Monday, 11 February 2013

Interview: Roisin Shaw - The Phil Project


I am honoured to have interviewed the creator of the #PhilProject and owner of one of my favourite Twitter accounts, Roisin Shaw aka @DanosaurArmy

She spoke to me about her recent project, which was made for Phil Lester's birthday.

Here is the interview!

1. So what was the #PhilProject all about?

Wow - that's a lot of letters!
'The #PhilProject is something I set up for Phil Lester's 26th Birthday. I created it because (as you probably know) Dan & Phil's P.O. Box has been closed for two years. I happened to have a few family friends that had ways of contacting BBC Radio 1 - They were able to help me get a package to Phil. I also went to BBC Jersey (Channel Islands, where I live) and they helped me track down contact details and gave me a confidential address to Dan & Phil's Radio show that wasn't open to the public at the time (I'm not sure if it still isn't). They told me the package would definitely get there and I internally fangirled as the whole plan was coming together! I wanted to help as many member's of the Phanbase as I could to get their Birthday presents, cards, letters, drawings, photos etc. to a person that means so much to them, as they had almost no other way of doing so. I also wanted to make sure Phil had a fantastic birthday, of course!'

2. What made you think of the idea?
3. Why did you decide to do it?

4. How many people sent stuff to you?
5. What sort of things did they send?

'Believe it or not, the #PhilProject first started off as a card from me with a few usernames inside. My plan was to put together a Birthday card, tweet about it, and choose around 15 usernames from the retweets to write inside and send to him through the BBC. It got alot more retweets than expected, and the big hype of Phans desperately tweeting me to just be their Twitter names on a piece of paper, was enough to prove how much they wanted to be included in the slight chance of Phil noticing them and knowing they'd wished him Happy Birthday. That sparked the idea to start the whole project up so they could properly give him their own gifts and personal letters/drawings. I eventually ended up with over 350 people involved; sending letters/small parcels to my house, tweeting me hundreds upon hundreds of photos and begging me to help them get included in the project some way or another.'

6. Were there any strange things you got sent for the project?

'Fortunately, I didn't receive anything too strange. I was worried about the possibilty of having creepy photos or severed heads sent, but I managed to not get any of those things or other objects related that could possibly mentally-scar me for life.'

7. What was the cutest thing someone sent in for Phil?

'Probably one of the best gifts sent was a chocolate Twister game from @Deliantesers97. One of the cutest had to be a cartoon drawing of the Fantastic Foursome being attacked by a load of Zubats and a Beedrill then having Phil save the day. That was sent by @LaurenUsagiAlso another amazing gift was @TokieDokiePoki's handmade origami lion. That was zoomed into a couple times during the show and he held it up :')'

8. Did you send anything yourself?

'I bought him a t-shirt which actually turned out to be completely massive as they didn't have any mediums! I wrote in the card he could use it as a dress/pyjamas or whatever, but otherwise just to get rid of it. :')
I also decided to be completely cheesy and buy him the book 'We're Going On A Bearhunt' as he once mentioned that it was his favourite book as a child. (Hahaha I know, I'm so unbelievably soppy).'

9. Would you do it again?

'I don't think I would do it again, no. Not because I wouldn't want to put the effort and money in again - Just because I think redoing the whole thing would destroy the purpose of it being a lovely unexpected surprise for Phil on his birthday. I have got plans for a #DanProject which I will be announcing the details of in March, seeing how this project goes. The #DanProject won't involve the whole sending cards etc, I've come up with something different that he will definitely love and all the Phanbase can get involved in.'

10. How do you imagine/hope Phil will react to the project?

'Well, it's Phil. He'll be so overjoyed at the fact we all went to the effort to put something like this together for him. I'm putting an explanation of the Project at the top of the box - Also telling him to open it all on camera, so we'll see his reaction for ourselves hopefully!'

THIS was his reaction:

Roisin added: 'He didn't open it on camera, but he did take a photo, decorated the Radio 1 studio with the photos/drawings/presents and held them up to the camera/zoomed into them multiple times during the show! (which was way more than enough)'

Thanks for the AMAZING interview Roisin!

The Book Critic x

Side Note: In case you haven't already checked it out, it would be great if you could all take a look at my 'Stay Strong and Carry On' campaign. Let's get the world talking about it!


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    1. It's not comic sans I can assure you - it is a font designed for a blog and I use it for all of my posts.

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