INTERVIEW: Tom, Founder of Ricky.com

Ricky Rabbit ProductA few weeks ago, I was having a browse online (okay – procrastinating, not writing) and I came across an article on the Metro website which caught my eye. The title was ‘Man sold home and lives with parents so he can sell rechargeable sex toys‘.

To me, it sounded like a clickbait Daily Mail style title. Well, it worked because I clicked it. Reading though, what I could see was an inspiring story of entrepreneurship and business acumen, not to mention lifting the lid and taboo on female masturbation (and having fun with it too).

Unfortunately, the Metro decided to paint this man and his business, I feel, as a slight joke. I’m not going to link it but feel free to search it.

The article read tongue-in-cheek and really struck a chord with me – I felt it was awfully unfair and that a lot more could have been done with the message behind it all. In addition, I wondered if the article would have been written in the same way, had the founder been a woman?

And don’t worry, I’m not being a pussy – I told them. I also got in touch with Tom, the founder of Ricky.com to see if he’d like the chance for him and his business to be presented in a fairer way. Luckily, he said yes.

What’s your backstory?

Since leaving school at 16 I’ve enjoyed working for myself, dabbling in a few different business ventures, trying to find what works and what doesn’t. I started off doing vlogs for my Bebo profile (back in the days when Facebook wasn’t really a thing) and once the videos picked up some decent traffic I was offered the chance to produce and present my own series for the site. I did enjoy some success with this business making videos for Bebo, Channel 4 and MTV. With Channel 4 I was lucky enough to make my own online spin-off show for Big Brother (Series 9).

Without a doubt my most successful idea was a hook-up site called Shag at Uni that I launched back in 2013. The idea came off the back of another dating site I had called Date at Uni and I thought why not try something a bit more risqué and frank? I was blown away by how popular the site became in such a short space of time and it quickly surpassed the membership numbers I had on all of my other sites.

I was fortunate enough to buy my own house, a few nice holidays and enjoy my independence with the financial success of Shag at Uni. It definitely built my confidence up in business but also as a person. It taught me a lot about life and to stay humble – I’ve never taken this good fortune for granted.

How was Ricky born?

The initial success I enjoyed with Shag at Uni did begin to tail off once Tinder properly penetrated the UK scene. Tinder was and still is a well-funded machine that I wasn’t prepared to go up against so I wanted to explore new opportunities and find a new idea for me to get stuck into. I was watching a documentary on TV about the early days of LoveHoney and what a success the two founders have made of their business and it really inspired me. I already knew the UK public loved sex, so it totally made sense that sex toys were also on the rise! This was around three years ago that I had this seed planted in my head. 

I did a lot of online research into the industry and decided to book myself an economy ticket to China to go and learn about the production process. That initial trip was a massive eye-opener and I quickly learnt it wasn’t going to be as simple as buying some stock and listing it on a site. I needed to spend more time researching what Ricky’s USP would be and how I was going to ensure my toys were better and how my business would be a success. 

As I ploughed more money and time into development I wanted to have a hands-on approach to the entire process. It took me a while (and many trips to China) to decide which were the right factories for me, the style of my product range and I had to learn about the quality control process & the conformities I needed to obey.

I love the website – it is quirky, fun and a bit more ‘real’ than the kind of ‘cloak of mystery’ larger websites may use – why did you choose to do it that way?

Thank you so much! It would’ve been a hell of a lot easier for me to spend less time and money and build a standard-look site that listed thousands of sex toys for sale. I don’t think this kind of approach would have had any longevity or real chance of making its mark alongside the likes of LoveHoney or Bondara. 

Rather than be the Amazon of sex toys, Ricky is a site that procures a selection of fun and exciting toys to an exceptionally high quality. I wanted Ricky’s offering to be colourful and feel great. I’ve bypassed the cheap tat and also the overpriced stuff.

Tom with Chinese Biz Partner in Shanghai China

Why are you such a strong advocate for women’s pleasure?

