UCL Provost shaves tache

My past week at UCL was livened up by being part of the campaign, led by the Union's satirical Cheese Grater magazine, to get the Provost Malcolm Grant to shave off his 33-year-old moustache in exchange for students raising £1,500 for Comic Relief.

I only played a minor part in the campaign - full credit to Richard Bridger and Rene Lavanchy who did all the organising - but my role was to write the press release and try to secure media coverage. The press release went as follows (credit to Rene for the headline):


University College London's Provost, Professor Malcolm Grant, is set to shave off his 33-year-old moustache now that students at UCL are on target to raise £1,500 GBP for the Comic Relief Appeal by the deadline tommorrow.

Prof. Malcolm Grant has been described by his Assistant Shirley Collins as being "physically and emotionally attached to his facial accessory", which he started growing in 1972. He will lose his moustache in a public shaving on Friday 11th March at 11AM.

The campaign has been organised by UCL Union's Cheese Grater Magazine, a satirical alternative to the Union's more mainstream Pi Magazine. A previous issue of Cheese Grater described the Provost's moustache as an amenity "that will enhance UCL's status as a world leader".

And was accompanied by the following photos:

So far, only the Times Higher Educational Supplement has picked up on the story, with a small re-write of the press release in the 'in brief' section. I was pleased to be able to get the UCL homepage team to cover the story though, which they did superbly with this wonderful front page:

Hopefully, now that the shaving has taken place, we'll be able to get some more coverage...