19 February 2013
Russ Bravo, editor Inspire magazine
Russ Bravo is editor of Inspire magazine, designed to tell the good news stories of God at work transforming individuals, churches and communities around the UK and across the world. He is creative and development director of CPO (Christian Publishing & Outreach) which resources the Church for mission and outreach.
Russ is also a musician and freelance comedy writer, who has worked for Joe Pasquale, Tim Vine and for ITV's The Sketch Show. He has also been involved in clowning and performance work with youth groups.
What did you want to be when you were a child?
Older. And taller. Once I'd achieved those I mistakenly thought I'd be a professional golfer. But I peaked at 16 and realised it wasn't to be.
How did you come to be editor at Inspire?
I'd worked in local, regional and national newspapers for 14 years when the opportunity came up to edit a re-launched Christian Herald. We ran this for 10 years or so, before deciding that with the huge changes brought about by the internet, a new kind of mass-circulation title was needed. And Inspire was born.
What’s been the highlight of your career?
Lots of mini-highlights really: having my first front page lead as a local reporter, reporting from Wembley and Lords on football and cricket as a sports editor, and running the features department at the Derby Evening Telegraph with multiple editions, numerous supplements and magazines. With Christian Herald, reporting from major church events and trying to broaden the engagement many evangelicals have had with their world and culture. And withInspire, highlighting the fantastic difference faith-filled believers make to their local communities.
Do you think Christians ‘get’ the importance of media?
Not as much as they need to. Some just see the worst excesses and run a mile. Jesus called us to be communicators and get stuck in.
Are there any particular Bible verses that shape your work life?
Romans 8:28-30 is pretty handy. If you're called to a task, God will equip you to do it. So don't muck about.
Who’s your hero?
I have a huge number of heroes who show me glimpses of God: my mate Geoff, who showed me Jesus, writers like Terry Pratchett, who make me laugh and make me think, wise men and women who helped me when I first became a Christian, and sharp-witted Jewish geniuses like Groucho Marx and Woody Allen. I see heroes everywhere.
What do you do in your spare time?
Comedy, the arts and supporting Brighton & Hove Albion FC. I co-run a comedy club that started life as a church gig, and turned into a community venture. I enjoy performing and making everyone else look good, so sometimes it's comedy, sometimes songs and the odd poem or two. I love reading, walking and collecting classic rock on vinyl LPs.
What’s your favourite book and/or film?
My favourite film isA Night at The Opera by the Marx Brothers. I enjoy reading anything by Pratchett, CS Lewis or PG Wodehouse.