Chris Middleton contact details, links, and full professional bio.
Phone: 07986 009109
Journalist Directory: Profile
Strategist magazine: iamtheStrategist.com (archived)
Music (‘christopher rye’)
Robot hire (Stanley Qubit)
Chris Middleton: Full Biography
Chris is what used to be called a ‘Renaissance man’: a polymath with multiple careers and interests: journalist, author, magazine/book editor, designer, robotics expert, professional musician, and more – even a published photographer and poet. This is his personal website
For a short bio for use on websites and conference programmes, please go to the Press Area.
Chris Middleton always had three callings: English, Art, and Music. He excelled at all three, and won a Barclays national short story prize in his teens. After attending one of the UK’s leading independent schools, Reigate Grammar, Chris turned down a place at art school to study English and Drama at Kent University.
After working as a session guitarist in London, Chris started out in publishing. His first full-time job was as publisher’s assistant on Country Homes & Interiors and Woman’s World magazines. He then worked for several years as a production editor, copywriter, and designer in both magazines and books – for Europa Publications, Longman, and publishing organ The Bookseller, among others – and also for an advertising agency.
Journalist and magazine editor
But in the mid-Nineties his career took off at Dennis Publishing, when he became one of the UK’s leading business and technology journalists.
The move wasn’t planned: while working as production editor of Business & Technology magazine (B&T), Chris stepped in at the last minute to interview an Apple executive when the reporter was sick. Impressed by his article, the editor commissioned another. It was excerpted in The Guardian (a paper that Chris would later write for). He never looked back, and a few months later he was made features editor of B&T, which in the mid-90s was a leading title in the emerging world of digital business.
At B&T, Chris wrote arguably the first in-depth feature on the internet’s threat to the music industry, interviewing George Michael, the Cocteau Twins, and record label CEOs.
Just two years later, Chris was made editor of one of the UK’s leading technology monthlies, Computer Business Review (CBR) in its most successful year – which saw the launches of cbronline.com, a Mandarin edition in China, and a range of successful supplements. He was deputy editor, and later editor, of another of the UK’s big technology titles, Computing. He was also co-founding editor of sourcingfocus.com, co-founding managing editor of CIS magazine, and co-editor of UCInsight.com.
One of Chris’ biggest successes was his four-year tenure as co-founding managing editor, designer, and chief writer of Professional Outsourcing – the market-leading print title he developed from scratch for its publishers, along with its spinoff events and supplements. Chris produced the quarterly magazine (which is now known as Intelligent Sourcing) single-handedly, handling everything except ad sales and proofreading.
Today, Chris is a contributing editor to diginomica (one million unique visitors and two million page views), and consulting editor of both Computing, and Hack and Craft News. He is founder, editor-in-chief, and designer of Strategist magazine and iamtheStrategist.com (relaunching in 2018).
Over the years, Chris has freelanced for: The Guardian; the BBC’s Tomorrow’s World; The Times; Computing; Computer Weekly; Hack & Craft News; diginomica; i-CIO; Publishing News; Personnel Today; Citywire; BusinessCloud9; Digital Marketing World Forum (DMWF); and PC World, among many others. He has also produced over 100 white papers and bespoke research projects for Incisive Media and other clients.
Public speaker and conference host
Chris is an experienced public speaker. In 2016, for example, Chris was the host of day two of the Space Innovation Congress in London, during which he interviewed a panel of NASA and ESA astronauts, and held his own in discussions with technologists and astrophysicists (Chris is widely read).
Chris also hosted day two of the Digital Marketing World Forum London, at which he gave the keynote address, introduced speakers, and chaired panels on mobile marketing and storytelling. Chris also chaired the Future of Unified Communications panel at UC EXPO 2016.
He has also appeared on Sky TV, on BBC Radio 2 and local BBC stations, and in numerous video webinars and audio podcasts, and has recently recorded the narration for a forthcoming animated movie.
(Also see the section on Chris’ humanoid robot, Stanley Qubit, below.)
Author and commissioning book editor
Chris is the author of a number illustrated books, including: Creating Digital Music and Sound; The Complete Guide to Digital Audio; Instant Graphics (with Luke Herriott); and, as ghostwriter, First Steps in Digital Design. All have been translated into several languages. In the Noughties, he was also a contributing editor of The Big Read Book of Books, a tie-in with the BBC TV series on the nation’s favourite reads.
