James Renwick Interview | Endtroducing
We don’t normally feature people who work for us in Endtroducing, but for starters James Renwick is far from normal...
We don’t normally feature people who work for us in Endtroducing, but for starters James Renwick is far from normal, and secondly people are always asking who the hell this ‘Renners’ chap is that posts stuff on the Dirt website.
Well, the answer to that is he’s a guy who hides out at our publishers in London and does countless different things, one of which is helping us out with various web related things. Actually that’s not quite fair because there’s no way that anyone as tall as Renners could hide anywhere. His first answer pretty much sums him up, and it’s safe to say that I don’t think I have ever had a ‘normal’ phone conversation with him. Basically he’s kind of indescribable apart from a little mental and way too tall, but hopefully his Endtroducing might give you a little insight into the enigma that is Renners...
From Dirt Issue 121 - March 2012
Intro by Ed H. Photo by Nina Williams.
Who is James Renwick?
A 6ft 5" beanpole that broke a rib ‘extreme dancing’ at the weekend.
Where do you live?
Kilburn, Northwest London.
What’s your job title?
Editor at Factory Media.
What do you do?
I always seem to be doing something different. On top of day–to–day admin on MPORA, and occasionally Dirt, I’m currently overseeing the production of a series of promotional videos for British Cycling in the build up to the 2012 BMX World Champs, managing the development of the new Dirt Fantasy League site, while also signing up and managing various filmmakers for DirtTV and MOTO. A large part of my job involves promoting and seeding content across the net. In the past I’ve written for Yahoo!, Eurosport, produced a customer mag, devised and written ad campaigns, proof read in–house mags and filmed and produced videos. There’s a whole load of other stuff but I’m guessing you’ve stopped reading already.
What are the best and worst parts?
It’s great being able to commission up–and–coming filmmakers to produce work in the field they love. The office environment and annual Christmas party are pretty special also! There aren’t really any bad points. I guess it’d be nice to move the whole office into the country so that we can get out into the hills after work.
How long have you worked for Factory Media?
How did you land the job?
I started as an intern, got my head down, worked my socks off and refused to leave.
What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?
Writing up incident reports for the Commission for Social Care Inspection, it could be sad at times.
Where’s your favourite place?
In a forest, up a mountain or in the sea.
Where’s your favourite place to ride?
Chicksands and Woburn – different places, same belt of sand. I miss them both and all the people that ride there.
When are you happiest?
When I’m in the countryside, ideally on my bike.
What makes you angry?
People being unkind to other people.
What makes you happy?
Riding my bicycle sideways on a drift track. And making people laugh.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
If you keep doing that you’ll go blind.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever given?
Never use your face as a brake. I learnt the hard way.
What are your extravagances?
I’m too skint for extravagance. Having a go on someone’s full–sus is a treat.
Who do you admire?
My mum, she’s a tough old goat and a bloody good mum.
What’s the most important thing in your life?
My family and my girlfriend. I haven’t yet got a dog but my future dog Roger will definitely be up there.
What would you never throw away?
Something that can be recycled.
What’s your greatest fear?
Bagpuss. That fluffy pink devil pussy haunted my childhood.
What was your luckiest escape?
Being hauled ashore by a bunch of Kiwis after deciding a ‘quick nap’ on the beach would be nice. The tide came in and I was on my way out, apparently.
What’s the first thing you do in the morning?
Wonder how I ever managed to get such a smoking hot lady to share my bed with me.
What’s the last thing you do at night?
What would be your dream meal?
I love food so I’d probably go for a seven hour medieval banquet featuring French, Italian, Indian, Japanese, Chinese, Afghan, Jamaican and British cuisine.
What things do you always carry with you?
Wallet, keys, sense of humour.
Do you have any regrets?
Playing with farm machinery when I could have been building jumps.
What’s the most important lesson that you’ve learnt?
Exam papers often have questions on both sides.
If you could have dinner with three famous people (dead or alive) who would they be?
Robin Hood, King Arthur and Jesus.
Who is your favourite rider?
Danny Hart. I remember watching a video of him a while back, he overshot a jump and it looked so wild and loose but he held it together. I remember thinking to myself, ‘one day that kid’s going to win a World title’. True story.
What’s your favourite bike product of all time?
Chris King bottom bracket. It’s so smooth!
What’s your least favourite bike product of all time?
Anything that breaks and cuts a day’s riding short.
What’s your favourite motto or saying?
Probably something slightly inappropriate I found on Urban Dictionary.
What saying do you use too much?
What bike are you riding at the moment?
Ellsworth Specialist. I also have a Charge Duster that I must have clocked thousands of miles on – I’d feel guilty if I didn’t mention the old girl, she’s done me proud.
What was the last magazine you read?
What are you listening to at the moment?
Smashing Pumpkins – Siamese Dream.
What one thing would you change about yourself?
I’d put an extra joint in my legs so that I fit on public transport.
What are your weaknesses?
Birds. I’ve had a phobia of birds since my sister locked me in the bathroom with a Starling when I was seven. It cut itself flying into the mirror and got blood everywhere, scaring the crap out of me in the process. I don’t like their creepy little feet either.
What does the future hold for you?
I want to complete my first Ironman before the year’s out, finish building my website, work at my filmmaking and eventually build a house by a lake, near some mountains, where I can get out on the bike every day and take Roger on nice walks.
What does the future hold for mountain biking?
I think it’s going to get much bigger over the next few years. Action sports as a whole are suited to the fickle online environment as they’re so visually arresting.
How would you like to be remembered?
The Factory Media guy that, in just four short years, became a World Downhill Champion despite having previously displayed absolutely no ability on a bike whatsoever. You’ve got to dream.[series]