Chilliman Press and Media Stories F Word Lancashire Life for RK Alker Childrens Author The Chilli Man from Little Green Men Chorley England UK

6: ChilliMan Press and Media

ChilliMan Press and Media—TV, Radio, Newspapers, Magazines and Internet

Big group of news host on the chilliman press and media sectionI was a Local Food Evangelist in the Local Food Revolution and burning white-hot! The ChilliMan press and media branded me an expert, and I entered a river of media attention. I received mass coverage in the press and media, major awards and accolades, and featured in the top competitions in the country! The response was astonishing!

Gratitude for the Help I Received

I lived in a constant state of gratitude, with an incredibly positive mindset. I do not want to take credit for everything that happened. There were a lot of people and organisations alerting the media and recommending and providing me with opportunities.

However, I was responsible for seizing those opportunities, standing in front of the cameras and spreading my love for chillies and local producers.

The Media Community Wanted Me to Succeed!

RK Alker Childrens Author as the chilliman sat ina rocket flying to press and media stardomThe speed was phenomenal! In the space of less than 14 days, I went from my first full-page article in the local press, to BBC Radio Lancashire, to BBC News, to a documentary on ITV1!

A Perspective of the Magnitude for My One-Man Chilli Band

There were only a handful of TV channels and major newspapers two decades ago. Getting in all of them was a MASSIVE accomplishment!

The Success Catalyst Variables

  • Contacts and PR got me in front of newsmakers and journalists.
  • Food has always been very popular—we eat it three times a day! The media likes to cover it, a lot!
  • There was an escalating local food revolution—growers and food producers were getting some of the limelight.
  • The face paint was a statement of intent to entertain. The fresh, brightly coloured chilli growing Local Food Evangelist ChilliMan was using his magnet to get noticed with striking visual appeal!
  • I put on a BIG show with my ChilliMan Alter Ego. It was brilliant fun with my customers, event staff and chefs!The Chilliman RK Alker Childrens Author in green makeup basket of food chillies beer and seeds growing kit at a food festival posing for press and media stardom from Chorley Lancashire England UK
  • I educated the public about chilli properties.
  • I sought to shine at food events, performing chilli cooking demonstrations and chili talks nationwide. Over the ChilliMan period, I easily performed 2,000 speaking engagements in public, teaching and workshops.
  • I cooked with chillies in my BIG, striking 3-foot paella pans and karai dishes.
  • I was always delivering funny showstoppers such as super-hot chilli tastings.

Chilliman Press and Media Opportunities—The Press were First Through My Door…

Press—Newspapers, Broadsheets and Magazines

The Chilliman RK Alker Childrens Author peering through green chillies in a greenhouse hot sauce grower of chutney by Neil Cross photographer from press and media stardom Chorley Lancashire England UKThe Food Agencies centred around Myerscough College. They engaged a big PR company and alerted the media. First up was a great article in the Lancashire Evening Post. I managed a full-page spread with some brilliant photography from Neil Cross. When he took that image of me peering through my chillies into the camera, I felt like David Bellamy. He was the main TV botanist and environmental campaigner during my youth! Interestingly, I interviewed him for TV at Southport Flower Show one year!

Many thanks for all my local features in The Lancashire Telegraph, Chorley Citizen and other local newspapers and magazines such as Lancashire Life and Lifestyle Magazine.

As I entered London, the broadsheets gave me coverage such as The Daily Telegraph and The Independent.

The Independent’s food critic ranked me in the UK’s top 4 for luxury foods!

The Independent was one of the main broadsheets. The editor was a graduate from the university I was teaching at: The University of Central Lancashire.

Radio was Second Through My Door…

The ChilliMan RK Alker Children's Author at BBC Radio Lancashire with Ted Robbins and Pilkers Blackburn The GiftWithin hours of my full-page press article, BBC Radio was on the phone asking me to come in and chat about chillies. I was to feature with the hilarious Ted Robbins and Pilkers (now Leanne Bayes.) This was the doorway to many BBC Radio Lancashire appearances with Ted and Pilkers. I am really pleased that Ted selected our whacky chilli-tasting session on air in his Golden Moments of BBC Radio. I recall that a listener famously had to stop his car in heavy traffic due to uncontrollable laughter! Cheers Ted and Pilkers! 😊

The Gift was X Factor for BBC Radio

RK Alker Childrens Author as the chilliman sat in the gift for BBC Radio Lancashire a finalist in the X Factor competeition with press and media stardomI entered the BBC Talent Show “The Gift.” The prize was a radio presenter’s spot on the Beeb! One judge noted that I was “a bit chilli-obsessed!”… REALLY?!

I only went and I reached the bloomin’ FINAL!