It’s many women’s norm that they’ve never done it alone (reserving masturbation for something they do with their partner during intimacy) and many others struggle to climax. Sex toys aren’t going to be a 100% fix for everyone but I’ve found it fascinating that so many women do enjoy better masturbation with one and if a vibrator can really enhance so many women’s experience isn’t it worth shouting about? 

It probably sounds a bit simplistic but I just want to build a business on this concept and be absolutely brazen and shameless in promoting this message if it helps more women to enjoy their body more on the daily! Everyone deserves to enjoy masturbation and I am absolutely passionate in promoting this against any kind of stigma.

Do you think there’s a taboo around this type of thing?

100% there is. Many people are too embarrassed to talk about masturbation and need to fluff it up with words like ’self-care’ or ‘pleasure’. Btw that’s totally OK and I certainly appreciate that we don’t all need to shout about it loudly like I do (I’m promoting a sex toy business, so it’s my prerogative to do it!) 

Aside from product I also wanted the message of Ricky to make a real difference. The topic of masturbation (particularly female masturbation) is still taboo and sex toys are still being marketed by some of the other players in this market as ’naughty’ or ’secretive fun’ and I just want to bash this down. I want to use my character Ricky Rabbit to invite women & men to feel more confident and comfortable to buy a sex toy and hopefully even talk about it more.

What does your day-to-day look like right now?

It’s absolutely madness! I’ve worked so hard for years on the product development side of the business (which is still ongoing) and now I’m juggling the mix of marketing and fulfilling customer orders. There’s only myself and two part-time members of staff handling this crazy venture. So I’m doing many late nights and weekends to try and get everything done. 

On a typical day I’ll wake up at about 7am and get into the office an hour later after having had something quick to eat. I’ll start by responding to any unanswered emails whilst also checking through what new products are coming onto the market. Although Ricky has just launched I’m very mindful to keep my finger on the pulse to keep our offering fresh and updated.

I’ll spend most of the morning working on our marketing campaigns that are being trialled and tested to boost the brand awareness. I’ll also help with anything my two teammates might need help with (in these early days I’m also still learning things on the job).

The afternoon is spent mostly packing and shipping the orders that have come through on the website whilst also trying to keep on top of our social channels (instagram and twitter). I’m not actually a massive fan of social media, I’d prefer a quiet and off-the-grid kind of life, so this new venture has propelled me back into the selfie life ha!

Do you have a bestseller at the moment?

Yes! By far our runaway hit is the Ricky Deluxe Bullet Vibrator.  We’ve nearly sold a quarter of our entire inventory which is phenomenal considering how new we are to the scene. I’m blown away by the popularity of it and of course so relieved that public have the same love for it as I first did when I developed the toy. I think it’s popular due to its classic look and its compact and cute appearance. Its low price point is another plus!

Ricky Deluxe Bullet Vibrators

Where do you hope to see Ricky in a few year’s time?

I’m powering full steam ahead to hopefully be up there with LoveHoney and Bondara etc. I’d like to be recognised as one of the big sex toy retailers in the UK with a proper care for its customer base.

With so much of my money and time tied-up in the business of course I am hoping for financial success, but no matter how big or small Ricky.com becomes, I have learnt one thing early on: I really value the customers that choose to shop with me. It’s a really rewarding feeling when they pick Ricky over the hundreds of sites online and I want to go above and beyond to give them a personal service and tell them how much I appreciate their support.

If you like, you can follow Tom / Ricky.com on Instagram and Twitter. See more of my interviews here.

INTERVIEW: LRD Lifestyle Online Health & Fitness Coaching

Woman in pink fitness gear on a pink background

Anyone who knows me will know I’ve gone 180 on my previous lifestyle and have actually begun listening to, and working with – not against – my body. I joined the gym proper nearly a year ago and make a concerted effort to not only get there, but do well there a few times a week. Where once I’d run a 5K, do a few sit-ups and call it a day, I’ve entered the world of equipment, reps and focus.

