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I am an award-winning Irish-based freelance journalist/writer/editor who writes primarily on pop culture and travel/hospitality/food for a variety of print and online outlets. Of the former, I write mostly for The Irish Times, specifically for its Arts pages and its weekly music/movies/culture magazine, The Ticket. I also contribute frequently to the arts/book pages of the Irish Independent, and The Irish Post.

My travel writing has been published in numerous print and online publications, including Cara (the now sadly discontinued Aer Lingus in-flight magazine, of which I was editor twice), and, Ireland’s leading food/travel online magazine.

For Cara, I primarily interviewed movie stars, musicians, and authors. These included Pierce Brosnan, Cate Blanchett, Roddy Doyle, Will Ferrell, Brendan Gleeson, Glenn Close, Glen Hansard, Billy Bob Thornton, Anjelica Huston, Colin Farrell, Hozier, Cillian Murphy, Saoirse Ronan, Jeremy Irons, Sebastian Barry, Martin Sheen, Gabriel Byrne, Domhnall Gleeson, Ruth Negga, and Aidan Gillen. I contribute frequently to national and international radio, including RTE and BBC. I am the author of six non-fiction, music-related books, the most recent (2011) of which is 101 Irish Records You Must Hear Before You Die (Liberties Press). In 2021, my debut work of fiction was featured in the short story collection, Brevity Is The Soul (also published by Liberties Press).

In tandem with the above, I have rigorous editorial skills in the revision and refurbishment of website content, content strategy, and copywriting – creative or otherwise. With regards to copywriting, I have worked with digital agencies in Ireland and the UK on a variety of topics. I also regularly write press releases/biogs for music acts (some of which you know very well). Another area of instinctive expertise is the creation and curation of bespoke music playlists – I have been commissioned by numerous award-winning Irish hotels/restaurants/businesses to ‘design’ music for their public areas/clients.

I regularly conduct public interviews with musicians, actors, and authors within the scheduled programming of arts and literary festivals (including Guinness Cork Jazz Festival, Galway International Arts Festival, Cúirt International Festival of Literature, and Electric Picnic). I also host, moderate, and chair panel discussions and interviews at various events, festivals, album launches, and conferences.

I also oversee the much-praised arts-oriented ‘salon’ event, Culture Vultures, which is programmed at various Irish music/arts festivals (including Galway Folk Festival, Dublin Bowie Festival, and Quiet Lights Festival). From 2010-2018, I was Chairman of the Judging Panel of Choice Music Prize, Ireland’s most prestigious music awards event.

If you’d like to discuss any project/work you think would suit my experience and skills, then don’t hesitate to email me ( You know the cliché about how if you want something done efficiently, then it’s best to contact someone who’s very, very busy? That cliché is true in my case, so please get in touch.

Tony Clayton-Lea

Tony Clayton-Lea
Anthony Clayton-Lea