Football stadiums as visitor attractions with Laura Chiplin

In this Skip the Queue podcast episode I speak with Laura Chiplin, Head of Visitor Attractions at Tottenham Hotspur Football Club.

Laura Chiplin has over 12 years’ experience in the heritage, arts and attractions sector. With a passion for delivering great visitor experiences, Laura is currently Head of Visitor Attractions at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in North London.

Laura’s early career was greatly influenced by her love of music and theatre, taking up her first role at the Barbican Centre whilst studying at the City of London University in 2007. Laura spent the following 9 years at Europe’s leading art centre, before embarking on a new chapter in her career with the V&A Museum, where she headed up the visitor experience team.

During her time here, Laura lead a growing team at a key period in the museums history with the opening of the Exhibition Road Quarter; the first major expansion in the museum’s 100 year history.

This influential period in Laura’s career fuelled her passion for delivering exceptional visitor experiences and she was ready for a new challenge…one with slightly different goals.

With a ground-breaking stadium project underway in North London, Laura was approached to lead the Visitor Attractions team at the newly built Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in N17.

As Head of Visitor Attractions, she leads a 70 strong team at the Premier League ground, developing and delivering world class experiences, in an exciting and fast paced environment.

When not in the office, Laura enjoys reading, eating out and walking her dog, Morris in North East London.

“One of the key things the club wanted to deliver with this new stadium was an unrivalled fan experience, and that’s what we want to do, an unrivalled fan guest experience on the visitor attraction.”

What will you learn from this podcast?

  • The concept of a football club as an attraction
  • How Spurs have taken the visitor attraction concept to a whole new level
  • How much has digital and social media played a role in the marketing of that attraction

To listen to the full podcast, search Skip The Queue on iTunesGoogle Podcasts and Spotify to subscribe. You can find links to every episode and more at www.rubbercheese.com/podcast.

You can also read the full transcript below.

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The interview

Your host, Kelly Molson

Our guest, Laura Chiplin



Kelly Molson: Laura, thank you so much for coming on the podcast today. I’m really excited to chat with you.

Laura Chiplin: Thank you so much for having me. I’m really excited to be talking to you too.

Kelly Molson: Well, I’ll be very kind with the icebreaker questions, I think.

Laura Chiplin: I hope so.

Kelly Molson: Don’t worry. Okay, so start with this one. If you could take three things to a desert island, what would they be?

Laura Chiplin: Ooh, I would take sun cream, because I don’t want to get a sunburn. Very important. Maybe a barbecue, so I can cook some nice fish. I don’t think I’d be that good at making a barbecue on my own. I probably wouldn’t last very long at all, but I could, lying there, a bit of fish on the barbecue. What would my final thing be? A good book, a really long book, so it will take a long time to read.

Kelly Molson: A long book that could read over, and over, and over again and not get bored.

Laura Chiplin: Exactly, yeah. That’s on my list.

Kelly Molson: Now I’ve got this picture of you hunting for fish as well, with like a spear. Strong woman.

Laura Chiplin: Yeah, absolutely. That’s definitely the vibe I’m going for.

Kelly Molson: Good, okay. If you could choose a talent to grow and to develop, what would you most like to learn?

Laura Chiplin: Actually, this one’s quite topical. So at the weekend, my brother and I made some curtains. And when I say we did it together, he mainly did it. He’s very talented, he can really turn his hand to anything. But now having made the curtains, I know I need to make other blinds and curtains.

So I think having a practical skill, like sewing or something like that, actually it’s nice because you can help other people, it’s something can do yourself. It’s quite mindful as well, if all goes well. Something like that, I think would be quite good. And curtains are also very expensive, so that’s also another positive.

Kelly Molson: They are really expensive, phenomenally expensive. I really like that you picked that one, because that’s one of my goals this year is to learn how to use the very beautiful sewing machine that is sitting up in my spare room, just looking pretty and not getting a lot of action.

Laura Chiplin: We’ll have to learn together.

Kelly Molson: We can be accountability partners on that one. All right, noted. Have you ever been mistaken for somebody famous?

