want to do my small bit to change that.

“We all want to save lives, prevent suicides and help our veterans move on from the hidden injuries of the mind that are so inadequately understood in our society.”

Bruce lives in Worcester with his wife Mandy and their nine-year-old daughter Jessica. He specialises in delivering anti-stress programmes to companies.
More and more servicemen and women are coming back from gruelling combat on the front line in Afghanistan with severe PTSD symptoms.

And there are many more sufferers from other conflicts such as Iraq, Bosnia and the Falklands.

Many fall into alcohol and drug abuse to escape the torment.

Marriages, careers and lives are shattered along the way.

Tragically, many have committed suicide.

We aim to get there first to help them pick up the pieces.  And after gentle therapy, they are able to return to a normal life.

But to do this, we need every penny we can get to pay for therapists to deliver the treatment, which in some cases can be life-saving.

Our founder Rob Paxman, an SAS veteran and former PTSD sufferer, said: “Bruce is doing a magnificent job of raising our charity’s profile and we send him our grateful thanks and wish him a safe climb.

“If you are doing a sponsored event this summer, please think of Talking2Minds and the work we are doing.

"Every pound that is donated will be used to help sufferers and family members back to health."

To donate to Bruce’s Mount Kilimanjaro climb, go to his donation page here:

You can also donate by sending a text to 70070 and typing in: “ptsd22 £2”, “ptsd22 £5” or “ptsd22 £10”.

To donate to Talking2Minds, go to:


Neville Thurlbeck is the founder of TalentGB, an on-line directory of showreels of artistes of every genre 

Sunday, 20 May 2012

La Bête Humaine - at the British Film Institute

JEAN Renoir’s dark, disturbing psychological thriller, La Bête Humaine, has launched a season of work by French actor Jean Gabin by playing to a sell-out house at the British Film Institute.
Unfettered by the constraints of the Hays Code in the USA at the time, Renoir gives full reign to the murderous brutality and seething, brooding sexuality of the characters in Emile Zola’s novel.
In this 1938 film, Gabin gives one of the best performances of his career as the train driver Jacques Lantier who witnesses a murder but remains silent to protect the killer’s wife, Séverine, with whom he has fallen in love.
Séverine lures Lantier into an affair and persuades him to murder her husband.
But she doesn’t bargain for Lantier’s mental anguish which sees him spiral into an emotional abyss, where he simmers, glowers and burns until he kills her in a fit of despair.
Gabin plays his role with understated menace. Renoir was fond of saying of his favourite actor: “Gabin could express the most violent emotion with a mere quiver of his impassive face.”
Simone Simon, plays the duplicitous Séverine with all the feline slyness of a French Margaret Lockwood (she even shares her distinctive centre parting).

Most of the action takes place in or around trains, giving the movie a rhythm of relentless inevitability as the characters hurtle along briskly and unstoppably to their preordained termini.

Renoir's masterful use of foreboding shadows and prying close-ups and Gabin's tortured and disturbing performance which lurches in and out of an increasingly dangerous psychosis, leave us in no doubt that only a desperate tragedy awaits the central characters.

The film is a classic of the pessimistic realism which was growing as a genre in France in the 1930s and which lay the foundations for the film noir of the following decade.

Jean Gabin as Lantier with Simone Simon as Séverine

As an interesting aside, in the foyer afterwards, an elderly gent approached me in that affable, uninhibited way elderly gents do and announced he had last seen the film in 1940 before proudly announcing he was 90.

I quickly calculated that he had been 18 at the time and told him that my last viewing had been in 1979, when I too was 18.

Remarkably, we had both been surprised at how different our reaction to the film had been as teenagers.

As youths, we had watched a thriller with romantic interest thrown in, a kind of tragic version of Hitchcock’s The Lady Vanishes, which was made in the same year and also set on a train.

But as grown men – 33 years later for me and 72 for him – we had watched something which had disturbed and saddened us. Not an adventure film but a lament for the frailty of human nature. “The film hasn’t changed but you have!” as he put it. And rather well I thought.

The Jean Gabin season runs at the BFI until May 31. This film was a sell out and the others are selling out fast too.

Films on show are: Le Chat, Des Gens Sans Importance, Le Jour se Lève, Maigret tend un Piège, Melodie en Sous-sol, Pépé le Moko, Le Plaisir, Le Quai des Brumes, Razzia sur la Chnouf, Touchez pas au Grisbi, La Traversée de Paris.

To book, go to:

Monday, 14 May 2012

Cambridge Union Address

Addressing the Cambridge Union on May 9, 2012 (Pic, Press Association)

MY WARM thanks to the Cambridge Union Society for their invitation to address them on, "Tabloid Journalism - Crisis and Reform".

I enjoyed myself hugely and the standard of questioning afterwards showed how well informed the members are.

Thankyou too for the superb hospitality afterwards and for a fun evening.

The address is now available for all colleges and universities.

The 50 minute talk covers how the crisis unfolded and how tabloid journalism needs to radically reform in order to survive.

To book this talk, contact me on

Here is a small sample of reviews below:

"Astute predictions on the fate of the newspaper industry had the audience markedly engrossed. On the future of the British press, Thurlbeck’s predictions were particularly interesting and even provocative.” Natalie Gil, of Varsity.

"Mr Thurlbeck attracted a large audience at a time when students are under a lot of exam pressure and the reaction to the talk was extremely positive.” Ian Cooper, the Cambridge Union Society’s Head of Press.

“We were delighted to have Neville Thurlbeck address our members on Wednesday 9th May. His speech was incredibly topical.” Juan Zober de Francisco Rasheed, Events Officer, Cambridge Union Society.

"He was interesting on the future of the tabloid press from an economic perspective and responded to questions astutely.” Angus Dickson, a second year linguist.

@nthurlbeck just gave a brilliant talk @cambridgeunion. Very exciting (and topical) stuff. Press release soon! Cambridge Union spokesman on Twitter.
@OscarWGrut “Great interview w/ @nthurlbeck and great talk from him at the Union. He called for tabloid reform saying style and tone was 'antiquated'.” Oscar Williams-Grut of The Tab on Twitter.

And finally! @AdamCGray “@natalierosegil Damn it, definitely should have gone....” Undergraduate Adam Gray, on Twitter, who missed the address but read about it in the press the following day!

Outside the Cambridge Union (Pic, Press Association)

Neville Thurlbeck is the founder of TalentGB, an on-line directory of showreels of artistes of every genre 

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Cambridge Union Splash

LITTLE did I know that my trip to address the Cambridge Union this week would result in a front page splash for the Daily Mail.

And no, it wasn't about me sending the students to sleep as I droned on at the lectern.

After the speech ended, the Union organisers very kindly laid on a really splendid dinner.

Sitting next to me was the former editor of The Tab, the excellent Cambridge on-line journal, Kieran Corcoran.

Kieran, an English undergraduate, had found himself a great scoop for The Tab and was justifiably proud. Female undergrads are being offered £750 by a firm to become egg donors, raising the grim prospect of genetically engineering 'superbabies'.

Not wanting him to deprive the University journal of this astonishing revelation, I insisted that as soon as it was published, he picked up the phone to the Daily Mail and sold them the story.

He did and it is today's front page splash.

Well done Kieran. I think we shall be hearing a lot more from this bright, tenacious fellow in the future.

His article is also on-line here:

* Still haven't blogged about the address yet and there have been many requests to post it all on-line. I'll get around to doing something soon, I've just been a bit busy.

Neville Thurlbeck is the founder of TalentGB, an on-line directory of showreels of artistes of every genre 

Newer Posts Older Posts Home