Although it’s taking a while to get out of the ingrained mindset of ‘no scale weight-loss = no change’ (more really good bits on that below), my clothes fit better, I feel more confident and I’ve so much more energy. I’m beginning to see changes I’d never have imagined.

One such change was glancing down at my leg during a game of pool in Cyprus and noticing that my pin-leg, little twiglet, so-small-you-can-get-a-hand-round calf had an ACTUAL MUSCLE STICKING OUT. Cue me hopping round the table screaming at Will, poor chap, to “FEEL THIS!”

A lot of my routine and lifestyle is developed by my own research – and there’s a lot of bullshit out there. One such source of solid information is LRD Lifestyle Online Health & Fitness Coaching.

She has been so helpful with my random questions about form, which exercises work best and diet. Everyone say it with me: a calorie is a calorie.

She frequently posts short and sweet videos about timely and interesting issues in the industry, particularly about Mabel down the road trying to convince you onto ‘fat-busting tea’ and isn’t afraid to call big influencers out on their bullshit. Well worth a follow and if you sign up, you can expect a wealth of knowledge and support.

What’s your background in fitness and health?

I was always a sporty kid – I sprinted for an athletics club and played football. I found my way into the gym and became a gym instructor, a group exercise instructor (Bodypump, Boxing and Spinning if I couldn’t avoid it..) and then qualified as a personal trainer. At that point, I didn’t really like what the fitness industry was about, so I stepped away into the finance industry. I still kept myself in fairly decent shape and went to the gym 3-4 times per week and found myself getting more into the weights side of it than the cardio equipment.

I didn’t get into bodybuilding until I was north of 40 – I competed in my first competition just before my 42nd birthday and have been absolutely obsessed with it ever since. I think being an extreme person is why it appealed to me. It is 24/7 and every decision I make will affect how I look on stage. Crazy! I got back into the coaching side of it through people asking for advice, really. I don’t work with bodybuilding clients as (ironically as I do it myself) bodybuilding is pretty extreme (at competition level) and isn’t always the best thing healthwise. I work with general population clients and really encourage the habit forming side of health and fitness.

The worst health / fitness myth you’ve ever heard and why it’s wrong?

Ugh, so many out there. I have rants on my FB page on the regular about all the crap that is floating about. It’s so hard for people to know what is right and what isn’t. I am evidence-based on the whole – so this means understanding the science behind why something works and applying critical thinking. Why does something work?

A big one (helped by a certain curly haired multi-millionaire with an annoying voice) is the ‘afterburn’ of exercise, particularly HIIT or interval training. People rolling around all day thinking they’ve ‘revved up their metabolism’ because they jumped around for 20 minutes. Sorry sunshine. The EPOC (excess post exercise oxygen consumption) is a bit of a myth. Yes your metabolism will be raised but so minimally that there is the teeniest tiniest affect.

Genuinely, you’re better off saving your knees and ligaments and going for a nice walk with the dog.

Is there a simple change someone can make that would make a huge difference to their fitness game?

It depends on their current fitness level. I always like to meet people where they are (metaphorically not physically as obviously I work online!) so it varies greatly. It also depends on their current lifestyle habits. But, in general, everyone could always do with more daylight, more fresh air, to concentrate on their rest and recovery and not to sweat the small stuff.

Biggest piece of advice – adherence and consistency is key so find something you enjoy (or hate the least).

Some people can’t afford to join the gym – what else can they do?

Home-based exercise is more tricky from an equipment point of view but absolutely can be done. There are loads of Youtube videos giving simple guides and ways of exercising using only bodyweight. I have a couple of clients who work out at home and they are seeing great results.

What’s the best way to lose weight?

