The Early Hour is an online culture and lifestyle magazine, with articles and interviews published daily at 5am; for the early risers (that’s mostly parents but also shift workers, teachers, florists, insomniacs, milkmen or just straight up morning-loving early birds).
It started life because Annie Ridout found herself up stupidly early feeding her baby daughter, Joni, and trawling the internet on her phone. She wanted something stimulating to read and there wasn’t any one site where she could be guaranteed a good read at 5am. So she set one up.
The Early Hour has now become a place where you can come first thing to read/look at something enlightening, funny, motivating, shocking, thought-provoking… and feel a little bit connected to all the other early risers.
Interviews, so far, have included: Arianna Huffington on sleep and her morning routine, Benjamin Zephaniah on poetry and politics, the founder of Ella’s Kitchen – Paul Lindley – on building his baby food empire, Rudimental’s DJ Locksmith on fatherhood and touring, filmmaker Corinna McFarlane (The Silent Storm, starring Damian Lewis) on women in film, and Raymond Blanc on eating out sustainably.
Annie Ridout wrote about her journey in more detail for The Guardian’s Women in Leadership and shared her thoughts on parenting and early rising in a Guardian Opinion piece. She was also featured in The Sunday Times – talking business, motherhood and childcare – and interviewed for a Guardian article on negotiations in business.
If you’d like to know more about The Early Hour’s readers, you can DOWNLOAD The Early Hour Media Pack.
Who makes it happen?
Founder and Editor-in-chief: Annie Ridout
Annie writes for The Guardian and is a regular blogger for BabyCentre. She speaks about parenting and feminist issues on radio (BBC Radio 5, Resonance FM, the Niall Boylan Show) and has made TV appearances, including BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show. She is an (almost) full time mum to two-year-old Joni, and is expecting a second baby in January 2017.
“First thing in the morning I like to… go for a run, drink a decaf coffee and work until my daughter wakes up (in the summer: 7am, in the winter: 8.30am)”
Contributing Editor: Lauren Davies
The founder of HEKA – a multidisciplinary design studio and consultancy with a focus on wellbeing and sustainability – Lauren was named one of the design ‘stars of the future’ by Observer Magazine. She has a never-ending flow of ideas and obsessively researches health, beauty, food and fragrance. Her son, Max, is seven-months-old.
“First thing in the morning I like to… make myself a fresh juice and get organised for the day ahead”
Film and photography: Richard Ridout
Father-of-one Richard is a filmmaker, photographer and has an eye for typos. He assists the editor, Annie – who is also his wife – with the visual side of The Early Hour and will be helping to launch an exciting new film project coming soon to the site.
“First thing in the morning, I like to… drink a litre of premium instant coffee”
Graphic designer: Matt Bucknall
The man behind The Early Hour’s logo and general design, Matt recently left his full time post at The Times – rebranding their site – to move to LA. He designs for print and online, past clients include: Glastonbury Festival, Arcadia A Magazine, Caitlin Art Prize, Bob & Roberta Smith and Nike. He’s also big in the Instagram game.
“First thing in the morning I like to… check emails in bed, catch up on the news and then go to the gym”
Website designer/technician: Mike Parks
Currently working full time for SwiftKey as a front end developer, Mike is also a freelance website builder/designer with an insane knowledge of the technical side of things. He lives in Surry with his wife Carla and their one-year-old son Charlie.
“First thing in the morning I like to… stop the cat that woke me up from licking my nose”
Nell Card is a writer and editor for the Guardian who is about to embark on a freelance career focussing on interiors, style and design. She writes for Elle Deco, Remodelista and The Observer.
“First thing in the morning, I like to… entice my daughter back to bed with promises of stories about diggers…”
Arnelle is a freelance journalist and YouTuber with a passion for people and their stories. To date, interviewees range from celebrities, fashion designers and academics to a politician, an ex-criminal and sensitive case studies. She was recently interviewed about her career on the Islam Channel and is currently on Channel 4’s Production Training scheme.
“First thing in the morning, I like to… meditate, check my emails/messages and listen to music”
Emma is a London-based writer and editor. As well as creating branded content at an agency in Kings Cross, she enjoys writing freelance lifestyle articles. Mad about music, Emma plays ukulele and is rather keen on Glastonbury festival.
“First thing in the morning, I like to… stick on Spotify and ease myself into the day with some music. (God, I’m such a nerd)”
Maeve is a community and social editor at the Guardian, focused on under-reported areas of the world. Mostly, but not exclusively, Africa, North Korea, Iran and the post-Soviet world.
“First thing in the morning, I like to… hit the snooze button”
Emma recently left her post at Travelzoo to embark on a freelance career, writing about her worldly escapades, lifestyle and craft beer for publications including Marie Claire. She was quickly snapped up by the Guardian, where she now works as a journalist.
“First thing in the morning I like to… hit snooze on my phone”
Broadcast technician, filmmaker and writer. Rob loves falling asleep in front of old black and white movies and drinking ale in the countryside. He has a two-year-old son Albie and has written about film, TV and podcasts for The Early Hour.
“First thing in the morning, I like to… grab a cup of tea and read the football gossip columns”
Johanna is a journalist who writes for The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Independent, Stylist and Vice, among others. She’s also a keen storyteller and runs a true storytelling night called Tenx9 at her local pub in Balham, south London.
“First thing in the morning I like to, no, need to have a cup of tea. I’m completely rubbish without one. Curling up on my sofa, mug cupped in my hands, daydreaming out of the window for a glorious couple of minutes while I come round… it’s the best.”
He left his role as a Blue Peter presenter in 2010 and has since written articles for The Telegraph and Don’t Panic. Joel now works for Our/Vodka London, from their Hackney base, and writes articles on the side.
“First thing in the morning I like to… watch MTV. It keeps me young, my girlfriend hates me doing it. I need to keep my finger on a pulse. Whose pulse, I am not sure”
Leni splits her time between playing dinosaurs with her son, three-year-old Albie, writing, working in IT and doing freelance mental health and disability consultancy for large organisations. She has a blog and Youtube channel ‘The White Pariah’, writes for several disability knowledge hubs and chairs Rethink Mental Illness’ London committee.
“First thing in the morning I like to… get a caffeine hit and have quiet time – me time!”
A designer and art director living and working in Brighton, Clara approaches the design process with a playfulness and humour. She leans towards a minimal, feminine aesthetic and has worked with beauty, jewellery, make-up, fashion and retail brands among others. Inspiration comes from her daughter Luna, nature, books and the tiny details of life.
“First thing in the morning I like to… (do) absolutely nothing. I am not a morning person. I usually don’t speak until after 11am”
Originally from London, Cordelia now lives in Somerset with her boyfriend and their one-year-old daughter. She has been singing and writing songs since she was fifteen years old and recently started writing short stories and articles. Her current ambition is to write and star in a one-woman play (if she could just get past the opening scene).
“First thing in the morning I like to…. convince my one year old it’s still night time by holding the covers over our heads and doing owl impressions”
Formerly a teacher and humanities coordinator at a school in Southwark, Eleanor now works part time as a primary school teacher in Hackney Wick. She is The Early Hour’s education expert and is expecting her first baby in April.
“First thing in the morning I like to… go to the bathroom and then treat myself to an extra five minutes in bed to ponder the day ahead”
If you’d like to write for The Early Hour, have any feedback – good/bad – or would just like to say “hi”, we’d love to hear from you so please send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.