Our Extra, Extra, Special Year

Throughout the year, our small team has not only covered news, we’ve held a live election broadcast, hosted lockdown nights, raised cash for charity, re-written a song, produced a music video and opened a clothes shop. 

And, in a moment of total self indulgence, we wanted to look back on some of the things we have really enjoyed doing this year. 

Stay At Home

Much like many of you, we too were limited by this year’s lockdowns as our team scattered across the island and kept plugging away to deliver the news. A big part of this was the return of the daily Covid and vaccine stats, for which we got help from our mate Alex Barlow, he even updated the figures one day while taking a walk up Snaefell.

Those Lockdoooownn Niiights

While last year we had long summer evenings and gardens to sit in, this year we had nothing but the dark and the cold. To help improve the mood, as well as raising some cash for Isle Listen, we roped in our pals Lorcan O’Mahony and Jack Divers to host Gef’s Big Quiz. While a few tech issues made the night a lot more stressful for our team than planned, it also added to the madness of the night, which was supported by Okell’s. 

When Lockdown 3 struck, we knew we had to do something different and this led to Gef’s St Patrick’s Day Sesh. Hosted by Lorcan and sponsored by Brendan O’Donnells, this glorified boozed up live stream raised some cash for the Isle of Man Foodbank. 

As well as these charitable nights, we also raised cash for Victim Support Isle of Man through their wear yellow day and supported Breast Cancer Now’s fashion show with a limited edition range of Mystic Chess Couture shirts and jumpers.

Overall the team raised just over £3,000 for local charities and initiatives.

Kate’s Fangirl Interview

While you often see more of Mystic Chess, Emma and Sam, we never forget the mother of Gef, Kate Hegarty. Ever one to chase her dreams, this year Kate managed to book an interview with her icon, the legendary advertising executive Sir John Hegarty. Just look how happy she is. 

Listen to the full podcast here, where they discuss their love for creativity and marketing.

Culture Fest

We’ve been involved with a lot of community events this year, but one of the ones we’re most proud of is our role as media partner for the first ever Isle of Man Culture Fest, which was organised and hosted by People of Colour Isle of Man. While the weather was a bit Manx, it did little to dampen the enthusiasm of everyone who went to the Nunnery and we can’t wait to see what they do in 2022. 

Mystic Chess

As well as delivering news, we expanded our range of must reads this year with the introduction of Mystic Chess. Starting off as a one-off, Mystic Chess AKA Chess Bradley has built herself a brand that rivals that of Bollinger, Bentley and B&Q. 

As well as sharing what the stars are telling her, and her hatred of Leo men, Mystic Chess has also launched a clothing range Mystic Chess Couture, which helped raise money for breast cancer charities in the island. 

Our App 

During a brief period earlier this year our Gef app, which if you don’t have yet, go download it. No, do it now, we’ll wait a minute while you download it… 

Welcome back, where we’re we? Ah yes, our app, well for a brief period of time earlier this year, when we were running a competition with Manx Telecom, the Mongoose hit the top 10 of news apps in the UK.

Using Your X

This year was of course a General Election year and we like a party as much as we like politics, so naturally we put them together to cover the election. Our team created a separate website (vote2021.im) for the election, covering at least one pre-election meeting in every constituency, as well as keeping you up to date with all the goings on in the six months running up to Election Day. We also filmed predictor videos and hosted a four hour live broadcast from Loft 11. We obviously couldn’t have done all this alone, so a huge thanks goes out to Noah Bovenizer, Jack Divers, Jamie Lewis, Paul Speller, Gear Industries, Animation Explainers and all of the people we locked in community halls on the night itself to get the live results. This broadcast was not only watched on island, we also had viewers in France, America, Canada, South Africa, Gibraltar and Australia, amongst others. 

Gef Didn’t Start the Fire

As part of our election broadcast, we took the Billy Joel song We Didn’t Start the Fire and created Gef Didn’t Start the Fire, or as we call it, the Manx music video of the year. A two month-long project saw us rewriting the song to fit with key moments throughout the Quayle administration, the video was filmed by, and starred, Jack Divers who managed to blag his way into a variety of venues, as well as being spotted doing some rather questionable dancing on the Grandstand.

It Blew a Hoolie

We topped off the year with our very own pop up shop and online store Hoolie. This really summed up what Gef has been all about this year, collaborating with other businesses like Jazzy Jeff’s, not taking anything too seriously, as shown by our popular ‘Alf’ jumpers and a lot of hard work.

It has been a great year and we’ve loved bringing you all of this and all the other stuff we’ve forgotten to mention. Cheers to all our pals who have helped us share the weird and wonderful goings on this island has to offer. It’s been a rollercoaster of a year but thanks for joining the ride and supporting your little Mongoose.

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