Again, it completely depends. Weight loss and fat loss are not the same thing. It is easy to lose weight by not eating enough. However, losing fat in a healthy and sustainable way is more difficult. I would say the following are the cornerstones and although the concepts are straightforward, they are far from easy to execute: Lift weights, be in a very slight calorie deficit, get plenty of steps in and prioritise sleep.

It is such a complex subject with so many moving parts and elements that it would be unethical of me to give a definitive answer. To me, weight loss is not the same as improving health, having better body composition (body fat/muscle ratio), enjoying a healthy relationship with food, forming good habits and finding ways to improve yourself physically, mentally and emotionally.

I love that there seems to be more of a movement towards women wanting to be strong and the whole ‘strong is sexy’ ethos.

What would you say to the women worried about getting ‘bigger’ at the gym?

Once I stopped laughing I’d ask them for their tips…women’s hormone profile means that we typically have to work extremely hard to build muscle. Believe me, I tick every single box in order to build muscle and it is still a very slow process. It is a bit like someone avoiding driving in case they accidentally turn into Lewis Hamilton or not going for a jog in case they become Mo Farah. It’s just a ridiculous concept! If a woman goes to the gym and lifts weight they will change shape, be smaller at the same weight (who cares about weight if your waist is 2 inches smaller?) and get a banging body.

Losing weight just makes you a smaller saggier version of before. Lifting weights will give you that lovely shape and bring other benefits like improved bone density, being stronger etc. Girls who lift look a thousand times better than those who don’t in my opinion. Who doesn’t want a peachy bum and nice defined shoulders in a little black dress? Getting big veiny biceps doesn’t happen accidentally so for anyone who is worried, don’t be

Give me your opinion (no holds barred) on the celebrity ‘fat-busting tea’ trend / Instagram in general?

Irresponsible, unethical and sickening. Basically preying on people’s insecurities to make a bit of dollar. It is indicative of our ‘have it now’ culture and people believe there is a quick fix. There isn’t. I’ve had a right rant about this on my FB page.

You can contact Lyndsey for online health and fitness coaching here. See more of my interviews here.

INTERVIEW: whatever happened to ’Half Ton Son’ Billy Robbins?

pencil and blank notebook on pink background

Back in 2009, Billy Robbins of Houston, Texas, was featured in a BodyShock documentary called ‘Half Ton Son’. Aged just 19 at the time, Billy was named as the world’s heaviest teenager, weighing in at 60 stone – just over half a tonne.

The programme honed in on Billy’s home life, his time in the hospital and his struggle to lose weight. He was housebound for three years, before doctors explained that he was at risk of losing his life if he didn’t make some changes.

He went on to lose half of his body weight through diet, gentle exercise and a gastric band, but still weighed an incredible 30 stone. 

Billy’s mother received criticism for her role in Billy’s weight-gain, seen during the documentary giving her son large sandwiches and even washing him by hand. Barbara Robbins shared a simple comment on the situation: “I do everything for him, because he is my baby”. 

Perhaps it is easy to point the finger, but a key breakthrough into Billy’s weight-gain is that Barbara lost another son – her first – at 19 months due to a brain tumour. During the programme, she said: “I overcompensated when I lost Matthew. It was hard to say no to Billy when he wanted something to eat. Maybe it is an addiction, maybe I’m addicted to my child? When will he stop – when I die?”

Billy Robbins in 2019

I’ve known Billy for a long time now, since around 2015. He’s super sweet-natured and funny. We keep up to date on how the other person is, occasionally talking about the differences between the US and the UK (“I am one of the few obese people that didn’t vote Trump”) Brexit, and the adventures of Billy’s eccentric cousin Frank, who lives on a pig farm.

I asked Billy about the attention he has received since he appeared on the programme and he describes it as a “tsunami” which “changed us forever”.

“TV made us known to people outside our street. Everyone started to judge us, without really knowing my family. Time has passed now, and it feels that everyone has forgotten us again.”

