Katie Neeves, top-ranking photographer and film maker, visits Rachel to speak openly about her decision to keep her previous company name despite it reflecting who she was pre-transition. A fascinating and very positive story as to how Katie put her talents to good use by producing an inspiring video about coming out to friends, family and business contacts.

Video Transcription


Good morning. Good Morning. It’s Rach here, an award-winning award writer with The Awards People. I told you that we’ve got some special guests coming on to the Sofa of Success. Did I not say we’ve got some fab people coming on to the Sofa of Success? Yes, I did, Rach. So, I wanna introduce you to the lady of the week. I only say that because it’s up for a week, but this is Katie. This is my mate, Katie. She’s come to join us on the Sofa of Success. Er, many good bottoms have sat on here, so let’s hope winning—award-winning bottoms, let’s hope because we’re—we’ve done something. We’ve entered an award, so we’re hoping [makes noises]—

KN: Fingers crossed.

RH: We’ll have fingers crossed. But you know what? Before we talk about all that, I’m jumping ahead, as usual, because I get ridiculously excited about these things, Katie, why don’t you do your two-minute blatant plug on who you are and your business? Tell my mum, er, my viewer in Swindon, and, er, let’s get started with talking about you.

KN: Well, oh thanks very much for hav-, having me here, first of all, Rachel.

RH: Ah, it’s a pleasure.

KN: And then, hello, Rachel’s mum and the viewer in, was it Swindon?

RH: Swindon.

KN: Swindon, yeah. Okay. Erm, well, my name’s, er, Katie Neeves, of Martin Neeves Photography & Film, and I’m a photographer and filmmaker. I’ve been a photographer for 31 years and a filmmaker for 8 years. Erm, I’m, erm, I’m currently ranked second now out of the about 1,800 UK photographers in the UK on FreeIndex purely from cust-, customer testimonials.

RH: Wow.

KN: Erm, so I’m really, really proud about that.

RH: Awesome.

KN: And they’re giving me, er, I think it’s got something like 171 reviews now with an average rating of 4.8 out of 5, so very proud of that.

RH: Only? [Laughs]

KN: That, that .2 is really bugging me, I tell you.

RH: It could be better. [Laughs] Yeah, I’ll bet it is because you’re not a perfectionist after all, are you?

KN: Not at all. No. Erm, there are all sorts of things like, you know, photographs and Croatian Civil War to, erm, photographing Princess Diana’s funeral. Twice been commissioned to photograph the Queen inside Buckingham Palace.

RH: Gosh.

KN: All sorts of stuff. Erm, but it’s a whole range of stuff that I do now, erm. Er, my background’s in press photography.

RH: Mm.

KN: Erm, so it’s press, PR, commercial, architecture, aerial photography, reportage wedding photography, so very natural, candid stuff, er, and then a lot—I do a lot of corporate videos these days as well, and that’s becoming more and more important. Erm, but there’s another, there’s another, sort of, string to my bow which is, which is late coming on now—

RH: [Laughs] I can’t wait to hear more about this because Mar-, er, Martin, there you go—

KN: Well done, Rachel. [Laughs]

RH: – because Martin and I have known each other for ages in business, have we not?

KN: We have [crosstalk 02:45], haven’t we? Yeah.

RH: But, of course, I’m not speaking to Martin any more, am I?

KN: You’re not. You’re talking to Katie.

RH: I’m talking to Katie.

KN: Yep.

RH: So, I’ve kind of stolen your thunder there.

KN: You have a bit really, yeah.

RH: But—

KN: Yeah. Yeah, basically, yeah, I mean, I’ve—for the last 49 years, I’ve been known as Martin, erm, but I’m now Katie. I’m transgender. And, er, it’s one of those things that, er, has always been with me, erm, but, you know, finally, sort of, er, made the decision to actually go for it, erm, and do something about it. Erm, so many people don’t do it, and then they end up getting into a spiral of depression and worse. And luckily, I’ve never got into that situation.

RH: Good.

KN: Erm, so I’m—I count, count myself as lucky ones—

RH: Mm-hmm.

