Ex-News Of The World and Reveal showbiz editor, Rav Singh has confirmed to BizAsia.co.uk that he has joined PR company, Outside Organisation as Special Project Consultant. We caught up with the man in the know about his new career move and his former work.
Rav you left News Of The World in 2008, how has the journey been since then?
It’s been a very interesting journey since the paper. I’ve had a lot of meetings in Mumbai about becoming a judge on Asia’s Got Talent. But nothing is confirmed yet. It’s going to be the biggest show of the franchise. It covers Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, Phillipines, China etc.
While that was all going I joined Reveal Magazine as Assistant Editor (Showbiz) in July 2009 and resigned a year later. It was completely different to what I had done in the papers and the pace wasn’t as full on. But I’m glad I did it for the experience.
Now of course, I’m at the Outside Organisation.
It’s my THIRD week already!!
You scooped many awards as a credible showbiz journalist during your tenure at News Of The World, was it a difficult decision to leave?
I’ve always been a great believer in change. Nothing lasts forever. You have to have a game plan and stick to it. I knew I wouldn’t be at the News Of The World for the rest of my journalistic career. I was at News International for 10 years which included my time at The Sun.
That’s a good innings in any book.
I had some fantastic times while I was there under the editorship of Andy Coulson when we swept the board at the Press Awards.
Every PR used to worry when we rang them on Saturday when we were going to press as we normally had a huge story about their client.
You are now working as a PR consultant at Outside Organisation, tell us more about this?
The company is the largest independent outfit in the UK. The boss, Alan Edwards is one of the best operators in the industry. I’ve known him for over 15 years from the other side of the fence, during the days of Spice Girls to Boyzone. We had many conversations in the past about me joining and I’m so happy we’ve finally done it.
My job as a consultant is to give my tabloid expertise on existing clients which include Usher, Prince, P Diddy and Naomi Campbell to name a few.
But also to look at new business ventures which includes the huge Asian market. In my opinion there is a lot of scope to help and promote everyone from Bollywood stars, sporting idols to businesses that want to promote here and abroad in India.
Outside can facilitate these people to appear in the national press as well as the Asian media.
It’s a very interesting time with David Cameron going over to India and the country being one of the fastest growing economies.
From a journalist to a publicist, how has the transition been?
I’m still going through the transition. It’s early days but I’m loving it. Being a consultant is fascinating, I’m talking to everyone from the showbiz world to corporate businesses. I’ll let you know how it goes later in the year.
With Outside Organisation you are scouting for Asian talent, which is a new territory to what you are known for, so could you be representing Bollywood stars in months to come too?
If there is one company who can do it, it۪s definitely Outside. We represent everything across the board. For example: University of East Anglia (Climategate), Richard Desmond’s bid and purchase for C5.
As well as the entertainment and music stuff and bringing consumer brands into the entertainment world – merging big events with brand sponsorships etc… So representing Bollywood stars would just had to our huge stable. But we can and also want to represent Asian businesses. As I’ve said these are interesting times.
What does your day-to-day activities consist of as a publicist?
Every day is different, that’s the beauty of the job. I’m working on numerous projects. The days are flying by.
From Hollywood to Bollywood, how has re-working with the Asian industry been for you?
I’ve always read all the Asian newspapers daily and watched every Bollywood film, so it’s nothing new for me to be honest.
Which is the biggest story to date you have covered and feel proud about?
The biggest story I did was the late Boyzone star Stephen Gately coming out. It was 1999 and ironically Outside were looking after Boyzone when he decided to come out and tell the world he was gay.
I worked very closely with them and Stephen and we changed the way tabloids deal with sensitive stories. You just have to look at the papers a few weeks ago about the story of X Factor winner Joe McCeldery coming out. The template was already set up by us for them to use it.
I remember being at Stephen’s funeral last year when I saw his ex boyfriend Eloy De Jong who he came out with in the story. He just hugged me and told me: “You changed my life.”
Who would you brand as your close 1. Close Hollywood friend 2. Close British artist friend 3. Close Bollywood friend?
I have many friends and don’t really like to brag and name drop. But let۪s put it this way, I’ve been to Simon Cowell’s house here and in LA so many times I’ve lost count. I’ve also spent a few days at A R Rahman’s house in Chennai (Madras) which was lovely and his sister makes a great biryiani!
As you have mainly been known for Hollywood/British showbiz news, do you keep in touch with the latest Bollywood going-ons?
I love going back to Leicester to see my family but I don’t see them as much as I would like to. It’s the perils of working in London and being busy all the time. But when I do go back I eat so much I just pass out on the sofa. Heaven.
Not many know that you have immediate family residing in Leicester, how often do you go back there?
No one can predict the future but my game plan is to carry on working flat out and with Outside and be able to merge certain businesses between UK and Asia. I’ve always believed in “the World is your Oyster”.