Laura Chiplin: Oh, don’t. When I worked at the Barbican, the guys always used to take the mick out of me and said I look like Celine Dion, which I absolutely do not look like Celine Dion. I love her, absolutely love her. She’s brilliant, obviously some great tunes, but she is quite a bit older than me. And I’m not sure we look like each other, but yeah, my old colleagues at the Barbican can had a bit of a running joke with that one. I do love karaoke as well, and singing, so that was probably part of it.

Kelly Molson: There’s a bit of a link there then. You are very fresh faced, she is considerably older than you. But there is a little touch there, I would say there is a touch of Celine there.

Laura Chiplin: Yeah, okay. I slightly walked into that one.

Kelly Molson: Thank you for sharing. What’s your unpopular opinion, then?

Laura Chiplin: Oh, my unpopular opinion is fruit in puddings. If it’s got fruit, in my mind, it should not be a pudding. Pudding should be chocolate, meringue, cream. I don’t want to see any fruit inside.

Kelly Molson: Not even an apple crumble?

Laura Chiplin: I knew you were going to ask this. So apple crumble is only acceptable, if the ratio of apple to crumble is like 25% apple and 75% crumble. And then like a hundred percent cream on top of that.

Kelly Molson: Very specific ratios there.

Laura Chiplin: There’s no thin crumble toppings, I’m not into that. It’s like a very thin layer of apple, and then hell of a lot of crumble

Kelly Molson: And really it’s all about the cream, in all honesty.

Laura Chiplin: Absolutely, yeah.

Kelly Molson: All right, thank you. I would love to know what people feel about the whole fruit in pudding scenario. I’m probably with you, because mine’s a chocolate brownie. That’s the best pudding.

Laura Chiplin: Yeah. Anything chocolate, I’m more than happy. I’m up for that.

Kelly Molson: Good. Excellent, thank you for sharing. I want to talk about today, the concept of a football club as a visitor attraction. Now listeners, you’ll know that I am a big Tottenham fan, so I’m really excited that I’ve got Laura in from Spurs today.

And I think we’ve all become quite accustomed to stadiums having stadium tours, and that’s pretty much the norm for a football club. But Spurs have taken the visitor attraction concept to a whole new level, and I want you to tell us about it today. So, can you share with us the experiences that Tottenham now offer as a visitor attraction?

Laura Chiplin: Yeah, absolutely. So as you mentioned, stadium tours, which are something that happen in many stadiums across the UK and the world. So, we have a stadium tours program here, so we offer a number of stadium tours. But our main one, which most visitors will go on, will take them through some of the key areas of the stadium, so really go behind the scenes and get to see the places that they would never normally get to see, if they were coming on a match day.

And those are mainly the player areas, so they would go into the first team dressing room, walk out the tunnel, pitch side, sit in the dugout. And also with this stadium, they would also go into custom built NFL facilities, explore some of our premium areas, and really get an overview of Tottenham Hotspur the club, but also Tottenham Hotspur the stadium. So, that’s our stadium tour that we offer and deliver.

And you mentioned taking things to new heights, so this is very relevant for the Dare Skywalk. So, this is a new attraction which opened in August, 2020, so this really takes visitors on a different experience in the stadium. And people harness up, they clip on, and they go on a journey which takes them up to the roof of the stadium, across an apex which is 46.8 meters above the pitch.

So it’s clear glass, you can see the stadium below, and then onto a viewing platform which has amazing views out to London. Because we are in North London, a really different aspect of the city, and quite a wide panorama which is absolutely lovely. So visitors can have a drink there, a glass of champagne, a beer.

And then our latest attraction is the Dare Skywalk Edge, which if visitors are feeling particularly brave, they can finish their Dare Skywalk experience by going over the edge, and descending on a controlled descent 42 meters to the South podium below.

Kelly Molson: Crazy.

Laura Chiplin: You’ve been, right?

