Who is Johnny Despondent?
Johnny Despondent began life in 1996 impersonating a junior reporter on Prague's Radio 1, delivering a football round-up for Demon Sounds every Saturday evening after inadvertently stumbling into the job through a series of drunk and wholly insincere conversations. Taking to the job like a fish to chips, he was soon headhunted by Fat Bob for the now defunct Threshold Praha where he was invited to contribute a weekly sports editorial and Premier League round-up under the unquestionably catchy moniker Johnny Despondent the Sports Correspondent.
Professional as always, Despondent sticks to the pop
After overseeing the demise of Threshold Praha - including the hasty and debt-ridden retreat of editor Fat Bob back to the USA - Despondent flirted with a number of other Prague publications - notably Think! and Optimism - but by 1997 had decided that the only way to get away with writing complete and utter bollocks lay in self-publishing and Last Night in the Slapper, an irreverent and often wholly fictitious take on the previous evening's antics in favourite local haunt The Chapeau Rouge, was born. And with it, Despondent Publications.
Over the following years Despondent worked hard to make Despondent Publications a household name and in at least one house he achieved spectacular success, even being allowed to hang promotional posters in the bedroom. Never one to rest on his laurels though, he took this success in his stride and ploughed ahead with his vision, moving into CD piracy with the formation of Despondent Recordings.
Burning compilation CDs to order, Despondent's top client was Prague's legendary DJ Volé and in the UK Despondent Recordings provided the irrepressible Radio Snort FM with its entire play-list. Indeed, it was Despondent who came up with the iconic slogan "Playing The Music You Wouldn't Pay For" which so encapsulated Snort FM. Of course, in time honoured tradition, DJ Volé and Snort FM - independent of each other though they were - both fell off the radar.
In 2005, having been away from the city for 8 years, Despondent returned to Prague and took up a couple of resident columns in a fledgling weekly publication, The Alsoran. Whilst not being fully happy with the format - he once appeared on the cover - he soon discovered that his name alone gave him enough power to insist that whatever he wrote was published unedited. Showing the type of canny shrewdness that had brought him this far, and fully aware that his success was in danger of spiralling out of control, Despondent temporarily began writing under the pen-name Maxwell Minimum, insisting Minimum Publications was credited with every article penned. Eventually - and rather inevitably - The Alsoran went
the same way as most of the publications that have had the guile to employ him, this time the editor and his newly wedded wife feeling it expedient to head hurriedly for Jakarta.
The seemingly unstoppable success of both Despondent Publications and Despondent Recordings bought continued reward and in 2006 Despondent was able to invest in a modest movie camera with a view to his next project, Despondent Productions, within which would reside Despondent Images. In just 10 short years Johnny Despondent had gone from bogus broadcaster to media magnate, boasting publication, recording, film production and photography as parts of his ever-growing emporium. With the Despondent Empire flourishing it became clear a parent company was required and in 2007 The Despondent Industries Group was created, enabling Johnny Despondent to oversee all aspects of his interests whilst maintaining full control.
August 2008 saw Despondent's first foray into the highly lucrative world of televised sport with the launch of DP Sport as he successfully fought off Vegative Video to secure worldwide rights for the Trebetherick 2008 Subaleague International Christmas Cup.
The creation of The Despondent Industries Group afforded Despondent diversity and in October 2009 he was commissioned to film The Belmont Concerto, performed by its 14 and 15 year old composers. The resulting film was distributed on DVD, another first for Despondent Productions.
With Dan Wiseman and Captain Bruce Dickinson
2010 saw Johnny Despondent branch out of Despondent Productions and embark on a number of collaborative projects, taking on previously untried roles. After working on production co-ordination for an NHS-commissioned training film Despondent teamed up with producer Dan Wiseman, directing commercial pilot and Iron Maiden singer Captain Bruce Dickinson, for the CAA-commissioned Safety in the Balance, a You Tube release that achieved national recognition in The Guardian and New Musical Express and is now compulsory viewing for baggage handlers across the UK and beyond.
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