Ben Illis was raised in the New Forest and educated at University College, Oxford (BA Hons, Modern Languages) and The Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Arts (Diploma with Distinction, Acting). After serving 15 years as a Londoner, he fled the big smoke a few years ago, in search of fresher air and pastures new. He now lives in Brighton. A life-long lover of books and publishing professional, Ben now works primarily as a literary agent, specialising in children's literature, and founded The BIA in 2012 to offer specialist representation to a stable of writers for younger, freer minds. For information about. This website covers his other freelance incarnation - as a photographer, travel journalist and writer.
December 2010 saw Ben's first solo photographic show in London, "Land of Fire: impressions of Azerbaijan" at The Maverik Showroom, London E2. Three of his images were selected for the prestigious "Azerbaijan through a Lens" exhibition, which toured Europe in 2012. If you are interested in purchasing limited and open edition, framed or unframed prints in a variety of formats or in licensing images for print or online usage or just want to know more, please contact Ben
His travel journalism and photography have appeared in The Daily Telegraph, Elle Magazine, The Independent and Wild Travel Magazine, and he is a regular contributor to Style Boston & The Stylebible. He has also written for other online travel and magazine sites, such as Mr and Mrs Smith and Glass Magazine.
His photographic services have been used by a host of clients in the fields of PR, tourism, development, retail and publishing, including The de Mowbray Foundation, Emporium Concept Store, Hyatt Group, The Landmark Hotel, Simon & Schuster, Old Street Publishing and Hg2 and on campaigns such as The WIRSPA True Rum Campaign and Hendrick's Gin. His images have also appeared elsewhere in print and online, sometimes credited to his alias of George Lewton.
As a freelance writer and editor, he was also twice the author of The Irreverent Guide to London (2nd and 3rd editions) and has contributed to Hanging out in Europe (2nd ed), The Mr and Mrs Smith Hotel guide (UK and Ireland, 1st ed) and Hg2 Madrid (2nd ed) and Paris, (2nd ed). He wrote the world's first ever city guide to the capital of Azerbaijan, Hg2 Baku and was sole photographer and co-writer of 2012's 1st edition of Time Out Baku and the Best of Azerbaijan. He also wrote the copy for the official A to Z of Azerbaijan Ministry of Culture & Tourism portal. He is author of the Beatrix Potter parody The Tale of The Town Mouse and The Country Mouse, A Modern Retelling.
In (yet another!) former incarnation as an actor, Ben's TV and Film credits included Waterloo Road, Rock Rivals, EMR, Bridget Jones' Diary, Holby City, Doctors, Eastenders, The Real Jane Austen and Wives & Daughters.
You can find links to buy his books by clicking on the books tab in the navigation bar above.