Kelly Molson: I have been, yes. We actually went in September, 2020, so during the pandemic, but at a point where we were all allowed out to do things. And we actually saw Jose that day, so he came out while we were up on top of the roof, he came out on the pitch and shouted up. I can’t remember what they were saying, but people were shouting down at him and he was shouting up.

So, it was incredible. It was such an organised experience, like everything felt very safe, everything felt very slick. And actually being on the roof of your football stadium was mad. I could look down and see where my season ticket seat was. Yeah, it was just a really crazy experience. Like you say, part of it, looking at the views of North London and then into London, far across London was pretty spectacular, actually. Yeah, where did the idea come from to do this?

Laura Chiplin: So, I guess Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is home to Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, but it’s much more than just a football stadium. It’s host to other sporting and entertainment events. So the stadium is the London home to the NFL, so it’s the only stadium outside of North America that’s been specifically designed for American football. So we’ve got custom-built NFL spaces, locker rooms.

And we actually have two pitches, so we have a grass football playing surface, which then slides out, and underneath there’s an NFL artificial surface below. So, we’ve got a partnership with the NFL that they will play at least two of their London games here for over a 10 year period. We’ve already hosted a major boxing event, we’ve got rugby coming later this year, we’ve got concerts coming later this year. So, it’s already been announced that Lady Gaga and Guns N’ Roses will be playing in the summer.

So, it’s really a multipurpose sports and entertainment venue, and a new landmark in London. And I think that’s where the idea of the Skywalk and the attractions, they really support and tie into that idea of it being a London venue, that’s host to major events, and is also open and activated throughout the year.

So, it’s not just on traditional football match days, which there’s 25 days a year, and there’s a lot more that we can be doing with the stadium. So, it’s about activating the stadium throughout the year, and it’s about bringing people to Tottenham and the local area, creating new opportunities.

And also we’re engaging with, and connecting with new people beyond our fan base. So, you could argue that the stadium tour is perhaps more aligned to her football fans, which of course it is, but there are lots of interesting elements about our stadium, the architecture, the design, the technology. B

ut especially with something like the Dare Skywalk, we do see it as, it’s an attraction within London. And you can come and enjoy amazing views of London, it’s adventurous, there’s lots of things that ticks. So yes, of course it’s for our fans, but also it’s beyond, and helping us to engage with new audiences as well.

Kelly Molson: Yeah, I love that idea. I think that the idea that a football stadium, if you are a fan, I think obviously if you’re a Tottenham fan, these are a attractions that you want to go and visit, you want to be able to take part in. But as a football fan, the stadium is a huge draw.

It is a phenomenal piece of engineering, it is beautiful, the facilities are incredible. I think anyone that has an interest in football would love to go there and to be able to see that. So, that must be a draw for some of the stadium tours. What was interesting is when we were on the tour, there were actually two Arsenal fans.

Laura Chiplin: Exactly.

Kelly Molson: Which was like, oh, okay. They kept it quiet for a while, and then told us when we were at the top. But from their opinion, they wanted to come and see… It wasn’t necessarily about the football stadium, it was about the attraction and being able to take something fun.

Laura Chiplin: Exactly, yeah, definitely. We welcome anyone, no matter what team they support. Obviously it’s quite fun, have some fun with anyone who supports our North London rivals. But that’s exactly it, it’s about an attraction in London, a fun thing to do, things with families, couples, there’s lots of different people that we’re trying to attract.

Kelly Molson: That’s brilliant. What were the biggest challenges in getting those attractions up and running? Obviously from a health and safety point of view, I can imagine that that conversation was like, “We’ve got this idea about taking people up on the roof, and then dangling them over the side. How do you feel about it?”

Laura Chiplin: Yeah, exactly. I guess the biggest challenges, firstly, just going back to the stadium tour, so we opened a stadium tour in July, 2019 and the stadium opened in March, 2019. So it was an exceptionally busy time at the club, not only were we opening a new attraction experience, but we were opening a brand new stadium, so it was a rapidly expanding team.

We’d been at White Hart Lane, capacity of 36,000. The club had been playing at Wembley, and then we were opening the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium, which has a capacity of over 62,000 and it’s a multipurpose venue. So, the first priority was obviously to open the stadium, to have Spurs return to playing, and fans return to being at home.