The judges also said I had a “smile in my voice.”

I did. The sun was shining on me and it was wonderful!

Later, a BBC interviewer asked me several searching questions. The depth of my answers led to much longer written responses, which culminated in this article on the BBC website:

Chilli Rich Talking Chillies On The BBC– Richard’s HOT Stuff!

TV was Third Through My Door…

Shortly after the BBC radio interview, I received another call. The main local BBC TV reporter Peter Holland wanted to visit me at Chilli Growing HQ—my house! Things were hotting up on the media front!

I invited Peter and his cameraman in with open arms. We sampled all my chilli food products. I even made them chilli sausages—it was a blast! Peter and I kept in touch and when he left the BBC, he became my PR man!

BBC1 News—Chilli Farm Thriving In Chorley

“The BBC wanted me to succeed! This was HUGE! Successful press and media felt like immense validation and appreciation of my efforts.”


ITV1 was on the blower! They came to film a prime-time documentary to air at 19:30 on a Tuesday!

ITV1 My North West

The ChilliMan RK Alker Childrens Author on ITV1 My North West with Dean Sullvan Jimmy Corkhill from Brookside Chorley Lancashire England UKThe team included actor Dean Sullivan as the frontman. He was famous for being Billy Corkhill in the Channel 4 soap opera Brookside. The production team was led by Peter Baker, an ex-Granada TV producer, now a famous voiceover artist and radio show host.

I was featured as a bit of a character that had taken on the challenge of growing chillies in the damp north of England, and in association with my local producer friends, had created a vibrant range of chilli products.

Peter, the TV producer, was very interested in what I was doing and my engaging TV performance. As an indication of how amazing the journey had become, we shot a Chilli Cooking DVD together and pitched for a TV series!

“ITV and their production companies wanted me to succeed!”

Channel 4 Gordon Ramsay’s F-Word Final

RK Alker Childrens Author as the chilliman attending the F Word final with Gordon Ramsay witha signed copy of the sheep poo menu London Claridges for press and media stardomGordon Ramsay was a huge celebrity chef back then and has endured to this day. It was an honour to the called by the Channel 4 production company to feature on The F-Word final!

They invited me to judge Gordon and Johnny Vegas‘s pizzas. I spent the day in the company of a great production crew, 50 public diners and a host of celebrity guests such as Ricky Gervais, Janet Street-Porter, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Sarah Beeny and many more celebrities, as we voted the series winners of the F Word.

Above is my copy of The F-Word Final Menu, signed by the man himself—Gordon Ramsay. It was made of reconstituted sheep poo from the sheep Gordon’s family reared in his back garden during the series!

F-Word Series 3

“Gordon Ramsay’s F Word returns for a third series, with all the action set against the backdrop of a working kitchen staffed by Gordon and four amateur cooks who think they’ve got what it takes. “

“For the last episode in this series, the action moves to Gordon’s restaurant at Claridge’s in London. Ricky Gervais comes for dinner and Johnny Vegas cooks pizza in the recipe challenge.”

(Source: Channel

UKTV Local Food Heroes

RK Alker Childrens Author as the chilliman a finalist on Gary Rodes UKTV Local Food Heroes cooking chillies cheese and having a great time in the press and media stardom Chorley Lancashire England UKThe late great Gary Rhodes put British Food on the map. They hailed him as the first rock star chef. The chefs held centre stage at food events. He was the man, the boss chef, King Kahuna of the early days of the local food revolution. A few decades on, I may need to reinforce that this was MASSIVE! The Local Food Heroes competition summed up everything that we stood for.

“Gary was the first rock star of cooking, making it cool.” (Quote: Prue Leith of The Great British Bake Off)

R.K. Alker The ChilliMan—A Food Hero?!

UKTV Local Food Heroes was a competition to find, celebrate and award the UK’s best independent food businesses—those who championed local produce with a strong connection to their community.

RK Alker Kids Author as the Chillimna with Simon Rimmer from UKTV Local Food Heroes in the finals of the competition at the Little Green Men Chilli Farm in Chorley Lancashire England UKI was selected for the finals, visited by celebrity chef Simon Rimmer at the Little Green Men Chilli Farm. We visited my local Chorley market, cooked for the public, and I progressed to the final judging by Gary Rhodes. Simon Rimmer and I remained friends. We ran into each other many times at the local and national food events and throughout my career as The ChilliMan.

“It was a humbling honour to get enough nominations from foodies to be selected for, and progress to feature in the finals of Local Food Heroes. That is a badge that I am happy to wear proudly.” 😊

Images from Gary Rhodes UKTV Local Food Heroes

Source: UKTV Quote, “The chef searches for the independent shops and small businesses around the country that make the finest local produce.”