Billy’s future

Billy reports that his mum is doing “okay” and that he still lives with her at their home in Texas. He enjoys making new friends on the internet and celebrating family occasions, often visiting his cousin Frank’s farm for months at a time during summer. 

For those wondering about Billy’s weight, he told me that it is currently raised from his initial weight loss, but he is still dieting and his health is “good”. 

In the future, Billy hopes one day to travel, visit the UK and Buckingham Palace on my recommendation – and I definitely think he could do it if he set his mind to it.

Read some more of my interviews here.

INTERVIEW: Yoni femcare launches in the UK – what are you putting between your legs?

Yoni branded tampons on pink background– this post contains gifted products –

Yoooo…it’s your girl Ella, talking about her fanny on the internet again!

Are you surprised? Probably not.

When news of an organic cotton femcare company dropped into my inbox, I couldn’t resist having a look.

Yoni has now launched in the UK and is standing up to break the taboo around periods and asking women to question what products they are using each month.

Yoni was born when its CEO entrepreneur and co-founder Mariah Mansvelt Beck saw a specialist after going through a cervical cancer scare, who advised her to use cotton products. This led her to question, for the first time, her sanitary product choices.

Yoni’s tampons and pads are made from 100% organic cotton, with no chemicals, pesticides, or other synthetic materials added (which sets them apart from the majority of available supermarket brands.) In addition, it’s all recyclable and compostable packaging.

Have you tried the products?

Yes! On first sight, the packaging was lovely. On using the products, although they weren’t worlds away from what I’ve been used to in the past, I did have a sense of clarity that I knew exactly what they were made from and absolutely no guilt, knowing that I wasn’t contributing to plastic waste. I found them to be super absorbent and as good, if not better, than any supermarket brand.

I caught up with Yoni’s CEO entrepreneur and co-founder Mariah to ask some important questions.

How did you come to question the materials that make up our standard menstrual products and set up Yoni?

The seed for Yoni was planted in a personal experience. When I turned 30 in the Netherlands, you’re always asked to come in for a health check-up. I did so and found out a few weeks later that I was developing cervical cancer.

Luckily, I was in the early stages but I had to go in and out of hospital for the next 6 months and have a couple of procedures and operations. I kept asking my doctors, what can I do to further support my health?

One of my doctors advised me to stop using normal tampons and pads and start using organic cotton tampons and pads to prevent further irritation. Immediately, that was enough for me to want to make a change. So I started to look for the products and I couldn’t find them in my normal supermarket, so I had to go to special organic-minded stores.  But sometimes, I couldn’t find these products and was faced with having to use products I no longer wanted to use.

So, one rainy Sunday in Amsterdam, I went and had tea with one of my best friends from university, Wendelien, and we started talking about this and she asked me, well what are my normal products actually made from, aren’t they just made from cotton? So we got out the boxes of products that she had and we looked at the box and that’s really when the lightbulb moment happened. We thought, there’s nothing, there’s no ingredients listed on these products. For such an intimate product, that came as a surprise. I think for any hand soap, detergent, food product, all of these things, cosmetic products, you’ll find the composition of the product on the packaging. But for these products there was nothing.

A couple of months later, we gave up our jobs and set up a tampon company! We took a few months to research what these products are made from, but we had immediately had quite a strong vision of what the brand should be. 

For those who don’t know, what do the word yoni mean?

Yoni is the Sanskrit word for vagina. I knew the word and I needed to spend a weekend thinking about whether I was going to call my company Yoni. But it makes sense, it’s what we want to do.

Do you believe there is a stigma around menstruation – and why has it taken so long to tackle it?

If you look back in history, menstruation has always been a taboo. The word taboo is actually derived from the Polynesian language I believe and means “alongside menstruation” itself.

In all of the religions menstruation was in some way a taboo. I believe that’s because the female body and the female cycle was not understood. Something that is not understood could be seen as great and powerful but could also be potentially very dangerous. Something that is potentially dangerous needs to be kind of kerbed in. So you’ve got these rules or rituals that women needed to stick to or weren’t allowed to participate fully in.