KN: – that I’ve been able to actually do something about it.

RH: Yeah.

KN: So, I did, but of course then there’s a problem. My business is called Martin Neeves Photography & Film.

RH: Mm.

KN: Okay. Well, I didn’t want to change it to Katie Neeves Photography & Film because after running the business for 22 years, I’ve built up a good reputation and everything, and I really didn’t want—it’d be like starting from scratch. So—

RH: Mm.

KN: – I didn’t want to do that. So, I thought—and it’s a quite a public-facing business as well and reasonably well-known in the area.

RH: Right.

KN: So, I thought well, I, I haven’t got the luxury that a lot of trans people have of just going away and transitioning quietly, and then just coming back as my new self. So, I thought well, as a business decision, I’ve just gotta do this very openly, very honestly, and very publicly. So, here I am. [Laughs] So, what I decided to do was make a video.

RH: Mm-hmm.

KN: And I thought well, obviously, that’s within my skillset to do because that’s what a do, so I made a, a coming out video. And I put it on Facebook, erm, and it had 1,000 views within the first 4 days alone.

RH: Wow.

KN: I mean, it just, er, it just went ballistic. I just—it was funny. When it was before hitting send on it, you know, my finger was hovering over the mouse, and I was thinking, “As soon as I make that click, my life’s never gonna be the same again.”

RH: Wow.

KN: And I did it. And, of course, then I had to go out on a job, didn’t I? [Laughter] And I went out on this job, and I did it. And, er, my mind, my mind wasn’t really on the job, but I did it. And the client was happy with her pictures and everything, so that was all, that was all fine, but I couldn’t wait to get back just to check Facebook. And, and I got back, and it just went ballistic.

RH: Wow.

KN: I had so many messages of support, er, just, just hundreds of messages of support. It was just—it was actually the most uplifting experience of my life from something that I was actually dreading doing—

RH: Mm.

KN: – dreading coming out. And so many people dread coming out.

RH: Mm.

KN: The reality of it was actually a lot better and a lot easier. And it was just, just amazing. And, erm, my clients and, and friends have just been so supportive. It’s been fantastic. Erm, but the—what’s happening on from there, is that then I started being contacted by lots of other people, lots of other trans people in the same position, erm, and, you know, people who were running businesses and then worried about the effects on their business, and said I’d really encouraged them, and, and, you know, and really spurred them on which I think is great.

RH: Gosh.

KN: And, and also shown them, shown them that it’s okay to be trans, you know. Erm, I mean, I was contacted by one lady who, erm, her, her son was, erm, was going through, through a, a gender identity crisis when he went through puberty. And he was being treated at the Portland Clinic which is where the, erm, the young transgender people.

RH: Okay.

KN: Erm, and at the time, you know, it could’ve gone either way. But in the end, he, he decided that, that he was still male, but it could have gone either way, erm, or in-between. You know, nature is very messy, isn’t it? Erm, but she was really worried at the time that he was going to start—that he was going to be bullied and he would start self-harming—

RH: Mm-hmm.

KN: – erm, attempt suicide, as so many do. I mean, 48 percent of, of transgender people under the age of 26 attempt suicide.

RH: I’m sorry. Forty—

KN: Forty-eight percent. It’s one in two. I mean, it just shouldn’t be, should it?

RH: [Blows air]

KN: Erm, so, you know, she said that if only there was someone like me around at the time just to let him know that it’s okay to be trans.

RH: Can I ask? I’m going to ask—

KN: Mm.

RH: – possibly the world’s most stupid question.

KN: Hm.

RH: Please forgive me if this is ignorance speaking. When you are born—

KN: Mm.

RH: – let’s, let’s do the old thing. You get smacked on the bottom. The baby cries. Well done, Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Er, you have a baby boy or girl because of presenting characteristics?

KN: That’s exactly what it is. Yeah. And that’s, yeah.

RH: Where does transgender—now there’s a name for it. Is it gen-, er, gender—what’s the—

KN: The gender dysphoria? Yeah. Yeah, it is.

