The Odyssey Expedition is pretty much a one-man-band. I travel unsupported and on my own – writing the blogs, updating the website and editing the videos as I go. But I wouldn’t last five minutes without my friends and family who take time out of their busy schedules to help in any way they can. These are the angels (and demons!) of The Odyssey Pantheon…
GRAHAM HUGHES (Odysseus)
MANDY NEWLAND (Penelope)
I met my sassy Aussie counterpart in Egypt during the heady eclipse-dominated summer of 1999, and we took on the world together for ten wonderful years. She stuck with me through thick and thin over the course of The Odyssey Expedition, but all good things eh? Even though we are now no longer a couple, she is still supporting me behind the scenes. She’s my bezzie and always will be.
IRENE & GRAHAM HUGHES SNR (Anticlea & Laërtes)
I blame the parents. If it wasn’t for the enduring support of my mum and dad, The Odyssey wouldn’t have left square one. As well as offering unwavering moral support (and helpfully reminding me to eat) my mum also helps with getting my visas sorted. Much like Luke Skywalker, I owe my adventurous / rebellious / genius / evil streak to my father. He sparked my passion for travel at an early age, he’s the only person I know who can beat me at Trivial Pursuit and he probably wouldn’t hesitate to blow up Alderaan.
DINO DEASHA (Hanuman)
LORNA BROOKES (Athena)
I met Lorna in the crazy world of 2007’s Beer Vortex – a six week bender precipitated by Mandy going home to Oz for a few months. I drunkenly explained my stupid plan for visiting every country in the world and Lorna drunkenly said she would help… she’s kept her promise, helping me score rides on more cargo ships than I can remember.
ANNA ROSSER (Artemis)
Anna is my top chum from home and somebody who has been there for me through thick and thin. She hung out with me in Bali and looked after me in Liverpool after Mandy and I broke up. Anna has always been on hand to dispense sage advice, friendly banter and help keep my feet on the ground. If it wasn’t for her, I’d have drifted off years ago.
LINDSEY BENNETT (Psyche)
ALEX ZELENJAK (Bacchus)
Alex stumbled upon The Odyssey Expedition back in 2009 and has been my go-to man for the Googles ever since. He was instrumental in helping out with my shipping forays around The Pacific and gave me a place to crash and a pub to drink at when I was in Sydney for the week… good on ya, Alex!
ROCCO FASANO (Loki)
Rocco and I met in Ghana back in August 2009 when he was sent over by Lonely Planet TV to film me for a few weeks as I made my way to Gabon. We’ve been great mates ever since, we share the same mischievous (Machiavellian?) sense of humour and Rocco’s cooking was one of the highlights of my 2011 hiatus in Melbourne.
SCOTT JONES (Gwydion)
Scott is The Odyssey Expedition’s designer and is responsible for the wonderful logos, banners and maps that adorn the site. He is one of the UK’s most respected graphic designers and he’s the genius behind the record covers of some of the best-selling albums of all time, from The Zutons to The Klaxons to The Arctic Monkeys.
LEO SKELLY (Ozymandias)
Leo was responsible for setting up and running The Odyssey Expedition website for the first year of its operation, all whilst juggling a full time job and two young children. He taught me everything I know about Zen and the Art of Website Maintenance, passing the baton to me alone in 2010.
ALEX HUGHES (Agamemnon)
LAURA MCGANN (Calypso)
Another legend picked up via the Beer Vortex, Laura McGann is my sassy workmate. A fledging film-maker herself, she busies herself making cracking short films for Channel 4 under her company banner of Faidra Films. She helped me film The Odyssey Pitch video and was employed in 2009 by Lonely Planet TV to film stuff for The Odyssey TV show.
GRETHE BØRSUM (Freyda)
MATT ELAND (Old Man Coyote)
Matt and I met at Liverpool’s 48hr film-making challenge (which I won) and decided it might be a good idea to work together. After producing ‘The Censor’, it was Matt (together with Laura and Jewles) who helped shoot The Odyssey pitch video, starting a chain reaction which culminated in me securing the TV show and setting off for South America.
MIKE GUY (The Ancient One)
My actual brother-from-another-mother, Mike’s the kind of guy who would make you climb a mountain to seek his wisdom, so you better make your questions count. Mike (right) helps with all things technical and is my first port of call when discussing how to take over the world or how truly awful Star Wars Episode I is.
SIMON BARBER (Orpheus)
Si is the one who composed and performed the bombastic tunes for The Odyssey web videos. No only does he have a PhD in music, he has an encyclopaedic knowledge of 80s film and hosts the lovely website you are currently viewing. He’s worked with me on tons of video projects since 2002. You can catch up with his latest escapades at www.simonbarber.com.
THIERRY KLINKLIN (Asterix)
COLM BROADERS (Finn McCool)
Colm (left) is Leo’s mate from Ireland who helped out with the Odyssey Expedition website when Leo was busy doing his full time job, looking after the kids, buying a new house or filing his nails. He is devilishly handsome and immensely attractive. Hey who wrote that?- G
CHRISTIAN OLSEN (Beowulf)
JOHN HOWELL (Apollo)
John is an old school chum of mine who when not running faster than everybody else (he was the one who would always win the annual cross country run while I dawdled at the back in fancy dress) handles all things legal for The Odyssey Expedition and is the voice of reason when it comes to dealing with my hot-headed temperament.