It’s not even that long ago that even in Western culture there was the idea that if you were menstruating that butter wouldn’t churn, or if you touched the flowers that they would wilt!

How eco-friendly are Yoni products? Will they contribute to the one-use plastic problem?

We’ve always said with Yoni, if you really want to have the most, best environmental option that you can use in terms of your femcare products, then I would definitely say, use a reusable product.

However, we’re saying that we’re taking you on a step in the right direction using organic cotton, having cardboard applicators, and packaging that is biodegradable, or at least as much as is possible for right now.

Our products are made from organic cotton, which is an important choice because it’s hypo-allergenic, it breathes, which is what you do not have with a pad that has a plastic layer over the top. All of our products are all certified by the Soil Association. The backing of our pads and panty liners are made from a corn starch, which is biodegradable.

Have you always been so open about female sexuality and menstruation?

No, I don’t feel like I was in particular. I don’t feel like I was overtly private about these issues, but I definitely wasn’t the friend who always wanted to talk about my menstruation, not at all.

We came to this business from a very personal story and at the start I don’t think we were necessarily aware how taboo it was, what we were actually getting ourselves into, so I’ve grown into it.

For me, not everyone has to go on stage and talk about menstruation. Not everyone needs to parade their tampons in the office, but if you’re holding it with real shame and you feel it’s in some way limiting yourself, then that’s something we need to work on.

Yoni promotional image of tampon

Which taboos are you trying to break?

Yoni is looking to break the taboos around menstruation. My whole story of how the femcare industry up until now has really built themselves upon the taboo. It’s a problem, menstruation is a hygienic problem, it needs to be secretive. We have the solution, these are our products.

What we’re doing, using the word period and to have the word vagina on the packaging. To me, these are products for your vagina and therefore your period, so it’s nothing revolutionary. But, to have that on-pack is revolutionary. For some people this may be surprising and off-putting. But the intention is to actually start speaking about something that hasn’t been spoken about. 

Yoni products are available at Sainsbury’s, Planet Organic and the Yoni store – are you hoping to expand the availability of the products across the UK?

Yes, definitely. My aim and my belief is that organic cotton products should be made available on every shelf basically where you find femcare products. At this point in time we intend to get into more pharmacies and into other supermarkets and build it up from there.

What, in your opinion, is the future for femcare and the narrative on menstruation?

There are a number of things I’d like to see change about the femcare industry.

I’d like to see that every product that goes on the shelf should be transparent about the ingredients in the products. That’s something that I think the whole industry should be moving towards and that regulators and policy makers should be also helping the industry to move that way.

I’d like to change the whole narrative of the taboo around menstruation and so that you can have the conversation with your daughters, with your sons, your friends, with your healthcare providers and don’t feel limited in their being because of something that is part of them. 

‘Impossible’ hits the West End – interview with Sabine van Dieman and Josephine Lee

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Impossible, the breath-taking magic spectacular thrilling audiences worldwide, is back by popular demand, returning to its home in the West End for a strictly limited season.

Featuring the world’s greatest illusionists live on stage in a daring, jaw-dropping display of magical artistry Impossible will electrify and amaze theatre-goers of all ages.

That’s not all! In an exclusive guest appearance, Britain’s Got Talent’s Richard Jones joins the show. I loved him on BGT (helps he is super good looking, too).

I caught up with Impossible’s Conjurer Sabine van Dieman and Grand Illusionist Josephine Lee to find out what it’s like to perform on the West End and how it feels to be representing women in the magic world – see their responses below.

Stay tuned for a review of the show when I check it out on 13th July!

How does it feel to be performing on the prestigious West End?

Sabine van Diemen – It’s amazing, literally a dream come true. Being from Holland and being able to perform on the prestigious West End is unbelievable. I love the idea that so many great theatre people performed there. Awesome I’m excited!

