At the Comedy Pet Photo Awards we are incredibly lucky to have a wonderful group of intelligent, creative, charismatic and brilliant judges. (Yup, Paul got on the edit machine again…) So speaking of judges like that without further ado let’s introduce them to you:
Kate will be known to many of you, as she is a household name in the land of wildlife TV presenting in the UK and around the world. She started out in TV in 1989 making tea and typing and since then has taken the TV world by storm (i.e. she now makes coffee?!). More recently Kate and Ludo (the Hubster) have moved to Monmouthshire and have this incredible project called Humble by Nature, where you can find all sorts of interesting and brilliant stuff from Kate, please check it out. Kate has travelled all over the world and spent years working with TV people and photographers and knows perfectly well what makes a great photograph. She also is a passionate dog owner, super funny and lights up a room with her huge smile! We are darn lucky to have her on the judging panel. For more info you can find Kate at
Mel Giedroyc (pronounced Gedroych) knows a thing or two about comedy, proven by the extremely long list of her many achievements, way too many to list here... She has been entertaining us for years in the worlds of television, radio, the West End, podcasts and most recently as a top-notch novelist. Mel is best known for her comedy and presenting work with Sue Perkins including the phenomenally successful TV program The Great British Bake off (which even PJ has heard of.)
We also happen to know that she has a wonderfully lanky Bulgarian street dog called Juno –AKA ‘The Duchess’ because, like most dogs and ALL CATS, Juno thinks she is at the top of the family pecking order. As you can see Mel ticks all the boxes for Comedy, and for Pets (plus we’re hoping she has a few delicious cake recipes up her sleeve) and we are delighted to welcome her onto the Comedy Pet Judging Panel.
Emma Milne, BVSc FRCVS
Emma qualified as a veterinary surgeon from Bristol University in 1996 and went on to work in a mixed, country practice in Somerset, before moving to Cheltenham for 7 years and then on to York. She is best known for her appearances in the highly successful BBC 1 programme, Vets in Practice and appeared in all eleven series. She has since appeared in numerous TV and radio programmes and has co-presented programmes on wildlife and been a regular guest reporter for BBC’s Inside Out programme. Emma has been involved with many animal welfare organisations and campaigns including tail docking, pedigree dog health and hunting with dogs. A keen writer, Emma has been a feature columnist for several publications including BBC's Girl Talk magazine, Dogs Today and Yours magazine. Emma has written ten books on animal welfare including a series of books to help children pick the right pet called The Pet Detective series. Her latest book Picking a Pedigree? helps prospective owners choose a healthy puppy or kitten. So, as you can see, Emma is the Boss when it comes to vets and looking after your pets, that's why we chose her. We are clever like that!
Elke Vogelsang is a photographer from Germany, but not just any photographer, oh no - she is an editorial and commercial photographer specializing in pet photography. She was was also our brilliant 2020 Comedy Pet Photographer of the Year, with a great shot of her lovable and beautiful rescue dog, Noodles! Her work has been published in magazines and newspapers all over the world, including The Sunday Times magazine and National Geographic. She's the author of two books, numerous articles about photography and she has had group and solo shows in Paris, London, Lisbon, San Anselmo, and Singapore.
As well as being super, some might say over-qualified on the photography front, Elke is a passionate believer in animal welfare. She says “Our pets are such funny characters. They find pleasure in the most mundane things. My dogs are my joy, my recreation, and a constant source of laughter. They are members of the family, the kind I love to have around.”
We couldn’t agree more with Elke and are really, really delighted to welcome her on our judging panel.
Paul Joynson-Hicks MBE
Paul started the Comedy Pet Photo Awards alongside his great pal, (no really they are friends) Tom Sullam. It was of course Paul’s inspired idea, although Tom still says it was his. Paul is a spectacularly brilliant wildlife photographer and (really shouldn’t be allowed to write his own bio) a humungous animal lover. He grew up with dogs and now has his own collection of English Springer Spaniels, as well as chickens and two cats at his home in Arusha, Tanzania. He is totally and utterly hopeless at taking pictures of his pets though and now, because he can't enter this competition, is not going to be any better. Hey ho. He also, quite magnificently, started the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards, which runs at another time of year, do check it out.
As a photographer and pet owner, Tom knows his pet cat Slinky better than anyone else (excluding his wife and two children, extended family, neighbours and downright strangers) - putting him in the enviable position of being the lead pet cat photographer judge along with the other judges. But now Tom finally succumbed to his kids pleadings and is the proud owner of Kiba, an adorable black labrador puppy - awwwww! The cutest and goofiest (and possibly the most intelligent member of the Sullam house hold) Along with this phenomenal dual cat and dog knowledge, Tom has many other strings to his bow. He is a photographer first and foremost, he has helped create the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards and turn it into the rib tickling competition it now is, and he has also worked in London in a completely different and unrelated job. All these skills thrown together have produced one of the most versatile judges for the inaugural Comedy Pet Photography Awards. Without him, this competition would be pretty much unmoved or unchanged.