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HOTSEAT NICK THISTLETON


When Martha Lane Fox asked Nick Thistleton to help her launch a private karaoke experience, he had his doubts. Now he’s MD of Lucky Voice, with deals in Australia the UK and Ireland, as well as plans for further international expansion


What is your career background?


I graduated from Oxford University with a degree in French and Russian in 1992, then decided to play the piano for a living. It was great, but I had to subsidise my life with being a freelance strategy consultant for a few years. I played piano principally in London


Thistleton went from playing piano with Lionel Richie to launching Lucky Voice


MARTHA LANE FOX ON LUCKY VOICE


“The success of Lucky Voice is based on a very simple idea adapted from Asia, where they have private-room karaoke bars. It’s not about standing in front of a crowd of strangers and mortifying them with a rendition of I Will Survive. It’s about having a great time with your friends and the endor- phin rush that you get from singing. Since our launch in 2005 we’ve continued to grow and evolve in


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response to our customer demands. We have embraced the internet by introducing the hugely popular lucky- voice.com which lets users sing from thousands of songs online. And the company’s own touch- screen karaoke software now extends to a wide range of leisure businesses including bars, clubs, restaurants, bowling alleys and entertainment parks both all over the world.”


Read Leisure Management online leisuremanagement.co.uk/digital ISSUE 3 2013 © cybertrek 2012


West End Musicals. I also once appeared on Top of the Pops with Lionel Richie – I was part of his backing band on the UK leg of his tour. I went into business in 2000 as a freelance consultant. I got involved in the dot-com gold rush, working for people who invested in dot-com busi- nesses, reading business plans and commenting on them. I worked for Spectrum Strategy Consultants on a freelance basis, which is where I met Martha Lane Fox [Lane Fox worked as an associ- ate for Spectrum, together with her lastminute.com co-founder Brent Hoberman]. Martha and I became extremely good mates. In 2003, Martha had some money


to invest, and approached me with the idea she’d had for Lucky Voice, asking if I wanted to be involved.


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