So what we needed to do as an attractions team, was to develop and open the tour experience against this backdrop. So, much of our planning was when the stadium was still a construction site, there were thousands of trades working on the stadium a day, it was so, so busy. But what we really wanted to do, was there was so much momentum and it was such an exciting time at the club, so we worked with our colleagues to be involved in that momentum. And how could we get involved in the match day experiences?

Laura Chiplin: One of the key things the club wanted to deliver with this new stadium was an unrivaled fan experience, and that’s what we want to do, an unrivaled fan guest experience on the visitor attraction. So, much of the things that we did when we were setting up, were also aligned with the opening of the stadium. So for example, part of that, we delivered our Spurs Way training to a wide range of people who would be working on a match day.

I’m talking people who do sniffer dog patrols, to catering, to retail, and the attractions were very much a part of that. So, that meant that we could be involved with the approach for the stadium, and make sure there was that cohesion and consistency across what we were doing.

And then on the other side, we also needed to make sure we could actually deliver something with a moving timeline, and work out what we could open realistically, that matched the ambition that delivered a great thing for our guests, and for our visitors and fans. So, we decided to open with a guided stadium tour, and really tell the story of Tottenham and the stadium through people when we first opened.

So, that enabled us to incorporate with obviously the focus of opening the stadium, and then deliver the first of the attractions quite quickly after that. And then we knew we would develop them further on.

And then with the opening of the Skywalk, so all of this was incorporated into the design of the stadium, which is obviously great because we’re not retrofitting everything, it’s all very much part of the stadium build. So, a lot of those conversations began 10 years ago before I was at the club. So that was very much, that was intrinsically part of the stadium build and design, which obviously always helps.

Laura Chiplin: I guess, really the biggest challenge from our side, was that we ended up doing a lot of the last four months, yeah, four month period, we were doing it in a lockdown. Because as I’ve mentioned with the dates, where we’ve all tried to slightly block out of our minds, we opened the Dare Skywalk at the end, very end of August, 2020.

I think we opened it on the 31st of August, that was our first public day. So, much of the things that when you are mobilising a new attraction, that come in that last three to four months, they’re very much the onsite, the people, the recruitment, testing, training, all of those things. And that ended up having to be done within the national lockdown, and a very strict national lockdown, as was right of course at the time. But not work from home if you can, it was like everyone was working from home.

 So, we were already very much on the journey in terms of when we were going to open the Skywalk, and then the pandemic happened. So we moved the timeline slightly, it was probably about six, maybe six to eight weeks from what we had originally planned.

Obviously you never normally plan to open a new attraction the last day of August, but yeah, we decided that we were still going to open it, and open it when it was safe and we were allowed to do so from a government perspective, and also when we were ready. So, that was the biggest challenge. Loads of people have talked about pandemic challenges on this podcast, and just generally of course, it was a very challenging time. But especially with such a physical attraction, where people are coming and doing an activity, yeah, it brought new challenges.

Kelly Molson: Oh, I can only imagine how challenging that was. It’s interesting though, because it wasn’t delayed as much as I thought it was, only six to eight weeks actually. I would have thought, oh, it was going to be months and months and months where you had to keep pushing back. But in the grand scheme of things, that doesn’t sound too bad. What were the reactions from visitors, when they were able to come? Was there a pent up demand, because you’d been talking about it for so long?

Laura Chiplin: Yeah. The reaction was really fantastic, feedback has been really, really positive. The funny thing for us, is that we’ve been open since the end of August, 2020, but we’ve never actually done a full year of operation, so that’s the difference. And it’s like the stadium’s been open three years, but we don’t have three years worth of experience, because it’s been such a fragmented time within that period.

We opened in August, we had a good September, then I think October was good. Then we got to the end of October, half term, and then I think we went into the circuit breaker lockdown for November. We then reopened for a bit in December, and then we ended up closing. And then we had that, I think at the time we thought, oh, maybe it’s like a month lockdown. And then of course it ended up, I think being until around April.

