There isn’t much that Nick Ede hasn’t done in an eclectic career to date. Here he tells Absolutely Sussex about his desire to act, where his entrepreneurial spirit comes from and why he moved to Rye
Nick Ede is a multi-award-winning TV presenter and popular culture commentator and philanthropist. He is founder of the award-winning East Of Eden PR, Style For Stroke Foundation, The Fashion Run and imPODster Syndrome Podcast. In 2021 Nick co-founded We Are Fabulous TV, a production company with Jaine Brent. With over 15 years of TV experience and several exciting roles under his belt, his latest venture sees him as the host and expert of High Street Hits with Andrea Mclean and Hello! Magazine which is now filming its second season with over 1 million viewers per show. He is also a regular panelist on Good Morning Britain on ITV, the UKs most watched breakfast show.
Is it true you originally wanted to be an actor?
Yes I love acting and have and still want to act. I was in all the school plays when I was younger and my mother had been a performer and took me weekly to see shows and I loved reading plays. I tried to go straight into drama school once I left school, but I was too young so I waited a year and ended up going to a place called Bretton Hall, which was like a real life fame school. I studied a degree there for three years and loved it. I left and went to London thinking that I would become a star. I didn’t realise how hard that would actually be! I then got into ticketing and marketing the shows. I still have a desire to act, but learning the craft has allowed me to be able to tell stories and communicate both in TV and in PR too.
Did you always have an entrepreneurial spirit bubbling away inside of you?
I’ve always thought that unlike the phrase ‘jack of all trades master of none’, you actually can be a master of more than one thing and that’s how I’ve always been. I love working on different projects, some of them work, some of them fail, but all of them fulfil me and the people around me when working on them.
What was your initial break in TV?
I was 30 and I decided one day to ditch my job and get into TV. It was a huge leap of faith and I was really scared to do it, but I made the right choice. I got a runner’s job at a TV company called Shine and then from there I was asked if I would be a co-host of a daytime TV show called The Russell Grant Show on Sky One. It was a live show and I had never been in front of the camera, but I quickly picked it up and loved every minute of it. I met everyone you can think of and from there I started my TV career and haven’t looked back.
What inspired you to launch East of Eden PR?
I realised quite quickly that really only 10% of presenters on TV make good money and I was not part of that elite set so if I wanted to have something that made money then I needed to work too! I set up my PR agency and spoke to celebrities I had met on the TV and asked if they had brands etc and then built up from there.
What would you say have been the company’s highlights in the years since?
We have had many highlights creating campaigns for charities and brands. I love fashion so have always enjoyed working with Lipsy, Spanx and Little Mistress. My most recent favourite has been working with Recycle Your Electricals – we have created some very memorable moments encouraging people to look at their small waste electricals and reuse, recycle and donate too. We created a giant toaster in Westfield and dressed Girls Aloud star Nicola Roberts in a dress created out of waste electrical wires to highlight the waste issues.
You have gone on to launch several other initiatives. What drives you on to keep doing new things?
I just love doing things that I hope will make a difference. I’ve always had that in me and I like to inspire and encourage and I believe if you have a platform then use it to help and educate. During lockdown I came up with a weekly Instagram live called Chariteas where I would interview different CEOs of charities to highlight their work.
What initiatives are you most proud of?
I am most proud of the Fashion Run. I came up with it while walking with my neighbour Susie when the Olympic Park had just been built. It kept on bubbling in my head and then during lockdown I decided to look at a virtual race where people could donate and do a 5k dressed up in their favourite clothes and raise money for a charity close to them. The reaction was great and the designer Julien Macdonald supported it and we benefited over 10 charities. In 2023 we are going to create a real life event and pilot it at Regent’s Park in London with a view to rolling it out worldwide. I love the idea of looking good, feeling good and doing good and this idea does it all.
Tell us about Style For Stroke Foundation…
My mother passed away when I was 23 from a stroke. It devastated me and led me to want to spend my spare time looking at ways to raise money and awareness of stroke. I have spent the past 25 years campaigning and creating noise about stroke. Style For Stroke uses fashion as way of educating and fundraising. I also work with the singer and actress Alexandra Burke on an annual fundraiser called the Spring Ball. Our next one will be in March 2023 and I cannot wait. Stroke is the fourth biggest killer in the world and the biggest cause of disability and more people need to know more about it. People like Emilia Clarke have been instrumental in their highlighting of it as has the Stroke Association and InterAct Stroke Support too.
Do you think many people are in the dark about strokes?
Yes I don’t think people talk about them enough. I get really upset with the idea that many other causes get a lot of airtime on TV and in the media but stroke doesn’t – the work I do is I hope changing that narrative. My hope is that one day I can do a TV marathon like Stand Up to Cancer and create a movement of change around stroke stories.
What do you have planned for the Foundation in 2023?
We are going to be launching a new T-shirt campaign early in the year and also a brand campaign too. I am also looking to host two fundraisers next year, which will help support young stroke survivors and their families.
You also launched We Are Fabulous TV in 2021 – how has that been going?
I love writing and so launching We Are Fabulous felt like the right thing to do. We are working on a few TV ideas which have been optioned and I hope that these formats will be broadcast in the coming years.
What is the plan for the future of it?
I hope that the programmes we make are inspiring, fun and lend themselves to today’s pop culture appetite. I love writing creatively so I hope that this is something I can work on for many years.
How long have you lived in Rye and what do you love about it?
During the pandemic I was living in London with my husband and we were getting claustrophobic living in the city so decided to look around. We had looked at lots of places and had visited Rye once. We decided that this was the perfect place to buy as it is not too far from London but near the sea and beautiful countryside too. We have been here for a year and a half now and are loving every minute of it. We love the people, the restaurants, the beach and the fabulous places nearby like Tillingham and Chapel Down.
Where would your three favourite places in Rye or elsewhere in the county be?
Soap and Salvation in Rye is a fabulous renovated space that sells wonderful interior objects. Barry and Jo who run it are so knowledgeable and there is always a new item that you just can’t find anywhere else that they have source.
If you are looking to stay in and around Rye then I highly recommend the house Tongs that is on the cliff. It’s so beautiful and sleeps 12 people and is the perfect place to relax and enjoy a peaceful few days by the sea.
I was brought up in Brighton during the summers as my family had a home there. I always love going back there and nothing beats Wolfies which is on the Brighton / Hove border. I love a good fish supper with vinegar and salt post swim!
What are your hopes for 2023?
I hope that it’ll be a fruitful year and more than ever I hope that people will support charities and foundations. I know it’s going to be harder economically, but the kind support from others and their generosity can really change and save lives.