In total, Chris has edited and contributed to more than 50 books on photography, illustration, graphic design, architecture, industrial design, movie special effects, video-making, print production, and robotics, for publishers such as Dorling Kindersley, Mitchell Beazley, Ilex, Amphoto Books, and Focal Press.
For two years, he was in-house commissioning editor for illustrated books publisher RotoVision, developing ideas, finding writers, and project-managing a list of titles for worldwide co-editions. Before that, he freelanced in a similar role for Ilex Press.
In recent years, Chris has become one of the UK’s leading commentators on robots, artificial intelligence, and automation. He has written numerous articles about robotics, spoken to some of the world’s top experts, and edited (and contributed to) the illustrated book, Ultimate Robot, for DK. He has also been interviewed live on BBC Radio 2 and local BBC stations about AI stories in the news.
Chris collects robots, and – unusually – is one of the few private individuals in the UK to own a number of real humanoid machines. These include his famous NAO-25 robot, Stanley Qubit (pictured), who has appeared live on BBC1, on Radio 4 (in a production of ‘I, Robot’), at conferences and events throughout the UK, and even taken school assembly. For more on Stanley, see below.
Go to the Robotics Expert page on this site.
Mentor and trainer
Chris has trained as a music mentor with foundation learning centre DV8 Training in Sussex, which helps young people who have left the education system early to acquire creative skills and basic qualifications. He has also run courses on media management and copywriting for a number of blue-chip clients, and is now working in partnership with new consultancy, Always Possible. (For more go to the Mentor page.)
Musician and producer
Under the pseudonym ‘christopher rye‘, Chris is a songwriter, session rock guitarist, and freelance electronic music producer working with up-and-coming artists in Brighton.
Several of his songs have received (inter)national radio airplays. ‘Rainy Night Sunday’ and ‘Big Sky! Keep Turning’ received multiple plays on BBC 6Music, with the support of DJ Tom Robinson, who described ‘Rainy Night Sunday’ as “a classic, and a favourite of this show”, giving it 10 out of 10 and comparing it to the Blue Nile.
Other broadcasters, including BBC Introducing on Radio Sussex and Radio Surrey, have played Chris’ songs ‘Beat-up Car’ and ‘I Tell the Moon’, while a clip from one of his live shows was broadcast on Radio 1. Recently, the promo for his track ‘Splinter Cell’ was featured for a month on the Latest TV channel.
Chris has written and recorded the music for a number of films, including a US-award-winning short, and for several corporate videos, including for the Millennium Dome and CTRL. One of his tracks was acquired by a major car manufacturer for a US East Coast advertising campaign.
For several years, Chris worked semi-professionally as a photographer, specialising in high-speed black and white film portraits for a range of private clients, including actors, writers, and musicians. Some of his work was published in magazines, including The Bookseller and Sussex Life, and (ironically, as the images were shot on film) in a book called ‘Digital Photography Workshops: Portraits’. You can find a selection of Chris’ photos is here.
Chris also paints abstract canvases in oil, acrylics, and mixed media, and rents a studio from Brighton artist, Kellie Miller.
Stanley Qubit the robot (and TV/radio star)
Chris is one of the few private individuals (and the only journalists) in the UK to own a genuine humanoid robot, a next-gen NAO-25 machine called Stanley Qubit.
In February 2017, Stanley became the first real robot ever to appear in a dramatisation of Asimov’s ‘I, Robot’ stories, on BBC Radio 4. And in 2015, robo-superstar and blogger Stanley co-hosted the BBC1 show Sunday Morning Live with Sian Williams and Ana Matronic.
Chris hires the robot out to private companies, PR agencies, public sector organisations, charities, schools, and colleges, and can incorporate him into presentations on robotics, AI, and new technologies. (For more go to the Stanley Qubit page, or to the robot’s own website, StanleyQubit.com.)
In 2016, Stanley was joined at Chris’ home by another advanced humanoid robot, Joe Auton – a Robi machine designed by robotics legend Tomotaka Takahashi.
Directory/listings companies: Instead of just scraping all the information off this page and selling it for money, why not contact Chris directly and invite him to join your service? Be a good citizen online. It’s good for your company’s reputation.