And we could open the skywalk earlier, because it’s an outdoor traction, so that was a positive, so we were able to get people through. But yeah, the initial reaction and the reaction we’ve had subsequently, feedback’s been really positive, which is great.

But it’s also on the flip side, we are now I feel in a period where we’ve had like a good run at things, but we’ve kind of missed out that first bit that you would normally get with something new, where you’re tweaking and perfecting in the traditional sense. Whereas we were tweaking and perfecting. Right, outdoor attractions. Okay, so this is outdoor, but some of our elements are inside. How do we re-look at that to bring them in line, make sure everyone’s safe and things?

But actually, in doing that, we have slightly changed the flow of things, that they actually work better. So we’re, of course, obviously looking to constantly improve, constantly tweak, constantly monitoring customer feedback, net promoter scores, Trip Advisor feedback, all of those kinds of traditional things that you would think. But also then having the pandemic side within it as well.

Kelly Molson: That’s really interesting. So, do you think that the kind of stop start challenges that you’ve had, have actually helped in some way, by making you step back and refine it maybe quicker than you would have?

Laura Chiplin: Yeah. I guess if we were to take a positive, which I’m always happy to try to have a positive, yes. I think it was obviously very challenging at that time trying to work out. But yeah, I think subsequently we probably have made some tweaks and small updates to the overall visitor flow and operation, which probably worked better, that had we not been forced into that situation they may not have arisen. So yeah, probably a small few things like that.

Kelly Molson: There’s always a positive, isn’t there?

Laura Chiplin: Exactly. I’m desperate to find a silver lining in anything.

Kelly Molson: I like to find that spin as well. And so, I can remember when we came on our visit, and there was certain hashtags that we could upload our pictures and social media and stuff too, which we did, we loved to get involved. How much has digital and social media played a role in the marketing of that attraction?

Laura Chiplin: Yeah, hugely. We haven’t done any out of home marketing yet, and that was really a decision at the time, because why would you do that when people aren’t necessarily traveling in the normal way? So yeah, digital and social were hugely important.

We also had a really great launch, which our PR team did, and working with influencers, and key people on social media, and also digital channels to make sure that we could get the message out there, launch it, so that was really fantastic. We always want people to review us on Trip Advisor and share their experiences there. That’s a huge thing for us, because obviously with attractions it’s so vital, people finding new things to do.

And especially because of the situation that we’ve been in, there’s obviously a huge market that missing, and that’s the international market. And at the beginning, the pandemic and that time, actually people were wanting to go and do things outside of London, and outside of the city.

And that was also a concern, especially with the attractions and venues in London, that actually people were going to stay away because they wanted to go to seaside locations, countryside. So yeah, that was really important. And that’s something that we’re building on, and making sure that we can build on, and again expand to new audiences.

So we also used a lot of our own channels at that time as well, and we’re really lucky that we’ve got such a fantastic fan base that we can talk to. And we do have a lot of internal channels that we can use. So that along with digital and social, was a key thing that the marketing teams focused on. And now we’re looking to take that, to develop that even further.

Kelly Molson: Yeah. So I guess now that we’re seeing people starting to come back, there’s more opportunity to start looking at that international market, and really getting new people through the doors.

Laura Chiplin: Yeah, absolutely.

Kelly Molson: What about people coming back? Because this is always a thing with repeat visitors. So an attraction like a theme park, there’s annual passes that you can purchase. You might take your kids to that every couple of months depending on where you live, if you’re located to it. How do you keep these attractions current, and how do you keep people coming back to do return visits?

Laura Chiplin: Yeah. It’s so important to keep the attractions current, and it’s something that we very much focus on. So talking about stadium tours for a bit, so as I mentioned, we opened with a guided stadium tour, but it was always our ambition that we would go to a multimedia guide option. But guided tours perform very well with focus groups, and they perform very well based on feedback.

Customers really like guided tours, but it’s how we could take those elements and use more of multimedia, the technology that we have in the stadium to help bring in the story to life even further? And also offer more flexibility, and also more personal experiences for our customers, that was something that was really important to us.