RH: Thank you. So, the, the, the, the, the—it’s gender dysphoria. What, what—how does—

KN: Basically, so what it is is a mismatch. Erm, so basically when you are born, you, you are given a sex, and you’re labelled for life—

RH: Yeah.

KN: – basically by the, the doctor or the midwife who, basically, looks at your genitals and says you are a boy. You are a girl.

RH: Yeah.

KN: That’s it. Nothing in between, or—

RH: Yeah.

KN: – but they’re just looking at what’s between your legs.

RH: Right.

KN: Gender, I mean, that’s, that’s okay for sex characteristics, but gender is about what’s between your ears. It’s what’s in your head. It’s in your brain.

RH: Ahh.

KN: And it’s how—it’s your general sense of yourself of how you feel.

RH: Oh.

KN: And most people are very lucky in that their, er, their gender identity matches their sex characteristics. And, and I’m very envious of them. I wish I was like that. I wouldn’t choose to be trans, and none of my trans friends would choose to be trans—

RH: Yeah.

KN: – but that’s, that’s how we are. Erm, so, so, basically, there’s a mismatch there.

RH: Right.

KN: So, so, you, basically, you think that you’re the opposite gender to, to, to your sex characteristics.

RH: Forgive me for asking the question, but it’s—

KN: No, absolutely.

RH: I’m just—

KN: No. You’re absolutely right, and it’s good to, to get it out there, and something that I’m—when I’m coming out to people, I’m always having to, to explain to people and let them know.

RH: Oh, bless you. It must be—

KN: No. It happens pretty—on a daily basis. So, that’s fine, and well-practiced.


RH: Well, yeah, I mean, it was a blooming clear description. But I—what, what happened, for us, viewer—er, what happened for us is so, as I say, I knew Katie on the business networking scene. We were never close business buddies, but we knew each other, kind of, in our circles, not together.

KN: Yeah, yeah.

RH: And then I went and covered for a friend of mine, lovely Kate, er, it’s all the Kates today—er, lovely Kate who, er, was away, and she asked me to sub for her at a business networking event. And there’s Martin talking about his journey. And I’m sitting there going, “Mm. I, I, it’s early in the morning. Perhaps I’ve missed something,” er, which wouldn’t be unusual for those who know me. Erm, but, you know, so I went, “Oh, okay. Er, so it’s Katie. Okay, fine.” Erm, and then afterwards, you spoke, and you went, “Oh, I just wanted to catch up with you because I’m not sure she, kind of, because you’re not a member of the group, and this—and started just to fill in some of the blanks, erm, and, kind of. And I went, “Oh, okay. Cool.” But then as the story started coming out in terms of the decision being driven, obviously, by the feeling over 40 however many years, er, but then the a-ha moment of how is this going to affect my business? And your business is very successful, but ultimately, you’re self-employed.

KN: Yeah.

RH: Yeah. Clients make a choice that they can phone you or not.

KN: Absolutely.

RH: And I think that was part of that whole decision of—

KN: Totally. Totally, yeah. I mean, when you freelance, it, you know, if a client just doesn’t want to use you, they just stop using you. The phone stops ringing.

RH: Yeah.

KN: They walk away. They find somebody else.

RH: Yeah, same here.

KN: And, yeah. You feel very vulnerable when you’re self-employed.

RH: Dave’s waving too.


RH: So, erm, so once I heard that story and then, erm, your, kind of, greater mission which yes, it was, it was business-driven, but then there’s, kind of, this feedback that started coming through from originally the, the, er, your, your coming out—

KN: Mm. Yes. That’s where it started.

RH: – transition blog, but then a couple of media things which we’ll come on to in a minute.

KN: Mm.

RH: And the response, the very positive response to that, and your decision then to go okay. How can I help the transgender community, the wider community as well—community understand this? I said to, to Katie, “If you wanna raise profile about this. If you want to play your part in, erm, in this issue and, and highlighting it, then actually entering an appropriate award and saying this is who I am, and this is my story might actually be a great thing to do.

KN: Mm-hmm.

RH: And you went away and had a think about it because it’s not something that you, kind of, go, “Yes.” [Snaps fingers] You have to have a think about it, don’t you?

