12.11.15

Ali reveals all about 2016 Korda TV projects & his new book!

After the success of Ali Hamidi’s first book Carp Fishing Masterclass, it was inevitable that he would write further books! Out now is his new book, The Carpers High. There have been lots of social network action and hype regarding the project, and just one glance at the cover tells you it isn’t your conventional angling book…but then there isn’t too much conventional about the author! We catch up with Ali to ask him a host of questions about 2015 in general and also a little more of what to expect in his new book!

The Carpers' High features some amazing carp angling stories from around the world!

As well as tactical info that has helped Ali consistently catch big carp, home and abroad

SO ALI, 2015 SEEMS TO HAVE FLOWN BY IN A BLUR FOR YOU - EVERYTIME PEOPLE GLANCE AT TWITTER, FACEBOOK, OR INSTAGRAM YOU’RE ON ANOTHER KORDA ADVENTURE SOMEWHERE!

You’re right, 2015 has been totally crazy. Probably my busiest year since I started working for Korda in 2005. I thought 2014 was pretty mental with the commencement of filming series 1 of The Big Fish Off, but 2015 has taken this to a whole new level! Such was the success of The Big Fish Off series 1, that come mid March we made a big call to change plans for Season 10 of Thinking Tackle and look to evolve the show and make a mainstream carp show fit for a channel like ITV.

This kind of came out of left field, and meant what would have been an international series 10 of Thinking Tackle was about to turn into a whole new project, much larger, and would soak up any ounce of spare time in 2015 when coupled with TBFO, running the Korda/Guru marketing department and presenting another new TV show. I’m sad that we’ve decided to supersede Thinking Tackle with a different carp show, but having now just returned from Japan having completed the filming of the 4th episode of a four-show series, I know anglers and non anglers will LOVE this new format and style!


CAN YOU TELL US ANYMORE, WHEN ARE PEOPLE LIKELY TO SEE THIS NEW TV PROJECT AND WHAT WILL IT BE CALLED?

Well, the difference between the old format of TT and this new show is that it will be far more mainstream and entertainment-led, a bit of an adventure. Basically I travel the world in search of monster carp at crazy wild locations whilst being joined by some of my nearest and dearest colleagues/friends. Danny, Dovey, Pecky and Spooner all come on the journey, two guests on each show, but it’s a show of antics, tactics, banter and real variety. It’s not tactics-led like the old Thinking Tackles.

Don’t worry, we’ll be doing loads of domestic tactical filming still in the UK for www.korda.co.uk and the Masterclass DVD, but TV-wise, and with only 365 days in a year, we believe this is a wonderful new step for carp fishing on mainstream TV. These shows will have plenty of tricks and tips, but ultimately we wanted to make something that viewers would just enjoy, a bit like a good film, a cracking Top Gear episode. In fact I kind of liken it to that, when I was first developed the treatment for the show I had a real vision of Top Gear, meets Thinking Tackle, meets say River Monsters along with a good portion of The Big Fish Off banter and humour.

With me presenting it, you’re never going to get a purely factual serious show, I’m a joker, but serious when I need to be, and this show will really get anglers, not just carp anglers, chomping at the bit! It’s a very exciting move forward and I’m extremely pleased to announce that ITV4 have agreed to televise the project hot off the back of the success we enjoyed with The Big Fish Off.

So 2016 will see our carp fishing show move away from Sky Sports and hit Freeview, which I know will be very well received by a huge number of our loyal fans and followers who don’t have Sky Sports, but also a whole host of new anglers. Our objective is for The Big Fish Off series 2 to hit ITV4/ITV in March/April and then for Monster Carp to hit ITV4/ITV in June/July.

It really is a very exciting time for Korda and Guru. We are basically a fully-fledged TV production company along with being a tackle manufacturer. Hats off to Danny too, as people don’t realise that we get very little money back from TV networks at the moment, all the shows you are seeing are 95% funded by Korda.


WOW, BLIMEY, SO A VERY CRAZY YEAR COMING TO A CLOSE AND A VERY EXCITING 2016 ON THE HORIZON?

Absolutely, I’m very proud of the work we’re doing, and what a lot of people don’t realise is that this type of TV show for channels like ITV take so much longer make! It might take you a week to film an episode, but it will take 6-8 weeks to edit each episode.

When you think of five The Big Fish Off episodes and four Monster Carps, you don’t need to be a great mathematician to see why you won’t see these ‘till next year. A lot of the work I do, is always looking at entertainment and content for the following year. However, I can say for sure, to all the likely viewers…it’ll definitely be worth the wait…also hats off to ITV for being so supportive of fishing!

They’re starting to see the light now and realise that big audiences are out there for fishing. Like football, the audience doesn’t go away or get put off because there is football on every week, if they love it, they love it, end of. Maybe TV companies lost sight of how big fishing is, I just needed to prove to them that we can make it exciting to watch.


IS THE FISHING COMMUNITY SHOWING ITS POWER?

