The Big Issue marks its 30th birthday with a special vendor takeover edition of the magazine and brand-new video featuring Christopher Eccleston

The Big Issue has put 30 vendors in charge of the magazine for the first time this week to mark the title’s 30th. It has also produced a video featuring three vendors and a voiceover from Christopher Eccleston. 

The special edition features an open and honest conversation between Clive, a Big Issue vendor and writer based in Plymouth who obtained his GCSE’s this summer aged 58, and Doctor Who actor and Big Issue ambassador, Christopher Eccleston. The actor also provided the voiceover for The Big Issue’s new video. The video shows the transformation of the lives of three vendors. Eccleston said: “I believe buying a weekly edition of The Big Issue is an acknowledgement that we care. It was a pleasure to take part in this video for The Big Issue’s 30th Birthday as it showcases the important work the organisation does, and what it means for the vendors who are a part of it and why supporting the work they do is so important.”

The video, created by FCB Inferno, gives the viewers a brief insight into the journey of three vendors and what The Big Issue has meant for them. The video shows Ian Duff’s journey from the street, to selling the magazine and then to chef. It also highlights Paul Logan’s experience as a vendor and the work-experience he secured with a prestigious London-based law firm, with the support of The Big Issue Foundation. The video then closes on Louise Mason’s journey from becoming homeless to selling the magazine. 

In a unique approach, the magazine handed complete creative control to the men and women more regularly seen selling The Big Issue. It is a brilliant and entertaining read. The special edition includes articles, interviews, artwork and poems from vendors across the United Kingdom. The front cover is designed by Rich Rowe, a London-based Big Issue vendor and artist. 

It includes an interview between Cambridge-based Big Issue vendor Lee Welham and The Big Issue founder Lord John Bird. Lee spoke to him about everything from the reasons he started the magazine and John’s own experiences of homelessness, to what The Big Issue has meant to Lee’s own life and the lives of other vendors. 

The magazine includes all this and much more – with vendors from all over the country showcasing their passions and talents, as well as sharing what they wish they could have told their younger selves in a special vendor edition of Letter To My Younger Self. 

Lord John Bird, Founder of The Big Issue, said: “In the very first edition I said I wanted to see the magazine written by vendors – and 30 years on here we are! I couldn’t think of a better way to mark the 30th birthday of The Big Issue. 

“We have had countless contributions from our vendors over the years and I’ve always found that the quality of the work that they produce, is equal to anything anyone else could produce. I think this is a fantastic issue and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.”

Paul McNamee, Editor of The Big Issue, said: “Thirty years on, The Big Issue remains a vital part of the lives of thousands of people. And those people The Big Issue is here to help have been at the heart of everything we’ve done through the decades.

“And as we celebrate our 30th birthday we felt a proper way to mark the occasion was to give an entire edition of the magazine over to our vendors, offering them the platform to share their passions and pastimes, show their incredible artwork and tell us what they think our readers should know. We hope you enjoy this special edition. It won’t be another 30 years until we do the same again.”

Please go out and buy a copy from your local vendor, subscribe online or donate to our campaign – visit this link to also access the video.

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