KN: Yeah, you do.

RH: And then I started to learn some of the story ’cause then you, kind of, went, okay. Yeah, if that’s something that you feel you’d like to do for me, Rach, then, then that’s okay.

KN: Mm. [Indiscernible 11:00].

RH: Erm, but that’s the start of the story, isn’t it, really—

KN: Yeah, yeah because it—

RH: – in terms of—

KN: Yeah, because it’s so di—It dev-, it developed really from, from me just, er, sort of, like a, a business protection, sort of, exercise—

RH: Yeah.

KN: – to, to then going out and to—doing lots of radio interviews and, erm—

RH: And that has really grown quickly, I think. Has it not?

KN: It has. I’ve been doing quite a lot. Yeah, yeah. I’ve been doing quite a lot of that. Yeah, so, erm, being a bit of a, a radio tart recently. [Laughs]

RH: Some people struggle to get on.

KN: So then, yeah.

RH: You can’t keep this one off.

KN: Yes, absolutely. Any excuse, I’m there. Like I said, I love it. Erm, but, but the response—every time I do it, the response has been amazing.

RH: Yeah.

KN: And, and, and, and it’s—I know that it’s helping people because I’m being contacted by people who, who tell me that I’m helping them and inspiring them.

RH: Yeah.

KN: So, you know, so, so, my two main aims are a) to, to help trans people who are struggling with it, and to let them know that it’s okay to be trans. And it’s not just okay, but you can have a, a, good joyful life and you can enjoy yourself. And you can take the mickey out of yourself as well. You don’t have to take yourself seriously. Erm, but also just to help educate the general public as well because a lot of people—

RH: Yeah.

KN: – haven’t got a clue about gender dysphoria. It is a bit of a mouthful, isn’t it? Erm, so if I can just help raise awareness, then that gets greater acceptance, and it takes the pressure off trans people when they want to come out.

RH: Yeah.

KN: So, it’s a win-win situation—

RH: Yeah.

KN: – because then, you know, when, when you kindly, erm, nominated me for, for the East Midlands, er, Women’s Award—

RH: Yeah.

KN: – erm, that was, that was just amazing. I mean, I—it’s, it’s almost—

RH: Because it felt right. The community—

KN: Yeah.

RH: – category is all about how are you helping your community?

KN: Yeah.

RH: Well, you-, you’ve got many communities. You’ve got the trans community. You’ve got the wider community.

KN: Mm.

RH: Erm, m-, morphing those together, helping them to co-exist, just educating—

KN: Yeah.

RH: – you know, people that may be going, “Er, er, er. What’s that word?” then.

KN: Mm.

RH: And, you know, how you’ve explained. I’m like, “Oh, yeah.”

KN: Yeah, yeah.

RH: Yeah, yeah. Okay. Makes sense to me.

KN: Yeah. So, no it would be absolutely—I meant to say that it hasn’t been judged yet, so, er—

RH: No. Barely just got the application in.

KN: [Crosstalk 12:56]. I know.

RH: We’ve got a very nice do, er, at the end of September, courtesy of Sandra.

KN: We’ve got to sort out what we’re going to wear now.


RH: Bloody women.


RH: Actually, I’m having the same panic. I’ve put rather a lot of weight since I wore the frock last.

KN: You haven’t.

RH: Oh, I have.

KN: Really? No.

RH: Oh, good god. Oh, it’s a lot that’s being held in at the moment especially after the rather nice lunch we’ve just treated ourselves to. Er, so yeah. It’s, it’s touch-and-go, mate. Touch-and-go. Mind you, the lady who made the dress is a—well, she’s a fashion designer, so she, she can, you know, “er, er, er” things together.

KN: [Indiscernible 13:30].

RH: Or Spanx.

KN: Right, yeah.

RH: Or Spanx. Or a diet, but I’m not keen on that one, but anyway.

KN: No, just go for the Spanx.

RH: But, yeah. Yeah, I think so.

KN: Yeah.

