CHARLES THOMSON

 

Freelance Writer/Reporter

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Features

"I'm one step away from being a starving artist."
Life as one of the most sampled artists in music history is far from luxurious, funk legend Bootsy Collins tells Charles Thomson.
Weds 11th Sept 2013, Yellow Advertiser

"People will be putting it together when I'm gone..."
Wilko Johnson tells Charles Thomson about an upcoming collaboration with Roger Daltrey and why his new recordings won't include any 'cancer dirges'.
Weds 11th Sept 2013, Yellow Advertiser

'The V You Don't See': Part Two
Don't look at Mr Murs!

Charles Thomson lifts the lid on the lesser-publicised aspects of the Virgin Media V Festival. Why does everybody have to stand still when Beyonce leaves her dressing room? And why aren't journalists allowed to look at Olly Murs?
Sun 18th Aug 2013, Yellow Advertiser

'The V You Don't See': Part One
Not Crazy In Love - Just Plain Crazy

Charles Thomson lifts the lid on the lesser-publicised aspects of the Virgin Media V Festival. After getting caught in a dangerous crush and narrowly avoiding a shower of urine, he is underwhelmed by headliner Beyonce Knowles.
Sat 17th Aug 2013, Yellow Advertiser

The Big Payback
Last November in Augusta, Georgia, thousands of needy people ate a traditional Thanksgiving turkey dinner - as they do every year - thanks to James Brown. In December, Brown's daughters handed bags of Christmas presents to over a thousand underpriviledged children. Their new academy is helping to secure college scholarships for young musicians. Charles Thomson spoke to the Godfather of Soul's friends and family about their efforts to continue his little-known humanitarian work.
Sat 2nd Feb 2013, The Orchard Times

"We know he's missing, but we try to fill in for him."
In March the four surviving members of the Jackson 5 will perform together in London for the first time in almost 40 years. Jermaine Jackson gave Charles Thomson his only UK interview ahead of the gig, to talk about how the reunion had helped him cope with brother Michael's death.
Weds 23rd Jan 2013, Yellow Advertiser

'I'd never go back to TOWIE'
When Charles Thomson spoke to Amy Childs as she put the finishing touches to her new store, she blasted critics who called her stupid and said she would never return to the show that made her name.
Thur 6th Dec 2012, Yellow Advertiser

"Don't ask me anything! I'm a moron!"
When Charles Thomson interviewed gonzo legend Ralph Steadman, their encounter was almost as surreal as one of the artist's twisted drawings.
Weds 10th Oct 2012, Yellow Advertiser

'Michael Jackson's most famous costumes were under my bed'
A collection of Michael Jackson's most iconic outfits has gone on display at Stratford's Westfield shopping centre. Charles Thomson was the first UK reporter to visit the exhibition and interview the man who created them.
Weds 10th Oct 2012, Yellow Advertiser

"I had Michael Jackson on my knee at 10 years old."
Ahead of his most gruelling tour in four decades, former Temptations singer Richard Street spoke to Charles Thomson about dating Diana Ross, mentoring Michael Jackson and coping with the aging process.
Thur 20th Sept 2012, Yellow Advertiser

'Never Talk To The Police'
In 30 years, British lawyer Clive Stafford Smith has overturned the sentences of almost 300 innocent prisoners on America’s Death Row. In town to appear at the London Literature Festival, he spoke to Charles Thomson about racial bias in policing, last year’s riots, and why he is ‘disgusted’ by David Cameron.
Weds 18th July 2012, Yellow Advertiser

"On my first day back, a lot of the Lords were saying, 'There but for the grace of God go I...'"
In July 2011 Lord Hanningfield was jailed after being convicted of six counts of false accounting. In April, he returned to the House of Lords after paying back the money he stood accused of falsely claiming. In the third instalment of the Yellow Advertiser's exclusive interview series with the peer, he tells Charles Thomson how his new parliamentary priority is crime prevention.
Weds 6th June 2012, Yellow Advertiser

What's Changed In America Since Carleen Anderson Left Twenty Years Ago? Apparently, Nothing.
As she geared up for an intimate, unplugged gig in Southend, Carleen Anderson spoke to Charles Thomson about American politics, the Trayvon Martin shooting and being James Brown's goddaughter.
Weds 11th April 2012, Yellow Advertiser

Popular Judge Hangs Up His Wig.
When His Honour Christopher Mitchell resigned his post as resident judge at Basildon Crown Court, Charles Thomson was the only reporter invited to his leaving celebrations.
Weds 11th April 2012, Yellow Advertiser

Barrymore: 'Journalists are not my kind of people' (But we sent one anyway!)
When Charles Thomson was sent to interview Michael Barrymore, he didn't Strike It Lucky .
Weds 7th March 2012, Yellow Advertiser

"I'm going back to the Lords..."
In July last year Lord Hanningfield was jailed after being convicted of fiddling his House of Lords expenses. In January, four months after his release, he told Charles Thomson how he spent his days looking after his chickens and his beloved dog Jefferson. In a second exclusive interview he reveals that he is on his way back to the House of Lords.
Weds 7th March 2012, Yellow Advertiser

Meet Southend's Enigmatic Icon
For almost 15 years Salvo the Clown has delighted children on Southend High Street with his plate-spinning and balloon animals. Charles Thomson provides a rare glimpse at the man behind the make-up.
Weds 29th Feb 2012, Yellow Advertiser

