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Matthew Todd is a playwright, stand up comedian and award winning journalist. He is the author of the critically acclaimed play Blowing Whistles and is currently the editor of the UK gay magazine Attitude . He was named Stonewall Journalist of the Year 2011 and Men's Magazine Editor of the Year 2011 by the British Society of Magazine Editors (having also been nominated in 2009 and 2010).
He appears on the Kate Silverton Show on BBC Radio Five Live as a monthly debate panelist and appears regularly on TV and radio including on BBC News 24, The Truth About Take That (Channel 4), Out To School (Channel 4), The Most Annoying Celebrities of 2009 (Sky One) and Take The Mike (ITV1) amongst many others.
For Attitude he has interviewed celebrities including Madonna, Daniel Radcliffe, Adam Lambert, Gareth Thomas, Armistead Maupin, Stephen Gately, Boy George, Bette Milder, Kathleen Turner, Harvey Fierstein, David Furnish, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Victoria Wood, Alan Carr, Stephen Fry, Graham Norton, Anthony Sher, Lady Gaga, Sir Ian McKellen, Peter Tatchell, Paul O'Grady, Ricky Gervais, Russell Brand and the Pet Shop Boys. He conducted Madonna's only UK gay press interview, Daniel Radcliffe's first and only gay press interview in the world, gay rugby player Gareth Thomas's first gay press interview, Boy George's first national magazine interview after he came out of prison and Stephen Gately's first interview after he came out in The Sun.
Todd worked for gay rights group Stonewall in the early nineties before joining Attitude magazine as editorial assistant in 1996. He subsequently worked at both Top of the Pops and Live & Kicking magazines and was the lesbian and gay editor of What's On in London in 2006-2007. He has been the editor of Attitude since May 2008.
As a stand up comedian Todd played numerous clubs in London, Brighton, Leicester and Bristol and was a finalist of the Mardi Gras Comedy Competition and The Big Big Big New Act Competition. In 2004/5 he ran and hosted a popular weekly comedy night at the Yard bar, Rupert St London at which performers such as Marek Larwood and Greg Davies of We Are Klang, Shazia Mirza, Simon Amstell and Alan Carr all made appearances.
Todd is a supporter of the work of gay psychologist Alan Downs (author of The Velvet Rage which Attitude based an issue around in September 2009) and also gay therapists David Smallwood and Joe Kort, all of whom currently write for Attitude. He is also a firm supporter of environmental organisations and charities and created a Facebook group called Green Gays.
Todd's play Blowing Whistles centers around gay culture and the difficulties it presents gay men. It had a first run in June 2005 at the Warehouse Theatre, Croydon, where it was directed by Phil Willmott. Following this it was performed at Sound Theatre, off Leicester Square, London, in 2006, and it has since seen productions in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Fire Island (New York), Boston, Palm Springs and Fort Lauderdale. In 2012 it has been produced in San Francisco and Toronto, Canada.
It returned to London transferring to the Leicester Square Theatre in 2008 in a production by Jonathan Altaras, directed by Pete Nettell who directed the Sydney production. It received positive notices from such diverse publications as the gay press through to the right wing Spectator. The London Evening Standard compared it to Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House, and The Stage compared it to the work of Larry Kramer.
The Issues Issue
In August 2010, Todd wrote a ten-page feature entitled "How To Be Gay and Happy" about the generally unspoken-about subject of gay men and mental health. Citing the work of US author and therapist Alan Downs, author of the book The Velvet Rage, Todd suggested that the high levels of depression, addiction and suicidal thoughts amongst gay men were due to the overwhelming shaming of gay people during childhood and suggested ways forward for the gay community. The issue provoked the magazine's largest mail bag in its history and Todd was subsequently asked to speak about the subject at the Home Office and as the closing plenary of the annual Terrence Higgins Trust CHAPS HIV prevention conference in Manchester in March 2011. A public event at the Drill Hall on 8 May 2011 was held and more are planned across the country.
Winner Stonewall Journalist of the Year 2011
Winner British Society of Magazine Editor's Men's Magazine Editor of the Year 2011
Nominations: British Society of Magazine Editors Men's Magazine Editor of the Year 2009, 2010 Also for Campaign of the Year 2011 (For 'Issues Issue: How to be Gay & Happy)
PPA Awards Consumer Magazine Editor of the Year 2012
Under Todd's Editorship Attitude nominated for:-
Stonewall Publication of the Year 2010 under Todd's editorship.
PPA Consumer Magazine of the Year 2012 PPA Digital product of the Year 2012
Independent Pink List
In 2008, The Independent Pink List named Todd as the 90th most influential gay person in the UK, the first time an editor of Attitude magazine had been included in the list.
In 2009, Todd moved up five places to 85 with the Independent stating that he had 'taken Attitude by storm'.
In 2010, Todd moved up 30 places to be named 55th most influential gay person in the UK.
In 2011, Todd moved up a further 35 places to number 20.