RH: I won’t be able to breathe or eat—

KN: [Indiscernible 13:39], Dave. Dave’s behind the camera. He’s keeping very quiet, you see. We want his opinion about Spanx. What do you reckon, Dave?

DS: What are Spanx?


RH: Oh, god love him. It’s underwear that holds—in case you didn’t hear that, he asked what Spanx are. It’s underwear that holds it all in.

DS: [Indiscernible 13:54].

RH: It just means you can’t breathe or eat—

KN: See, we’re boring—

RH: – or actually sit down probably.

KN: We, we’re boring him now that he’s, he’s—he just doesn’t give a damn.


RH: That’s because, you know what? Er, this is my work husband because, ’cause my partner, Gary, doesn’t really wanna do these things. Er, Dave’s wonderful wife, Karen, isn’t that bothered either. So, I’ll ring up and go, “Dave, I’ve got two tickets to go to such-and-such and pull on your tux.” And he’s going, “Mate, I don’t even know where my white shirt is from the last time.”

KN: [Laughs]

RH: Find the white shirt, iron it, and get here. Laughs]. That’s the conversation we had last time, wasn’t it?

DS: It was. It was.

RH: So, oh my god. I’m gonna have to buy him a bloody white shirt of it. I’d buy one with a big ’70s ruffle all down the front just to teach him a lesson.

KN: Yeah, yeah. Get him some Spanx too.


RH: [Indiscernible 14:35]

DS: Do I need a bra?

RH: That is an image that’s gonna be very hard to get out of my head for a long time, Katie.


RH: Whether you win on the night, or whether we just have a fab, we’ve got a great table—

KN: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I bet we do.

RH: – of folks. Er, we’re gonna have a real ball.

KN: I’m really looking forward to it. Yeah.

RH: And yeah, just, just have some fun.

KN: Yeah.

RH: It’s gonna be awesome.

KN: It’ll certainly stir things up if I win, won’t it?


RH: I don’t think that’s gonna bother you somehow.


RH: What did you say on that vlog? I’m gonna be loud, be bold, be—

KN: Well, yeah. Be, yeah. Bold.

RH: I can’t remember.

KN: What was it? Big, bold, and—

RH: Big, bold, and out there, or something.

KN: – out there, or something like that. I think I’ve lived up to that one.

RH: Yeah. I, I think so. Erm, so tell me where you’re at at the moment. What’s happening with the media? What’s happening with the business? Let’s, let’s get up-to-date with where Katie is now.

KN: Er, well. Well, Kate Media 15:26, I mean, I’ve written, er, there’s a few articles for some, some national magazines. Erm, erm, there’s gonna be an article actually in the Leicester Mercury, er, pretty soon, actually [crosstalk 15:36]—

RH: Oh, right.

KN: – which, er, erm, that’ll probably be after this is, this is out, but er, erm, yeah. So, that-, that-, that’s good. Erm, yeah, and business-wise it’s all, it’s all going on. That’s good.

RH: Brilliant.

KN: And, yeah. So, it’s just, just more, more of the same really. And transition-wise, I’ve been on, erm, hormones for four months now. Erm—

RH: Wow.

KN: Yeah, yeah. So, so that-, that’s all going well.

RH: God, time goes so fast.

KN: Yeah, I know. I know.

RH: And changed the name.

KN: Yeah, I changed the name. Yeah.

RH: Very publicly—

KN: Very publicly. Yeah, on the radi—life on the radio. [Laughs]

RH: – as you do when you’re Katie.

KN: What other way is there to do it when you’re big, bold, and out there?

RH: Well, [indiscernible 16:13], you can’t be, you can’t be a shrinking violet on some days and then big, bold, and out there.

KN: No, I don’t think so. Not really.


RH: But that was great that they supported you ’cause you’d been now—which, which radio station was it? Coventry?

KN: That was Coventry Telegraph in Warwickshire. That’s because I used to work for the Coventry, so that’s, that’s the, that’s the Coventry angle, but I’ve been on, on BBC Radio Leicester a lot as well, yeah.

RH: Yeah, so you’ve been on there. And then they said, you know, when you do your next, kind of, major bit, and you went, “Well, that’s the name change,” come back. And, and one of them was your witness, was that right?