Pitching for TV Series

I had entered a river of media attention. The TV production companies kept coming and coming!

Next up was Centini and Chris Bisson from East is East and Coronation Street. They visited me and we shot a short programme about my chilli dream. We reached the commissioning stage for a TV programme.

ChilliMan TV Series

As you will see in the next article, Lancashire One came to film at the Little Green Men Chilli Farm BIG Greenhouse. They produced an amazing video for me. They liked my presentation so much, that we set about filming in different locations, from small greenhouses to large garden centres and my TV show was born! The programme blended chillies, gardening and product placement.

Southport Flower Show

I also filmed with Lancashire One at Southport Flower Show. We covered the entire event. Interviewing the stars and exhibitors, including David Bellamy and Christopher Biggins.

ChilliMan Press and Media Serendipity

Strangely, I took it all in my stride and gleefully leapt from one opportunity to another. It was like serendipity. It felt amazing! A star-studded career in TV and Radio in the company of the top chefs in the land as ChilliMan Local Food Evangelist. In retrospect, I am astounded by the coverage from major TV channels, radio, magazines, newspapers and broadsheets!

Major Awards were Fourth Through My Door…

RK Alker Childrens Author as the chilliman winning an award of first prize at southport flower show witha celebrity chef and press and media star

My multimedia website with 2,000,000+ visitors, my community work and my media profile landed me an invitation to the Tourism Awards for Lancashire and Blackpool. Heavy competition from the major tourist resort was present. My one-man chilli band placed second against the GIANTS of Blackpool Zoo, Blackpool Pleasure Beach and the winners, the 5-Star Ribby Hall Village.

Southport Flower Show

I was very pleased to win a first prize as an exhibitor at Southport Flower Show, the UK’s largest independent flower show.

BBC Good Food Show

RK Alker Childrens Author as the chilliman at the BBC Good Food Show NEC and Gardeners World with The Hairy Bikers Dave Myers and Si King press and media stardomThe BBC Good Food Show invited me to exhibit at the epic 100,000-visitor-strong BBC Good Food Show in winter, pre-Christmas and later, the combined event of BBC Gardeners’ World Live and BBC Good Food Show in summer at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC). The first time I was accompanied by the Lancashire tourism specialists: Marketing Lancashire. I ended up on stage with The Hairy Bikers another year!… and on BBC Gardeners’ World the next!

Rock Star Celebrity Chefs were Fifth Through My Door…

The celebrity chefs were the main stage attraction at food events. My chillies greatly interested them! I began to supply restaurants. The owner of a local Michelin-starred restaurant said to me,

“Your chillies bring a whole new dimension to our chef’s cooking using locally sourced produce.”

I was honoured that the first rock star chef, that put British food on the map, came to see me at the BBC Good Food Show: the late great Gary Rhodes, along with other celebrity chefs:

RK Alker Childrens Author as the chilliman with Simon Rimmer of BBC Something for the weekend posing for press and media photgraphers stardom

The Hairy Bikers

We crossed paths many times on the food circuit. We became friends. They invited me to attend events in which they featured. Above is an image of us on stage at the BBC Good Food Show.

Simon Rimmer

He was a tremendous supporter of local producers. Simon was a regional judge for Local Food Heroes. He featured my products on his BBC Something for the Weekend show on a Sunday morning. Again, we met so many times that we became friends.

RK Alker Childrens Author as the chilliman with Gino DAcampo backstage at Bolton Food and Drink Festival as compere cooking chillies and having fun smiling with a photographer from press and media stardom

Jamie Oliver & Gennaro Contaldo

At a food event in London, a key Jamie Oliver’s team member approached me. We had a fun discussion over a drink, and they invited me to the restaurant to chat with Gennaro and his team.

Gino D’Acampo

I whipped up the crowd for Gino’s set on stage as the compere for my local Bolton Food and Drink Festival. We had such a laugh—what a character!

James Martin

I was on the bill at my first BIG food event with James Martin! My demonstration was at the immense Food Lovers’ Festival at Stonyhurst—on the same stage as James! We also met at my local Bolton Food and Drink Festival as the compere for his set on stage.

RK Alker Childrens Author as the chilliman on BBC Chinese Cooking Made Easy with Ching He HUang Chillies for Chorley press and media stardom

BBC Chinese Food Made Easy

Ching He Huang came to see me at The BIG Chilli Greenhouse and we hatched a plan for a chilli campaign in my hometown of Chorley!