Definitely! The backing for The Big Fish Off was awesome, and it has given us a great platform to build on. We’re trying to produce shows that make angling more fashionable, more interesting, and to make anglers proud to fish, and bring more of them into the sport. I keep saying it, but fishing will soon be a great chat up line!


SO COME ON ALI, HOW ON EARTH HAVE YOU FITTED THE WRITING OF THIS BOOK INTO YOUR DIARY?

I really don’t know! My poor wife barely recognises me I’ve been away that much, and when I’ve been home, I’ve been tapping away on the keyboard trying to create a book I would be proud of, something that would be a hybrid of Carp Fishing Masterclass, an autobiography and a standard carp story book! I was bored of the same old books, so I wanted to create something… the covers sets the tone and tells you immediately that this isn’t your usual fishing book!


HAS IT BEEN STRESSFUL SQUEEZING THIS IN?

I’ve been under massive pressure, pressure through working intensely with little or no time off. I know anglers looking on think we just fish all the time, have the dream job etc - I don’t deny that, but the job they visualise is very different to reality! There are so many facets to my role, sometimes you need to escape from fishing, but this year, that escape time has generally been dedicated to finishing this book.

I’ve written it over the last two years, but the actual designing of it was my biggest headache and started in August 2014. So it has taken a very long time to do. I’m really grateful to John Hannent, the book designer, for putting up with me. I really wanted something that would be varied content-wise, but the book design needed to be colourful, standout, and different. Even though it is written with heart, passion and has so much content to help anglers with limited time, but to also entertain the reader, the design was critical to me.

Words were not enough. It needed to look the part, it needed to take risks and be exciting at a glance. I hope I’ve achieved that. Only time will tell I suppose, but I have so many great followers and supporters, they’ll always be honest and tell me what they think, and I look forward to the feedback.


YOU HAVE SOME VERY COOL GUEST CHAPTERS TOO?

Yes, there are some belters in there from friends who also don’t have loads of free fishing time. I wanted tactical tales that inspire anglers with limited time, rather than stories of condensed campaigns by time bandits fishing 3-5 nights a week. That just isn’t real life; people have jobs, families and lives out of fishing, I get absolutely no inspiration from full timers.

Yes I love reading about someone like Darrell Peck who has odd long sessions, maybe 1 or 2 in a year on somewhere special, but not by anglers who live on the bank week in week out. It does nothing for me personally, but I’m not knocking that, each to their own, but I know a lot of the anglers out there can’t relate to that type of fishing, which is why they like hearing or learning about how anglers with maybe one or two nights a month managed to unlock a lake. I’m obsessed with bait, tactics and being able to use trickery to get a result, so my guest chapters represent that.

There are also a couple of left field chapters in there, one by my friend Daniel Jawadnya fishing a wild monster of a lake in Turkey and Bruno Medou fishing in the heart of Paris on the River Seine. I grew up loving reading Tony Davies-Patrick articles travelling the globe. That always fascinated me, so there is a bit of that flavour in the book too. There is so much variety to angling, methods, locations and ‘tekkers’ and The Carpers’ High tries very hard to demonstrate that.


DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU’VE ACHIEVED YOUR OBJECTIVE?

I’m a perfectionist, John Hannent the book designer is too, so we worked really hard together in the final stages. That is definitely when the creative sparks really started to fly and we made great strides towards completion. I should have been closer to him earlier during the process, but daily work/travel didn’t allow it, we worked well together in the end.

He’s an absolute genius of a designer, and sometimes when you give him a little glimpse of an idea he smashes it out of the park with the creative, two perfect examples is the design for chapter one ‘It’s What Shapes You’ and the ‘Holiday Happiness’ chapter. I love the look of those chapters, totally different to what angling is used to - like a great uppercut in boxing - and it just sets the content off.


YOU KEEP TALKING ABOUT THE DESIGN, BUT WHAT ABOUT THE BOOK AS A WHOLE FOR ANGLERS?

I’ll let them be the judge, but I really believe 90% of anglers will relate more to the content in this book than other traditional fishing tales. They’re real, they’re funny, but I know lots of anglers will read this book and feel inspired. I believe they will like the tactical side being focused around succeeding with limited time, they will also enjoy the behind the scenes stuff and more about me as a person rather than all the media bravado you might see.

I’d give myself a score of 7/10 for it - I always think I can do something better, but I know anglers will enjoy it, I’ve tried to answer a lot of things that they ask on Twitter and Facebook; bait advice and input, holiday carping tactics, the truth behind filming, bait quantity, rig thoughts, thought processes and decision making during tough sessions. It has a bit of everything because normal anglers face these scenarios every time they can go fishing. More experienced anglers take it for granted, but I hope the book dispels some myths and helps anglers that read it bank a lot more carp in the future, whilst having a laugh along the way.
I’ve also kept the book a soft back to allow a lower cover price of just £20, when most angling books are £30. I hope this will allow more youngsters to have a read.

The Carpers High is available NOW for just £20 from major tackle shops across the UK and online via:
http://www.thecarpstore.co/view-product/The-Carpers-High-837.html

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