So, we’ve already done quite a lot of updates to our stadium tour just in that time period, and we have a program of work scheduled to make sure that we can keep things current, keep things fresh. It’s really important for us that we can keep using new technologies that are coming out, that maybe we already have in the stadium, or that are perhaps more traditionally attractions focused that we can bring in.

We are lucky that we have lots of brilliant spaces in the stadium, and actually to do a whole tour of the stadium, we’d probably be here for about five hours. But it’s how we can bring in different areas on the route that people haven’t seen before, add new things in, and also looking at certain periods where we might open a space during the summer period, or tying into things like that. So, that’s really important for us.

Laura Chiplin: And then on the Skywalk, so we started with the Skywalk Roof Walk Experience, which I’ve mentioned. And then the Edge, which is the controlled descent element that opened in summer last year, so we’ve already added onto the experience within that time. And we’re looking at ways in which we can, I guess, use the space that’s up there. You’ve been up there yourself, but for people who haven’t, there’s actually quite a large viewing platform, so that would really lend itself to events or pop up things, so that we can incorporate things within that experience that are perhaps a bit different.

And then the other things we are looking at is just how we talk about, and also market the different climb experiences. So for example, coming on a day like today, which actually would be a perfect day, because it’s such a nice sunny day with a blue sky. But coming on a day like today, versus coming in the evening, when it’s sunset or the stars are out.

So, it’s how we talk about those different experiences, because it’s a different element. Or coming on a match day, so the Dare Skywalk is open up to two hours before kickoff. So as you said, when you came you actually saw the manager at the time, which was a real treat.

And it’s not saying that, obviously we don’t have that every day, but if you come on a match day, obviously that is a completely different experience, and there’s lots of activity happening in and around the stadium. Both in the exterior with people arriving, but also when you’re looking down into the pitch, that’s a different element, as opposed to a day like today where it’s probably a bit more calm and quiet down there.

Kelly Molson: It was super windy the day that we came as well. I’ve got this video of me, and my hair is like.

Laura Chiplin: That’s just part of the experience.

Kelly Molson: Yeah, it was great. It was good fun.

Laura Chiplin: Even more adrenaline.

Kelly Molson: I’m thinking weddings on the roof. That is a lovely big space up there with the beautiful views. I’m thinking weddings up there.

Laura Chiplin: Well, we’ve had quite a few proposals, which is lovely. So yeah, and again with those personalised experiences, so we do proposal packages for people that really want to take that proposal to the next level, no pun intended. But yeah, we have had quite a few up there, which is really lovely, and also a few in the stadium as well. But we are licensed for weddings up there, so if anyone’s interested.

Kelly Molson: Yeah. I’m glad that this is going out after I’ve just got married, because I’m pretty sure that would have been on Lee’s list of venues to do the wedding at. And I love Tottenham, don’t get me wrong. Just not sure if I’d want to get married up there.

Laura Chiplin: A climbing suit and a wedding dress.

Kelly Molson: It’s not a good look for me. Too windy, it would mess up my hair. So, what’s next? Are there any more exciting plans for different attractions, or anything new that’s coming that you can share with us?

Laura Chiplin: Yeah, so there are some new things coming. Probably not that I can say right now, but we are looking at a number of new attractions that we could add into our existing experiences. We’re also going to be launching later this year, technical tours.

So these are quite detailed and specific, but they will give customers another kind of view of the stadium, and really focus on the technical capabilities, the design, the architecture. So, it would take people underneath the pitch pocket, underneath the pitch, so to really get a completely different perspective.

So, we’re really looking at how we can bring in different interests, again, attract different audiences that perhaps wouldn’t necessarily come to go in the dressing room, but they’re very interested in the architecture and the design of the stadium. And then yeah, with the Skywalk, as I say, looking at how we can use that space on the roof and how we can incorporate different things into there, to give different experiences to our visitors.

