2006 – The Phenomenon Begins…
“Why’s this magazine called the Ocelot, then?” we are often asked, “Is it a homage to the big cats occasionally found around the South West? Is it a Salvador Dali reference? Are you just being ostentatiously and garrulously verbose?’
‘No’, we proudly reply, ‘it’s because it’s a funny sounding word’.
That may sound like we haven’t put much thought into it but, au contraire – we tried many names before deciding on Ocelot, the worst of which probably being The Pangolin, something which we regret only for denying us the use of the slogan ‘p..p..pick up a Pangolin’. Anyway, The Ocelot was started in summer 2006 by enemy of local gyms and friend of local bakeries, Jamie Hill.
2007- 2008 The Creamy Middle
Then serving as the chief news reporter at the Swindon Advertiser Jamie decided that he’d done enough pointless stories about cats stuck in trees and secret government microchips in wheelie bins and wanted to do something radically different. Together with a former colleague (Dave), and later, a former bag salesman also called Dave, which was to save a small fortune on business cards – they set about creating something that would revitalise the local press, and give people something that they actually WANTED to read!
Word soon spread and The Ocelot grew in popularity. We started to host local band nights, comedy nights, chilli cook offs and all sorts. People were flying in especially from LA just to perform for us (well, ok… once) and Agony Boy and Bane ‘drive-by’ Bullet took on the issues that counted. And our comprehensive listings and guide section served the live entertainment scene. We can now boast our own distribution team, a small army of expert local reviewers, a couple of salespeople who occasionally sell things and, most importantly of all, some cool pens with our names written on them!
2009 – A Brand New Oxford Edition!
Following our third expansion in as many years, a localised version of The Ocelot can now be picked up, for free, at over 1000 locations throughout Oxfordshire and Wiltshire – everywhere from pubs to restaurants, from cinemas to colleges and theatres to tourist information centres. We now boast a readership in excess of 50,000 and are expanding all the time. We receive positive feedback wherever we go, have a heavily-involved readership covering the whole county and we’ve even had a beer made in our honour!
2015 – Well, hello Positive!
In 2015, although The Ocelot has been historically a solitary creature of the night, we decided that it would be safer in numbers and joined Positive Media Group where we could say ‘hello’ to our new bedfellows Swindon Link and The Business Exchange Swindon and Wiltshire.
With a revamped magazine and a revamped website – The future for The Ocelot is definitely looking very bright.