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Simon Heptinstall


Writer and editor. Career headlines Writer BBC Countryfile magazine, editor of BMW magazine, writer Top Gear magazine; subeditor, News Editor, Group Editor, Features Editor at various regional newspaper

Writer and editor.

Career headlines
Writer BBC Countryfile magazine, editor of BMW magazine, writer Top Gear magazine; subeditor, News Editor, Group Editor, Features Editor at various regional newspaper groups, newstand magazines and in customer publishing
Author of non-fiction books
Copywriter for content, business, marketing and promotions

Editor and writer 1001 Cars for Quarto Publishing
Organising, commissioning, editing and writing for major international book project.
Freelance Editor for the BMW Magazine
Commissioning and writing for 350k circulation glossy lifestyle magazine/e-zine working with London marketing agency and BMW UK.

Kingston Lacy, National Trust publications – 15,000-word book, published summer 2012.

Freelance writing and consultancy
Recent clients have included Lexus, BMW and Peugeot for their owners’ lifestyle magazine and The Guardian for travel features. I have also contributed to the P&O website, written for and, Air Korea’s Morning Calm inflight magazine, Porthole cruising magazine, and advised Story Worldwide on a pitch for the Boden website account.

Freelance travelwriter – the Mail on Sunday/
I am one of the longest standing and most regular contributors to the Mail on Sunday Travel section, both in print and online. Over the last 20 years I have written a regular column, written their online destination guides, destination reports, travel news stories and produced travel videos for the Travel Mail website.

Travelwriter and consultant –
I was one of the founder members and shareholders of this growing travel website. I am the major writer both for travel pieces under my own name and product reviews under the guise of The Kitmaster. Hits on my articles now total well over a million and the site has more than 100k UV a month.

Previous career details
Born: 3.7.56

Exeter School, Devon (11 ‘O’ levels and 4 ‘A’ levels)
Queens College, Oxford University (hons degree in psychology)

Staff journalism (1981 - 1993):
Oxford Journal (trainee reporter - including full NCTJ training, senior reporter, News Editor)
Sunday Journal (national news reporter, subeditor, motoring and travel correspondent)
Cornwall Courier (investigative reporter, Deputy Editor)
Falmouth Packet (Editor, rising to Group Editor, running papers and magazines all over Cornwall and West Devon with staff in various regional offices)
South Wales Echo (Features subeditor/Assistant Editor)
Community Media (head hunted to become Editor of the Bristol Journal, rising to Group Editor managing large circulation free newspapers and magazines across Avon, Somerset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire)

Freelance career (since 1993):

Editing: RAC Magazine, Make Yorkshire Yours (Yorkshire Tourist Board magazine), BMW Magazine

Consultant editor: Toyota Magazine, Quick & Easy Cross Stitch, Simply Crafts, Redline Magazine (Acting Editor)

Feature writing, photography and sub-editing for clients including:
Sunday Times, Times, Telegraph, Guardian, Independent, Independent on Sunday, Mail, Mail on Sunday, Sunday People (contracted freelance production sub), Evening Standard, What Diesel, Redline, BBC Top Gear magazine (worked on the launch and subsequent issues until offered full-time roving feature writer role), Autocar, AutoExpress, Lexus magazine, BMW magazine, Peugeot Rapport, Good Woodworking, UK Press Gazette, MacUser, Bella, PC Plus, Orange magazine, Western Daily Press, Farming Weekly, Lloyds Bank magazine, With Kids magazine, The London Paper

Online journalism, including news, consultancy, editing and video:,,,,,,,,,,,,

BBC Open Country R4 2009
BBC TV4 Only Connect 2008/11 - captained the team of British travelwriters on two BBC Channel 4 shows

Media, editorial, tone-of-voice and marketing consultancy clients:
Story Worldwide, London
Specialist Publishing, Bristol
Yorkshire Tourist Board
MediaClash, Bath
Illustrated London News Group
Quartet Publishing

Devon - The Best of Britain (Crimson Publishing 2008)
Taste Britain (Punk Publishing 2010)
1001 Escapes (Quintessence 2010)
1001 Cars (Quintessence 2012)
Kingston Lacy (National Trust 2012)

Freelance TV research:
BBC Extreme Machines
BBC Big Boys Toys

Owner, designer and writer: (85 page-website)

Specialist areas

guitars, cars, crafts, local news, travel, motoring, history, the countryside, the environment, food, music and business


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