KN: Yeah, that’s right. Yeah. Yes ’cause they, they said, “Well, could we get involved?” So I said yeah. You could be a witness if you want. Why not? So, yeah.

RH: Fab. And come on then, where does the, the name—why Katie?

KN: Well, that was an easy one, actually. A lot of trans people struggle finding a name for themselves, but it’s—I’ve always known that that’s the name that my parents would’ve called me had I been born a girl.

RH: Oh.

KN: So, and I like the name anyway.

RH: Yeah.

KN: So, yeah. So, that’s why. So, no. It was easy.

RH: Fab.

KN: Yeah, yeah.

RH: So, transgender ambassador—

KN: Yeah.

RH: [Indiscernible 17:08] only if you can find the right platform, or when you can find it. I think when, not if.

KN: I’d like, I-, I’d like to, but I think it’s something that I can do because I think it’s something that, you know, I, I can empathise with people—

RH: Yeah.

KN: – you know, having, you know, going through it myself. Erm, and I think can explain issues relatively well, so—

RH: Mm.

KN: – erm, you know, I think it’s something that I can do and, and, and, you know, I’m not—it’s so funny. I’ve always been used to being behind the camera but with all the vlogging and everything else I’ve been doing, I’ve been, been spending more time in front of the camera—or as much time in front of the camera, erm, so I think it’s just something that I can do. And I’ve just gotta find the right platform, and so I’d like to do it. Definitely.

RH: Ooh. Ooh, how exciting.

KN: Yeah.

RH: Well, in terms of, of, of awards and using awards to help raise the profile, if there is anything else I can do there to help you, you just let me know. I’ll keep my ear to the ground in the meantime.

KN: Really appreciate it. Yeah.

RH: But I think that the whole community thing is, is just a natural, er, in terms of playing that part.

KN: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. It’s, er—

RH: Love it.

KN: Yeah, yeah. I’m—I, I think it gives me a lot of satisfaction just to know that I am actually helping people, you know, getting the feedback that I get. And, and, er, that-, that-, that’s rewarding itself, to be honest.

RH: Ah, brilliant. Well, you know, you are. You look happy. You look confident. You look, look relaxed.

KN: Thank you. I’ve just—the next thing I’ve gotta do is actually sort my voice out because I’m very conscious that well, I might look like a woman, but I sound like a bloke. [Laughs]

RH: Priscilla was sitting on here earlier, and, you know, the strangest thing happened.

KN: Yeah.

RH: I started sitting up and breathing more deeply, and—

KN: Yeah.

RH: So, Priscilla, how was that—[laughs]. And I meant to say—I said to David after we finished, er, rolling, I said, “I meant to say,” ’cause if people do watch several of these, they’ll—

KN: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

RH: What was she doing? I’ll have to type it up, but it’s just this infectious—

KN: Mm.

RH: – way she has of just, you kind of—she didn’t even say anything to me.

KN: Yeah, yeah.

RH: But I could feel myself, kind of, sitting up and—

KN: Yeah.

RH: – the, the woman is phenomenal.

KN: Oh, she is. Oh, I’ve known her for years, and so I—

RH: Yeah.

KN: – I was always gonna use her for it, and, er, so—and it’s funny, I saw her, actually, quite a few months ago, actually before I actually came out publicly, and, and, er, and just had a quiet word to her. And, er, and it turned out that she’s, she’s been, she’s been working with a few other transgender women as well, so, erm, she’s experienced in, in, in doing this type of work as well.

RH: Wow.

KN: So, so, yeah. I know I’m in super hands with her.

RH: But, you know, it’s just when the time’s right, it [makes noise].

KN: Yeah, absolutely. And, obviously, I’m not trying, erm, you know, I do know the basics of, of how to do it, but, at the moment, I’m, I’m not trying because, obviously, I’m, I’m not trying to cover up the fact that I’m trans. And, in fact, in some ways, why the hell should I? Erm, I think it’s quite good in a way because then it, it helps people.