Josephine Lee – I am absolutely thrilled and very excited. This will be my third show in the West End but my first show as one of the leads and it’s always so exhilarating to be part of the West End community.

Sabine van Diemen
Sabine van Diemen

When did you realise you wanted to be a magician? How did you get into it?

SD – When I was 18 I was dancing in the Holland Show Ballet and there was a magician doing a piece in between the two parts of the show. One of the assistants got injured on the day of opening night and they looked around the ballet and said: YOU! I had an hour to learn 6 tricks. I was so nervous but the show went very well and the adrenaline rush was indescribable. I was instantly hooked!

JL – I was working as a dancer in a magic show touring Europe for the world famous magician, Hans Klok. I finished the contract moved back to London and 6 months later I had a call from him saying a position had become available as his assistant and would I consider moving to Holland permanently to work for him. I thought to myself Ill just go for 3 months, came home 5 years later! An audience’s reaction is so unbelievably different to that of dancing that I just couldnt give up the thrill of it.  

The magic world is dominated by men and it’s rare to see female magicians. Are you treated any differently because of this?

SD – People are always very surprised when they hear what you do, but in a very good and positive way! They instantly think you are this strong, fearless power woman. Which we are obviously (hahaha). I don’t feel that we get treated very differently

JL – This is a great question and one that I feel I wish we were more often asked directly instead of assumptions being made on our behalf. I have read a lot on the views of feminism in magic and I must say I very rarely agree with any of them. The magic industry is heavily dominated by men, not because women are not given the opportunities men are but because there are not enough women taking that step and given it a go. I have had nothing but help, advice, encouragement and guidance from the magic community which is predominantly made up of men. If we are treated any differently its definitely in a positive way, theres a lot of enthusiasm towards female magicians taking to the stage.

josephine-lee-500x500
Josephine Lee

You are both trained dancers. Are you still dancing when not performing? If not, do you miss it?

SD – I’m still choreographing which I absolutely love. I’m not dancing so much anymore and that’s totally fine! I always liked magic way more!

JL – Dancing is slowly starting to take a back seat in my life and I find myself starting to pick and choose the jobs I take which I believe is quite possibly the beginning of transitioning into the next stage of my career. I dont believe its something I could ever give up though whilst my body still allows me, I think that would be a huge regret of mine in later life. I would like to hope Ill still be dancing in my 90s with my walking stick!

What do you get up to in your spare time when not performing magic?

SD – A lot! I still do a lot of modelling gigs as well as choreographing and producing shows for a big events company back in Amsterdam! Other than that I do kickboxing multiple times a week. Love to travel, shop (I need to stop that) go out with friends, cook, I’m an obsessive house cleaner haha and I just wander around Amsterdam!

JL – I do a lot of Yoga, I would say its more of an obsession than a hobby! I also love to read and my true passion is for travel so Im always planning my next adventure. Im not very good at relaxing so if im not working Im working on what ever Im working on next!

What’s next for you both? Do you have any more career goals for the future?

SD – You must have career goals! Or at least goals in life! That’s the fun part to see how far you can go! As far as the West End I feel totally blessed and I would love to tour the world with the Impossible cast and crew! Who knows? Anything is possible! Let’s go Vegas, Broadway, a big Asian tour? As long as we can keep doing what we love and bring the magic to the people!

I’m very happy to be working with Jo (Josephine Lee) and bring the audience some girl power!

JL – I believe its so important to keep yourself creatively stimulated so I never stop working on reaching the next goal. Im currently working on a very exciting project. My aim is to create a very unique act and intertwining all my skills into one. Theres so much magic in the public eye now and its becoming more and more popular with all these talent shows. Its truly so wonderful because it pushes us to step it up a notch and dig deep to create pieces no one else is doing, at a time like this you have to be unique. Its such an exciting time for magic!

Impossible runs from 8th July to 27th August at the Nöel Coward Theatre – tickets can be bought here.