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Matt Potter
Works at John Brown Media
Attended University of Cambridge
Lives in London
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Matt Potter

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Lovely write-up of my latest book today in the Washington Post! #books


Something for all the aspiring Lester Burnhams and Jerry Maguires out there
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Matt Potter

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As it's nearly the end of 2015, I thought I'd say thanks to a few of the books that I've enjoyed most this year, or that I've rediscovered, or found valuable in my own research and writing. Some came out in 2015 ('Land of Giants', a journey through British Dark Ages and early medieval culture, 'Nothing Is True And Everything Is Possible', Peter Pomerantsev's brilliant account of working inside the Russian media's dream machines, and 'Zero Zero Zero', Roberto Saviano's deep dive into the global cocaine trade - my take on that for the Literary Review is pictured further down my feed somewhere/on my Instagram). Others, like Ackroyd's Blake biography, Caetano Veloso's memoir and Chris McManus's study of left- and right-handedness (as a southpaw, this one was especially worth reading), keep resurfacing for me over the years. Meanwhile, 'Inside The Neolithic Mind', a brilliant, brave attempt to reconstruct Neolithic consciousness absent - of course - any documentary evidence) is a great new discovery of a book from a couple of years ago that I'd missed. The fiction titles on the pile keep coming back to me, too: Russell Hoban's 'Riddley Walker' from 1980 defies description, changed the way I thought about a lot of things (language as a carrier and what it carries and how leaky the bucket it uses is; human history, past, present and future, as a story, and why we need to keep telling it, and what we owe it). It's unlike any other book I know. And Ted Chiang is there for just one short story among the speculative tales in his collection. It's called 'The Story of Your Life', and it sort of breaks and simultaneously repairs everything - your heart, language, time, storytelling convention, its characters. I've loved these books this year, so here's to them. And I'd love to hear about any books you've loved in 2015, and any recommendations (old or new).
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It's hard to explain the appeal of gas towers and pylons to people who don't see it. For those who grow up in their shadows, they are weird, sentinel-like things. Even as a small child, I was aware they meant things - big things - even if I wasn't sure what. But as life swam into focus, so did what these strange iron aliens among our houses and fields wanted to communicate to us. Undreamed-of prosperity powered by our own North Sea gas was '70s Britain's equivalent of the Soviets' bright agitprop sunshine of universal brotherhood - always just ahead, and glorious. Those gas towers, their skeletons when they telescoped down, were sturdy guarantors of that future. Ad agencies now spend millions on campaigns to help us visualise energy in our midst, but none manage it like these did. Then there were the pylons. People spoke of the National Grid in the same tones they now speak about the necessity of universal cloud wifi coverage over Britain. They look old now, but pylons were beacons of power - for TV, sound, light everywhere. They looked like creatures from 'The War Of The Worlds'. They were cool and shining and dangerous - I lost count of the public information films we had to watch at school about what happened to yet another boy who climbed up one to retrieve a kite -and that was OK by us. It was, to quote a band of the time, the business of the future to be dangerous. Now there are moves to cleanse them from the landscape - starting in beauty spots, then totally. I'm not sad about it - they're wrecks now, old and gone in the teeth. But as they vanish from the space above our rooftops that you barely notice any more, spare a thought for when they were the future. #landscape #cityscape #countryside #suburbia #skyline #cityskyline #pylon #pylons #gastower #gastowers #1970s #1970sstyle #retro #technology #futuristic #spaceage #waroftheworlds #electric #electricity #northsea #london #park #acton #nottinghill #shepherdsbush #history #unfashionable #propaganda #coldwar #britain
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I reviewed the rather wonderful Oscar-nominated Estonian-Georgian movie 'Tangerines' for BBC Radio 4's culture programme Front Row last night. It's a beautiful, deep film - best I've seen in years. MP3 or stream Front row from BBC iPayer below. #Estonia #Georgia #Abkazia #Oscars #Tangerines #Mandariind #Movie  
The BBC National Short Story Award with Book Trust 2015 is launched by the Chair of Judges, former BBC foreign correspondent Allan Little, celebrating its tenth year. He'll be announcing this year's shortlist of five authors.Co-curated by Simon Schama and coinciding with a book and BBC2 series, Face of Britain is an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery exploring the history of the country through portraiture. Charlotte Mullins reviews.As a...
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My piece in the Literary Review this month on Roberto Saviano's deep-dive into the global cocaine trade, 'Zero Zero Zero'. 
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HUGELY tickled by all the heavyweight political columnists throwing up their hands in horror that the news agenda has been subverted by advertisers. I wrote this in 2011 and it EVEN HAS A LINE IN IT about the only people who seem not to have a clue are heavyweight columnists! http://mattpotterbooks.com/2011/07/31/black-pr-white-noise/
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Matt Potter