RH: Yeah, so in your vlogs and blogs, yeah. You are who you are.

KN: Exactly. I am who I am. Yes. So, it’s I feel like, sort of, singing, “I Am Who I Am.”


KN: I think I need to start high-kicking my way down the street with a feather boa behind me. [Crosstalk 19:47].

RH: Well, as long as it’s not Gloria Gaynor, “I Will Survive.” Nothing wrong with Gloria Gaynor, “I Will Survive.” It’s just too many drunken times on a dance floor with friends in recovery from some broken-hearted relationships. So, it’s just haunted me for now.

KN: Mm-hmm. Oh, dear.

RH: But no, yeah. Priscilla. That would just be. Well, what a great experience as well. So, when’s that start?

KN: That’s starting September.

RH: Wow.

KN: So, er, yeah. So, I think, I think I’ll be going once every three weeks, I think.

RH: Okay.

KN: So, yeah. Yes. And then a lot of practice in between, but I couldn’t, I couldn’t start it before I, I went full-time as, as being Katie.

RH: Okay.

KN: So, so, erm, because you have to—it’s something you have to practice all the time, so I couldn’t start [crosstalk 20:24].

RH: Oh, okay.

KN: Yeah.

RH: Wow.

KN: Okay.

RH: That is so incredible just to hear—

KN: I know.

RH: – a little bit more about somebody’s journey, but also then how it wraps into, you know, because you could say, “What the hell has this got to do with awards?” because business awards cover community.

KN: Mm.

RH: They cover a wide gamut of different categories, erm, but those stories—it’s when those—when you hear those stories that you, kind of, go what can we do with this? How can we play our part—

KN: Mm.

RH: – in helping? And it hadn’t been the right solution for you, you’d have said, and that’d been fine.

KN: No. No, absolutely. Yeah, yeah.

RH: Yeah, let’s have a go and see what we can do.

KN: Yeah. Yeah, well, I’m very grateful to everything you’ve done for, Rach.

RH: Oh, god. It was an absolute pleasure.

KN: So I really appreciate, really appreciate it.

RH: I’ve done nothing. Er, you’ve done everything. Believe me. We just put some words on a page. And, that, again, that came from watching the vlogs, erm, and I love the, the clarity of your voice on that, and I guess you carried that, and that’s gonna be throughout the, the journey.

KN: Yeah.

RH: As far as you can see, is it, kind of, going from there?

KN: So, how it’s going really. Yeah. And then the feedback that I’ve been getting is that people like the, the informality of, of my vlogs.

RH: Yeah.

KN: And, like, and I try and put a bit of sense of humour in all the videos that I do as well. Erm, because I think if you can include some humour, then people will watch it. They’ll like you, and then they’ll, they’ll listen to you.

RH: What did you say? There was one thing where you were thinking about doing something, and you said to yourself, “Hm. No need to man up. Mm, no. That’s wrong.”


RH: That made me laugh until I thought I was going to cry—

KN: [Laughs]

RH: – because I thought, well, there’s the irony, isn’t it?

KN: Yeah.

RH: And it wasn’t lost on you. It was great.

KN: Absolutely. Yes. Yes.

RH: You got a wicked sense of humour.

KN: Yeah, well just remember. It takes balls to be a transgender woman.

RH: [Laughs] That’s the other one, actually, that I love. That is brilliant. That is brilliant.

KN: Dave’s watching himself on the camera.

RH: [Indiscernible 22:05] having a fit and not showing it.

KN: Oh, yeah. So—

RH: Now, before we wrap this up, you will come back on to the Sofa of Success at some point and some tell us a little bit about your journey.

KN: I’d love to.

RH: Yeah?

KN: Love to, Rachel. Yeah.

RH: Get some more awards under your handbag—

KN: Yeah. Yeah.

RH: – er, belt. And, er, come, come back and talk to us a little bit more because—

KN: I’d love to. Thank you. Yeah.

RH: Oh, we’d, we’d love to, to have you back on the sofa. But we always ask three very highly-topical, er, laser-minded questions—

KN: Right.

RH: – a bit of fun at the end—er, of everybody who sits on the Sofa of Success. So, are you ready?