Kelly Molson: Love it. I’m very excited to see how these new things develop. I do probably need to come back, and be brave, and dangle myself over the side of the building as well. Because that wasn’t open when we came, so that was my excuse for not doing it.

Laura Chiplin: You absolutely do.

Kelly Molson: Oh God, I don’t know. I don’t know. I’m actually not that great with heights, but I did feel very safe and secure up there, so I was okay.

Laura Chiplin: If I can do it, you can do it.

Kelly Molson: Have you done it?

Laura Chiplin: Yeah.

Kelly Molson: Oh, you’ve got to test them all, of course.

Laura Chiplin: Of course. Yeah, no, I couldn’t possibly not do it. But I also would not naturally dangle myself off the side of Tottenham Hotspur stadium. But I have done it a couple of times, so yeah, you must come back and do it.

Kelly Molson: That’s something to tell, “What did you do at work today?” “Oh, just para-sailed down the side of the building. Standard day in the office.”

Laura Chiplin: Yeah, exactly. Just another day.

Kelly Molson: I love it. Thank you for coming on and sharing. We’re at the end of the podcast, and I always our guests, if they want to share a book that they love. Something that can be work related or just a personal book that they really love to share, what have you got for us?

Laura Chiplin: So, I’m going down more a personal route. I do love self improvement, I call them self improvement books, but kind of mindset, and I’m really interested in those things. But I was thinking about it, and I was like, sometimes actually just reading a good novel, if you’re feeling quite stressed, or you’ve got a lot on, sometimes just reading a good book can really take you out that headspace.

And actually, that’s always a good thing. So I really like the writer, David Nichols, so I really love The Understudy. I also really like it because David Nichols used to be an actor before he was a writer, and actually The Understudy is a bit… It’s not autobiographical at all, but it does take a bit from, he was an understudy for a long time. And I guess from working in theatrebefore, I just really like that book.

And that led me to One Day, which you might have seen the film, you might have read the book. But One Day is a really beautiful book, in my opinion, to the point where I’ll always pop into a charity shop, I love going into charity shops. And they’ll often have it in there, because it was a such a best seller, for a pound or something. So I’ll normally pick them up and then just give them to people, for a nice, “Have you read this book?” “No.” “Oh, here it is.” It’s a nice thing to do.

Kelly Molson: That’s really lovely. That’s such a nice thing to do, I think giving a book as a gift that you love is such a personal thing to share.

Laura Chiplin: Yeah, so I’ve also kind of cheated because I’ve given you two things, two books. Sorry.

Kelly Molson: Everyone does this, everyone blows my marketing budget on a weekly basis on this podcast. But thanks.

Laura Chiplin: You just need to go to the charity shop.

Kelly Molson: Yes.

Laura Chiplin: I’ll have a copy at home now. I was looking at my bookshelf last night, and I actually have two copies of One Day on there at the moment. So, I should just send you one.

Kelly Molson: Well, there you go. So if you want to win Laura’s book, as ever, if you go over to our Twitter account and you share this announcement, podcast announcement with the words, “I want Laura’s book,” she’s going to send you that. I’ll get her to send it directly to you.

Laura Chiplin: I will.

Kelly Molson: Thank you, you’ve saved my marketing budget. It’s been so lovely to have you on today. Thank you so much for coming on and sharing. I didn’t ask you though, are you actually a massive Tottenham fan?

Laura Chiplin: I wasn’t a Tottenham fan before I started working here. That’s what I’ll say, but I’m absolutely a Tottenham fan now.

Kelly Molson: It’s evolved, the love is there. Thanks so much for coming on, it’s been great to chat to you.

Laura Chiplin: Thank you so much for having me.


Do you know someone we should be talking to?

Do you know someone fascinating we should be talking to?

If so, email us at info@rubbercheese.com – we’ll get back to you shortly.

Paul Wright.
Kelly Molson Managing Director

Host of the popular Skip the Queue Podcast, for people working in or working with visitor attractions, she regularly delivers workshops and presentations on the sector at various national conferences and universities including The Visitor Attractions Conference, ASVA and Anglia Ruskin University.

Read more about me

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