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My latest book is out today in paperback, published by Little, Brown/Hachette. "A fascinating and profound look at how quitters shape history" - CBC. "Just magnificent - an alternate history of our time" - Monocle
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Beyond excited to share this. 'Act Of Valor' director Scott Waugh to direct the Hollywood movie of my book 'Outlaws Inc.' 
EXCLUSIVE: Act Of Valor director Scott Waugh is set to helm Outlaws Inc., a fact-based drama about military men who turn to mercenary work. The script is by Banshee co-creator David Schickler, and ...
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Matt Potter

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I sometimes think these are three of the best lines of poetry I know. They're certainly three of the strangest, and they've stayed with me since I saw them a decade ago. In fact, they aren't by a poet, but from a strange, spoken/instrumental track called 'I Trawl The Megahertz', by a singer called Paddy McAloon. He composed it while blind as he waited for, underwent and recovered from an eye operation, trawling the bands of his bedside radio. Every time I read the lines, they appear different. Most obviously, I think anyone who's been under any form of drugged out sleep (in a hospital or elsewhere) will recognise the weird, melancholy, disconnecting feeling of slipping-under and surfacing. Or are the 'sad white canoes' stretcher-beds being carried past the ward. And why sad? As every doctor and nurse knows, the early morning hours are the spike for dying - are they slipping away? Or is the image something else entirely, or all of these things? As I write this, I remember an interview with Neil Young after he had a near-fatal brain aneurysm, where he said he always used to feel huge and anchored, but now he felt much smaller and unimaginably light, "like a leaf in a river". The leaf image echoes Saul Bellow's character Hertzog, or Samuel Beckett: any sense that we control the flow is an illusion. Forever floating downstream. From Native Australians to Victorian Protestantism, the metaphor of witnessing ourselves as part of a flow we don't direct and cannot influence has been a pervasive part of the way we feel ourselves, our mortality and our place in some universal continuum. We can't direct it, but as Tennessee Williams said, we can call out to each other. If you know someone who feels themselves slipping downstream particularly keenly, maybe show up next to them today. Just so they don't feel like they're forever slipping away, downriver and out of sight. #poetry #poem #poems #music #lyrics #psychedelic #anaesthetic #hospital #drugs #prefabsprout #paddymcaloon #literature #books #melancholy #beautiful #operation #surgery #alone #blind #medication #itrawlthemegahertz #brilliant #dawn #death #neilyoung #tennesseewilliams #aboriginal #australia #mortality #time
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Matt Potter

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If you've ever passed this street in London, the secret life of the tumbledown church on the corner is mind-blowing. #London #secret #history  
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I wrote this about our fad for zombies on TV, the politics of immigration, JG Ballard, Katie Hopkins, urban renewal and gentrification... And how they are related. #history #zombies #HighRiseMovie
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Great time talking Maïdan, filmmaking and Ukraine on BBC Radio 4's Front Row programme this week with the excellent Samira Ahmed. Now on iPlayer.
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People
Have him in circles
107 people
Philip Kassapian's profile photo
Joycellyn Akuffo's profile photo
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Education
  • University of Cambridge
    English with German BA (Hons)/MA (Cantab), 1990 - 1993
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Story
Tagline
Journalist, broadcaster, author. 'Outlaws Inc'. Find me at mattpotterbooks.com or tweet @mattpotter
Introduction
Journalist, author, broadcaster, editor and head of editorial, digital for one of Britain's biggest brand content agencies.

More from me at mattpotterbooks.com or @MattPotter
Bragging rights
Journalist (ex-BBC, Telegraph) & author of non-fiction book 'Outlaws Inc', an investigation into the world's biggest arms and drugs trafficking network, called "Fascinating" by the Washington Post, "Riveting" by Literary Review, "A movie in the making" by Fox News. Out now on Bloomsbury USA, Pan Macmillan, Ullstein (Germany), Einaudi (Italy), Tammi (Finland), Romania & more. Author of three BBC books, ex-BBC global update correspondent and co-presenter of the double Sony award-winning Sunday Surgery global travel/reportage programmes. Work: Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph, London Evening Standard
Work
Skills
Journalism, writing, TV/film/radio/online, social, strategy, presenting, scriptwriting, English, German, French, some Italian/Russian
Employment
  • John Brown Media
    Head of Content, 2008 - present
    Head of Content for an international agency, HQ in London with offices in Dubai, Hong Kong, Johannesburg.
  • Little, Brown and Company
    Author, 2014 - present
    'Fuck You & Goodbye: The Dark & Hilarious History of the Resignation' published November 2014. Waterstone's Christmas bestseller 2014.
  • Bloomsbury Publishing
    Author, 2010 - present
    Outlaws Inc US edition, feature film rights now with Thunder Road Pictures.
  • Pan Macmillan
    Author, 2010 - present
    Author of the WH Smith Bestseller 'Outlaws Inc: Flying With the World's Most Dangerous Smugglers', published in over a dozen territories and published or serialized in more than two dozen languages. "It's James Bond meets Jason Bourne, only it's really happening" – Andy Ross, America today.
  • Discovery Channel
    Presenter, Scriptwriter, Production Consultant, 2013 - 2013
    'Mercenaries' TV series, six-part documentary from Discovery Channel.
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
London
Previously
Cambridge, England - Gdansk - Munich - Milan - Duisburg
Matt Potter's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
Premiere: Official preview clip from ‘The Notorious Mr Bout’ | Matt Potter
mattpotterbooks.com