Britain’s Best Dish

RK Alker Childrens Author as the chilliman cooking on Britains Best Dish with John Burton Race Jilly Goulden Ed Baines on ITV1 qualifying press and media stardom

I entered the qualifiers for Britain’s Best Dish. It was a British daytime cookery show part of the ITV Food category on ITV1. Amateur cooks from around the UK competed to cook “Britain’s Best Dish” and a prize of £10,000. The judges were Ed Baines, John Burton-Race and Jilly Goolden. I progressed in the competition with my chilli-infused version of Spiced Lancashire Hotpot.

Images from ITV1 Britain’s Best Dish

Royal Hamper to Charles III The King of The United Kingdom

I sent some of my best produce to the now King, then Prince of Wales, along with a group of local food producers from the Pennine Lancashire Festival of Food and Culture. The King was a huge supporter of farmers and local food producers.RK Alker Kids Author as the chilliman in the foodie community send a hamper to King Charles III as HRH The Prince of Wales Lancashire England UK

The River of Media Attention

How can I sum up the attention that I graciously received and enjoyed? I interpret the experience and the speed of my rise to the top as entering a river of media attention. Those media channels, newspapers and magazines, and early websites exposed me to the public at large, and I am very grateful. 😊

Is There a Scene Missing? Is It You?

If you helped me and you’re not listed here, I apologise. It has been a while and so much was happening. I am eternally grateful for all the help, coverage, and opportunities that I received over this most incredible period of my life.

Please get in touch if you would like to feature or have images or video—I would love to hear from you and add them to this digital scrapbook of my life story.

Supply Had Certainly Created its Own Demand!

Say’s Law was snowballing out of control. My supply of chilli antics and products had created more demand than I could supply.

I needed to expand production! READ ON… Part 7: The BIG Chilli Greenhouse



Part 1: Chilli Beginnings

RK Alker the chilliman going from unknown to famous to a children's author 2

Part 2: Polytunnel Chilli Passion

RK Alker the chilliman in his polytunnel growing chili plants and seeds as a famous children's author 2

Part 3: Chilli Leap of Faith

Chilli growing chili man jumping to freedom leap of faith across a ravine canyon valley

Part 4: The Foodie Community

Local food producer chilli growing chili man with food agencies selling chile products Chorley Lancashire England UK

Part 5: The Rock Star ChilliMan

Rock Star Chilli Grower Local food producer chilli growing chili man with food agencies selling chile products Chorley Lancashire England UK 2

Part 6: ChilliMan Press and Media

Chilliman Press and Media Stories F Word Lancashire Life for RK Alker Childrens Author The Chilli Man from Little Green Men Chorley England UK

Part 7: The BIG Chilli Greenhouse

RK Alker Childrens Author as the ChilliMan Chilli Growing in the BIG Greenhouse Little Green Men Chorley Lancashire Coast Best Selling International Writer UK

Part 8: Chilli Growing Instructions

Chilli Growing Instructions from RK Alker Childrens Author aka The ChilliMan in the BIG Chilli Greenhouse Little Green Men Chili Chorley Lancashire Coast England UK

Part 9: 999 Emergency Ambulances

RK Alker the chilliman on emergency 999 ambulances children's author of funny kids books Lancashire England UK


For my Kids’ Gardening Pages CLICK HERE

For more information on Gardeners World CLICK HERE


Who is RK Alker Children’s Author?

My Grandad vs The Fangazoo RK Alker Childrens Author of Funny Kids Books from Lancashire England UK 5-Star Book Reviews and TestimonialsR.K. Alker Best-Selling Children’s Author was born in the UK, but he was MADE IN LANCASHIRE!

He is famous as the TV & Radio ChilliMan aficionado and a champion of local producers or “Food Evangelist!”

R.K. Alker has a career spanning more than 3 decades of university lecturing, content writing, UK 999 emergency ambulances, media and entertainment as the colourful TV ChilliMan which contributed to this hilarious children’s adventure book written for his kids.

RK Alker Children's Author award winning Chilliman Little Green Men 5-star book reviews testimonials primary faith school author visits reading funny kids books England Lancashire Day Press Media chilli grower foodie community big greenhouse
Do you remember this funny entertainer? The ChilliMan was on all the TV & Radio Stations!

Read RK Alker Funny Kids’ Author’s amazing story in the PRESS SECTION CLICK HERE

RK Alker is an author of funny children’s books from Chorley, Lancashire, England, United Kingdom, Earth!

His little girls think RK Alker is the Best Funny Kids Author in the World.

Find RK Alker Children’s Author Events, Book Readings, Children’s Bedtime Stories, Kids’ Storytelling, School Author Visits, Children’s Book Signings and more on Eventbrite.

R.K. Alker is also The Chilli man from Little Green Men, a master of The Ancient Lancastrian Art of Ecky Thump! and can be found on Instagram, & Yell