At the Mars Petcare 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:
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.
You can see Paul’s amazing wildlife pictures and read more about him here:
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. Unbelievably, along with this phenomenal pet cat 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.
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, 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 and great photograph, she also is a passionate dog owner and loves dogs so much that she has written a wonderful book on them called “Friends for Life” (more details on her website and buy a copy on Amazon, you must its brilliant), she is super funny and lights up a room with her huge smile! We are lucky to have her on the judging panel, being beautiful doesn't have anything to do with it, ooh no! For more info you can find Kate at
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!
Helen is the General Manager of Mars Petcare UK where she looks after some of the nations most loved pet food brands such as PEDIGREE ®, WHISKAS®, DREAMIES ®, JAMES WELLBELOVED® and CRAVE®
Helen is truly passionate about Mars Petcare’s purpose of making "A Better World for Pets" and champions its most aspirational of missions – Ending Pet Homelessness – which is why this competition with Mars as partner is so important to her as it will deliver fundraising to a chosen Pet Homelessness charity and drive awareness of the often hidden issue in the UK.
With a passion for mentoring and helping create the leaders of the future, Helen is also a proud member of Women in Advertising and Communications (WACL) and a mentor for the Marketing Academy Scholarship Programme.
Mars Associate Judge
Mars Petcare lives and breathes all things pet with each and every one of their Associates, from the supply chain to the factory, passionate about making the world a better place for pets. Which is why it was a no brainer to have one of Mars’ paw-fect Associates on the esteemed judging panel as the Mars Pet Photography Ambassador.
Charlie Hamilton James
Charlie Hamilton James is a wildlife and conservation photographer for National Geographic Magazine. He specialises in subjects across the world but with particular interest in the Amazon and East Africa. When not shooting photographs Charlie works as a television host and producer making films for the BBC and Animal Planet. Charlie lives in Jackson Hole, Wyoming because its beautiful and full of animals.
Blue Cross Judge
Tracy Genever is currently Head of Education Services at Blue Cross. She has worked with Blue Cross for 15 years. Tracy has also been a zoo keeper at London Zoo, a qualified Vet Nurse and went on to be a lecturer in animal management at the University of Lincoln. She is passionate about inspiring children and young people about the animal world and how they can improve the lives of their pets.