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“A former Deputy Prime Minister once called me a t**t”: Prolific North’s quotes of the year 2022

Prolific North top quotes of the year 2022

In 2022, Prolific North continued to shine a spotlight on some of the remarkable people working across the North’s ambitious digital, creative and tech worlds.

Whether it was how a former deputy prime minister once called an agency boss a t**t when he was a former journalist, to insightful career tips for budding product managers from, we were able to take a sneak peek into the lives of industry leaders through our series of regular features. 

As we move into a brand new year, here’s our round-up of some of our favourite features from 2022:


Thierry Ngutergure

Thierry Ngutegure, Head of Insight, Journey Further

“My self-belief sometimes has its own gravity, and that gravity crushed me when I tried to become a stand-up comedian. Why did no one stop me!? On the upside, being laughed off multiple stages at a really young age, has given me incredibly thick skin.”

Joining Journey Further earlier this year from Rise at Seven, Thierry Ngutegure shared some of his successes, failures and lessons he’s learnt in his career.

Charlotte Bella, Senior Product Manager,

Charlotte Bella, Senior Product Manager,

“After two years here I realised I wasn’t challenged as much as I needed to feel enjoyment in the role, so I made an internal move. You have to recognise that constant growth is crucial to your success.”

Charlotte Bella shared how she initially started her career in the financial services industry 20 years ago to how she switched to product management, now working for travel giant

Amy Mayers, McCann Manchester

James Wilkinson, CEO of Manchester based car finance marketplace, of Zuto



Sasha Marks, Managing Director, Brazen

Gary Jenkins, No Brainer

Gary Jenkins, Managing Director, No Brainer

“When I was a journalist, a former Deputy Prime Minister once called me a “t**t”.”

With a fascinating career working as a journalist and communications specialist before launching PR and content agency No Brainer, we found out all the lessons and luckiest breaks Gary Jenkins has had.

Ed Thompson, CTO and co-founder, Matillion

Ed Thompson, CTO and co-founder, Matillion

“We do things wrong and fail some of the time but I firmly believe that’s the best way to discover how to do things right and truly innovate.”

Launching Matillion alongside CEO Matthew Scullion in 2011, the tech company has become one of the North’s regional success stories with a valuation of over $1bn. Ed Thompson shared what a busy week at his tech company looked like.


Mark Sellers, Managing Director, TalkTalk Business

“Not getting that grades that I wanted at A-levels to get into my first-choice university. At the time, it felt like the end of the world but in reality, it taught me the importance of being well-prepared and committing to things 100%, no matter the obstacles.”

From sharing who has had the biggest influence on his working life to sharing a surprise performance he once did at Royal Albert Hall, we found out about all the interesting lessons Mark Sellers has learnt.

If you’d like to be involved in any of our regular features in 2023, please contact

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