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Mike Norton - Account Director

What is your role at bClear?

I’m an account director, which means I manage, advise and write for a range of clients. Ultimately, my role is to raise the clients’ profiles, enhance their reputations and help them to grow and to realise their business ambitions.

What is your background and experience?

I’m a former journalist with more than 30 years’ experience of either working in or running regional newsrooms across the UK. Most recently, I was the editor of the Bristol Post and its website Bristol Live, and the editor-in-chief of a range of dailies, weeklies and websites from Gloucestershire to Dorset.

What inspires you?

Great writing has always inspired me – which is why I studied English Literature at university in the 1980s.

Nature inspires me, too. My desk in the bClear office looks through floor-to-ceiling windows across five miles of the unresting River Severn to Wales. The sliver of Welsh hills between the vast expanse of sky and water sometimes disappears into sea mist and others feels so close that you could touch it. It’s a view that no one could tire of.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

I am very lucky because the clients I manage do incredibly interesting work. Beard Construction, for example, restores or creates amazing landmark buildings, while the clever software developed by SmartSearch is at the cutting edge of the fight against money laundering in the UK. And nothing beats the buzz of getting good media coverage for clients.

What do you like to do when you’re not at bClear?

Spend time with my family, of course, but I also like to be on two wheels, either on my road bike or my Triumph Street Twin motorbike. I love music, too, and I’m the drummer in a local covers band.

What does this photo mean to you?

I’m a long-term cycling fan and this is me with two of my absolute heroes – Tour de France winners Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas, about to start a stage of the Tour of Britain.

I say “with” them. In fact, I look slightly ridiculous hovering behind them, almost as if I’m photo-bombing. In reality, we had just spoken and they were both happy to pose for the picture. I was just too overawed to get any closer!

It was 2018. They were at the height of their powers. Geraint had just won the Tour de France and Chris had won it for the three previous consecutive years. I was very privileged to meet them – particularly in this unique way.