There's a great documentary feature film on arms smuggler Viktor Bout at Sundance 2014 this week. I'm part of it, but don't let that put you

Film: Feature documentary ‘The Notorious Mr Bout’ to premiere at Sundanc...
mattpotterbooks.com

The 90-minute documentary is produced and directed by Maxim Pozdorovkin and Tony Gerber, whose latest film on Pussy Riot won international a

“Paddy? What a fantastic death abyss!” Why the 1990s were David Bowie’s ...
mattpotterbooks.com

My revisionist piece on the David Bowie's least-known (but most creatively rewarding) purple patch was published in Sabotage Times today, ju

The real reason I write: In praise of ‘threshold apprehension’ | Matt Po...
mattpotterbooks.com

The cover for my next book arrived today. Any writer will tell you: the arrival of their new book's cover is an exciting moment. Me, I've al

What Would Don Draper Do?
www.nw-businesssense.com

>He's the early-'60s adman who can sell ice cream to eskimos, and whose visionary insights and caustic one-liners turn also-ran businesses i

The Independent | News | UK and Worldwide News | Newspaper
www.independent.co.uk

Independent News - Breaking news, comment and features from The Independent newspaper - The Independent Newspaper

Russian arms trafficker Viktor Bout linked to UK horsemeat scandal… And ...
mattpotterbooks.com

Looks like someone's finally catching on. This is the network my book is about: “#Horsemeat firms linked to Russian arms dealer #ViktorBout”

OUTLAWS INC.
www.kirkusreviews.com

Read the Kirkus Review of OUTLAWS INC.: Under the Radar and On the Black Market with the World's Most Dangerous Smugglers. Engrossing e

YouTube - Стирающаяся ручка на участке №2739
www.youtube.com

Create AccountSign In. Home. BrowseFilmsUpload. Hey there, this is not a commercial interruption. You're using an outdated browser, whic

News: Reader’s Digest publishes ‘Outlaws Inc’ in 26 languages as its Aut...
mattpotterbooks.com

International literary selection Reader's Digest has published a condensed version of Outlaws Inc. in its Autumn edition… and brought its in

Life imitates art, but with added cats: A kitten called Il-76 | Matt Potter
mattpotterbooks.com

Matt Potter. Analysis, news and exclusive features from the journalist & author of the new non-fiction thriller OUTLAWS INC. Search. Main me

Kleptocracy Visualized: Quick infographics of World Economics
www.kleptocracy.us

Easy to understand facts about your government & the world

Matt Bowden: The drugs lord who's strictly legal
www.independent.co.uk

It is a remarkable statement - the rock musician and drugs activist credited with spawning the global legal highs industry is now calling fo

Dispatches | Watching the Detectives | Channel 4
www.youtube.com

How safe are your secrets? Channel 4 Dispatches reveals how easy it is to buy our most personal and confidential information Monday | 8pm |

News: Catch Matt performing in the Literary Death Match at London’s Stok...
mattpotterbooks.com

Matt will be facing off against some of Britain's best writers and comedians in the 26th Literary Death Match at London's hipsterest

Comment: Reign of Errors – The Merchant of Death story ends the way we a...
mattpotterbooks.com

The sentencing of Russian arms smuggler Viktor Bout to 25 years in New York's South District of Manhattan Federal Court this month has,

iGeology
market.android.com

iGeology - Interactive geological mapping of the UK. iGeology - Interactive geological mapping of the UK. iGeology is for anyone who wants

Paranormal Field Guide
market.android.com

Discover the unseen world with the new Paranormal Database Field Guide! The UK and Ireland is covered in thousands of locations of paranorma

Matt Potter | Analysis, news and exclusive features from the journalist ...
mattpotterbooks.com

Video: “Cocaine coffee tables?!” CNN bosses, the craziest cop in Brazil, and me. Posted on 10/11/2011 by mattpotterthewriter. It started per