KN: Okay. I’m ready. So, is this the grilling, is it?

RH: This is the grilling.

KN: Okay. Okay.

RH: Yeah, it gets really difficult. Number one. You are a winner—

KN: Okay.

RH: – a finalist on the table, erm, and up on the stage, erm, er, Bob is just going to announce the finalists, and he says, “And the winner for this category is Katie Neeves.” High five or bear hug to your fellow compadres around the table?

KN: Bear hug every time.

RH: Bear hug.

KN: Oh, I’m a big hugger. Yeah, oh yeah. I’m always hugging. Yeah, absolutely. A bear hug every time.

RH: Fantastic. You go up on to the stage. Just you, or a team, support, what?

KN: Er, I think probably just me just, just because I haven’t got a team. So, I think that it would just probably—

RH: Oh, you’ve got a team there.

KN: [Laughs] – so it would probably, probably just me, but it’s all about me, darling. It’s all about me.


RH: HRT’s working.


KN: Oh, yeah. I’ve got cravings for chocolate now as well.

RH: I know. That made me laugh. And dark chocolate. It needs to be a fine one, you know, no semi-chocolate.

KN: I have—yeah. Oh, yeah. Oh, it has to be, it has to be 70 percent cocoa. I’ve got my emergency chocolate in the fridge.

RH: I’m with you there.

KN: Oh, yeah. Absolutely. Yeah.

RH: Now you can see why we get upset when our men eat our chocolate—

KN: Oh, god. Yeah.

RH: – or our, our women eat our chocolate. Whatever. When other people eat our chocolate—

KN: Yeah.

RH: – it’s like, ‘Huh, what?”

KN: Yeah.

RH: I’ve got a friend who hides it in a used, er, Frosties box in the top of the pantry.

KN: Ooh.

RH: And god forbid anybody touches that.

KN: Yeah. That’s not good.

RH: But, er, third question. So, you’ve gone up. You’ve got you awards. I’m at the bar. I’m going, “Katie, what is it? Champagne or Prosecco?”

KN: Well, all right. Well, if it’s a choice of the two, then I would say Champagne.

RH: Well done.

KN: However—

RH: I thought there was a “but” there.

KN: However, I think you’ve got a long way to beat a good gin and tonic.

RH: Uh. Well, yeah. Very [crosstalk 24:11].

KN: So, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

RH: Somebody sat on the sofa earlier today and said that they were drinking rhubarb gin with ginger ale.

KN: Hmm.

RH: I was, like, “Ooh.” And he went, “No. It sounds wrong, but it’s so good.” So, there you go. I’ll leave—

KN: Mm. I might give that one a go [indiscernible 24:23].

RH: That’s my little tip to you back for, for sharing some of your time, invaluable, on the Sofa of Success. Rhubarb gin with, er, ginger ale, apparently.

KN: Right. Okay.

RH: Apparently, it’s the thing to do. I don’t drink, so it’s a useless tip to me—

KN: Oh, no.

RH: – so I shall pass it on to you, but really, it’s gin and tonic, but at a push, a glass of Champers.

KN: Yeah. Absolutely, yeah.

RH: Well, we know what to get whatever happens when we—

KN: Yeah, yeah.

RH: – are at the East Midlands Women’s Awards at the end of September with Katie Neeves from Martin Neeves Photography & Film. Good luck.

KN: Thank you.

RH: Whatever happens, we’ll have a ball anyway.

KN: We will.

RH: Or—

KN: Or not too.


RH: Erm, we’ll have fun. We hope you’ve had fun today hearing a really incredible story, and a very brave story, erm—

KN: Thank you.

RH: – from Katie. So, we will see you next week, viewer, Mum. Erm—

KN: And lady from Swindon.

RH: And the lady from Swindon.

KN: Was this lady or just viewer? We don’t know. Viewer from Swindon.

RH: Oh, I don’t know. Don’t know. Just a person from Swindon.

KN: Right.

RH: We’ll see you next week on the Sofa of Success. Until then, it’s Rach from The Awards People checking out.