"Look how long they took to arrest Murray compared to how quick they put Michael in the handcuffs on national TV..."
In September 2011, controversy surrounded Jermaine Jackson. A misquoted portion of his memoir had sparked outrage. A planned tribute concert in Cardiff had caused a rift in his family. Amidst all of this, Dr Conrad Murray's involuntary manslaughter trial was mere days away. Charles Thomson's interview with the star offered a window on his state of mind amidst the brewing storm.
Weds 15th Feb 2012, The Orchard Times

"You could get your hair cut for a Mars Bar..."
In July last year Lord Hanningfield was jailed after being convicted of fiddling his House of Lords expenses. In an exclusive interview he speaks to Charles Thomson about his time in prison and his plans for the future.
Weds 18th Jan 2012, Yellow Advertiser

"They'd just make up stories..."
Against the backdrop of the Leveson Inquiry a former Page 3 model tells Charles Thomson how she turned her back on the 'sleaze industry'.
Weds 14th Dec 2012, Yellow Advertiser

Strange Fruit Still Falling In The Southern States
The unjust execution of Troy Davis.
September 2011, Huffington Post

Soul Survivor: Martha Reeves
Motown legend Martha Reeves is still playing sold-out concerts to adoring audiences almost 50 years after her first hit - but she hasn't had an easy ride. Speaking frankly about being left behind by Motown in 1972 and her subsequent battle with painkiller addiction, she tells Charles Thomson why she's 'stronger than dirt'.
February 2011, Sawf News

Godfather's Widow Bares Her Soul
After James Brown's sudden death on Christmas Day 2006, images were beamed around the world of his crying widow slumped on the pavement outside their shared home, locked out by his trustees. In the ensuing battle over the singer's estate Tomi Rae Brown was accused of everything from indifelity to bigamy. Now, in the most in-depth interview she's ever given, Tomi Rae speaks exclusively to Charles Thomson about her life with the Godfather of Soul and the four nightmarish years she's spent trying to clear her name.
December 2010, Sawf News

How Michael Jackson's Movie Dream Turned Into A Nightmare
Michael Jackson's 'One More Chance' music video should have marked the beginning of the King of Pop's triumphant return to the limelight, but filming was abandoned and his comeback fell at the first hurdle. Charles Thomson speaks to the performer's colleagues, collaborators and co-stars about his little known final music video.
November 2010, Sawf News

The Ice Cream Man Cometh
Charles Thomson speaks to US rapper Cazwell about homophobia in hip-hop and the inspiration behind this Summer's raunchiest music video.
September 2010, Sawf News

Animals, Whores & Dialogue; The Resurrection of Dr Hunter S Thompson
Charles Thomson speaks to filmmaker Wayne Ewing about his latest documentary on gonzo legend Hunter Thompson.
July 2010, Huffington Post

One of the Most Shameful Episodes in Journalistic History
Exactly five years after a jury returned its verdict on Michael Jackson, Charles Thomson exposes the media's shambolic coverage of the star's trial.
June 2010, Huffington Post

"For me it was questionable - I'm trying to find the right way to say it - if they really were pushing him to do this..."
Exactly one year ago, Michael Jackson officially sold out 50 dates at the O2 arena. Twelve months on, Charles Thomson catches up with Kriyss Grant, the first dancer Jackson hand-picked to join him onstage in London.
March 2010, Sawf News

Play That Funky Music, White Girl
One year ago today, Michael Jackson announced his 'This Is It' concert run at London's O2 arena. To mark the anniversary, Charles Thomson sat down with the star's long-serving guitarist Jennifer Batten, who revealed what it was really like behind the scenes on a Michael Jackson tour.
March 2010 , Sawf News

EXTRACT TWO: James Brown: The Lost Album
When James Brown died on Christmas Day 2006 he left behind a near complete album. Amidst the legal wrangling over he Godfather's estate the new tracks were forgotten and never released. In this Guardian Award-winning article, Charles Thomson goes in search of the Godfather of Soul's final album.
May 2009, JIVE

EXTRACT ONE: James Brown: The Lost Album
When James Brown died on Christmas Day 2006 he left behind a near complete album. Amidst the legal wrangling over he Godfather's estate the new tracks were forgotten and never released. In this Guardian Award-winning article, Charles Thomson goes in search of the Godfather of Soul's final album.
May 2009, JIVE

Ringbang Man
He pioneered multiracial pop before Sly, he outwitted the industry before Prince, he reinvented Caribbean music... twice. Charles Thomson catches up with Eddy Grant
May 2009, JIVE

The Ragged School
Ghosthunting in Mile End
November 2008, DAVE Magazine

The Night James Brown Saved Boston
How the Godfather of Soul turned hero in the aftermath of Martin Luther King's assassination
July 2008, Wax Poetics

Michael Jackson Conspiracy
Best-selling author Aphrodite Jones discusses her new book about the Michael Jackson trial
June 2008, Deadline Magazine

Still Black, Still Proud
Funk forefather Fred Wesley talks about life after the Godfather
June 2008, Wax Poetics

Stepping Out of the Shadows
Motown man Jack Ashford discusses his legendary past and his future plans
May 2008, Wax Poetics

 

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