About The Early Hour and its Contributors

Editor Annie Ridout shares a simple description of what The Early Hour is, who it’s for, how it’s done and when to read it. She also introduces herself and the (amazing) team who make it all happen…

What is The Early Hour?
It’s an online culture and lifestyle magazine, with articles and interviews published daily at 5am; for the early risers (that might be parents, shift workers, teachers, a florist going to market, an insomniac, or just a straight up morning-loving early bird).

It started life because I found myself up stupidly early feeding my baby daughter, Joni, and trawling the internet on my phone. I wanted something stimulating to read and there wasn’t any one site where I could be guaranteed a good read at 5am. So I set one up.

I then realised that it’s not only parents of newborns who are up early – it’s so many different people, for different reasons. So The Early Hour has 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.

Who makes it happen?
Annie and Joni - theearlyhour.comFounder and Editor-in-chief: Annie Ridout
Annie has written for The Times, the Independent, Timeout and ITN. She wrote for local and regional newspapers: the Western Gazette – while attempting to live in the countryside, it lasted two years – Hackney Citizen, Hackney Gazette, before moving online: The Debrief, Who’s Jack, Huff Post, Volume Magazine. After giving birth to Joni Rose Moon, she left her job as a full-time film copywriter for blinkbox and a year later, launched The Early Hour.

“First thing in the morning I like to… go for a run, drink a decaf coffee and work until my daughter wakes up (at the moment: 8.30am)”

Twitter: @annieridout / @theearlyhour
Instagram: @the_early_hour

Lauren Davies - theearlyhour.com

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.

“First thing in the morning I like to… make myself a fresh juice and get organised for the day ahead”

Twitter: @Lauren_C_Davies
Instagram: @lauren_c_davies

Rich and Joni - theearlyhour.comFilm 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”

Instagram: @richardridout

Matt Bucknall - theearlyhour.comGraphic 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”

Twitter: @mattbucknall
Instagram: @mattbucknall

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.


Emma Barlow - theearlyhour.comEmma Barlow
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)”

Twitter: @emmabarlow
Instagram: @emsyemmy

Maeve Shearlaw
Maeve is a community and social editor at the Guardian, focused on under-reported areas of the world. Mostly, but not exclusively, Africa, cheap generic levitra online North Korea, Iran and the post-Soviet world.

“First thing in the morning, I like to… hit the snooze button”

Twitter: @maeveshearlaw
Instagram: @maeveshearlaw

Emma Sheppard - theearlyhour.comEmma Sheppard
A travel journalist, who recently left her post at Travelzoo to embark on a freelance career, Emma writes about her worldly escapades, lifestyle, craft beer and anything else that takes her fancy for publications including Marie Claire.

“First thing in the morning I like to… hit snooze on my phone”

Twitter: @Emmalousheppard
Twitter: @EmmalouSheppard

Rob and Albie - theearlyhour.comRobert Knight
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 and TV for The Early Hour.

“First thing in the morning, I like to… grab a cup of tea and read the football gossip columns”

Twitter: @mrknight_
Instagram: @facefacefoot

Johanna - theearlyhour.com
Johanna Derry
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.”

Twitter: @johanna_derry
Instagram: @johannad1979

Joel Defries - theearlyhour.com

Joel Defries
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”

Twitter: @joeldefries
Instagram: @joel.defries

Leni - theearlyhour.comLeni White-Knight:
Leni is an IT accessibility manager and mental health agenda lead for a global bank, writer for several disability knowledge hubs, chair of Rethink Mental Illness’ London committee and founder of The White Pariah blog and PED; a site for parents with eating disorders.

“First thing in the morning I like to… get a caffeine hit and have quiet time – me time!”

Twitter: @TheWhitePariah
Instagram: @thewhitepariah

Clara - theearlyhour.comClara Spencer-Philips
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”

Twitter: @claraivy
Instagram: @claraivy

Cordelia and Elody - theearlyhour.comCordelia Fellowes
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”

Soundcloud: Cordelia Fellowes
Facebook: cordeliafellowes

Eleanor Rathbone - theearlyhour.com
Eleanor Sapienza
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”

Instagram: @rathbonel

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: info@theearlyhour.com or leave a comment below this post…