Five Minutes With… Craig Thompson and Andy Pilkington

Craig Thompson, right, and Andy Pilkington, left

Name, role and department:
Craig Thompson (the one on the right), Assistant Halls of Residence Manager, Birley Student Living

Andy Pilkington (the one on the left), Immigration and Welfare Adviser, International Office

We are Co-Chairs of the Pride Working Group responsible for organising Manchester Met’s Pride Parade submission. The Parade takes place on Saturday 26th August 2017 in Manchester City Centre and we’d love it if as many people as possible could be involved! If you’d like to join in with Pride, you can email us at or

How long have you been at Manchester Met:
Craig – 3 years.

Andy – 2 years, 4 months

Favourite thing about the University:
Craig – The many cafes! I’d have to say it’s the feeling of community and pride. Not only from the colleagues I work with every day, but from the students that come and go. Working in the Student Living department, I get to see this every day and it’s a lovely thing to see and feel.

Andy – The people. I’ve worked with some absolute gems in my time at Manchester Met, particularly the lovely folks in Admissions, the fab Timetablers and Exams team, the wonderful Science and Engineering Programmes diamonds and now with the brilliant International Team who have been really welcoming since I joined them in July.
I also love that the university is so inclusive and respects the diversity of people here so much. I’m part of the LGBT Staff Forum, which is a great arena for discussing really important issues and for effecting change. The support the University gives for events such as Pride is also invaluable.

A typical working day:
Craig – My day is spent looking after students who live at Birley Student Living, and the team who work here. I work closely with the Residential Life team to make sure all of our customers are safe, happy, and have an amazing first year experience while they are living with us.

Andy – As part of the Immigration and Welfare team we help international students to resolve any query they may have as well as assisting them to obtain their visas and extend their stay at the university. It’s completely interactive with students which is what I like most about it and the work is really interesting. I’m also secretly hoping my working days will typically involve the team commenting on my amazing choice of jumper each day. They haven’t yet.

What is your ideal weekend:
Craig – My idea of a perfect weekend would be with a man who takes me to a romantic dinner, and then we walk along the beach barefoot discussing books and – and music and – and movies- And if you know what film I’m quoting here, you should probably contact me, because I’m sure we would get along!

Andy – My ideal weekend would include a picnic, a pub, friends, family and watching any film with Tom Hardy in it. It would also include not having to watch the movie that Craig has quoted!

Interesting fact about you:
Craig – The hair on my head is not my own. I mean, I bought it, and it’s real. But it isn’t growing out of my head.

Andy – I grew the hair on Craig’s head. Or not. Outside of the University, I’m a professional actor and have performed in pretty much every Manchester theatre as well as a couple in London. In mid-August I will spend a week acting in a horror movie, running around screaming (more so than I do usually), being chased by people trying to kill me (more so than they do usually) and generally loving the drama of it all. Coming soon to the back of a DVD shelf near you.

What are you reading, watching or listening to at the moment:
Craig – Currently, I am re-reading the Harry Potter series. I couldn’t find anything that sparked my interest so I’ve dropped back onto my old faithful! I’ve also been listening to the Chess soundtrack quite a bit.

Andy – I’m currently reading The Handmaid’s Tale because I like stuff that’s all dystopiany. I would also have said Harry Potter because I reread them all the time but Craig has deja’d that vu. I’m watching Game of Thrones avidly (#TeamArya) and have just finished the latest season of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, dammit! In terms of music, currently and for six days and counting, I’ve got the theme song to that Australian 90s show ‘Round The Twist’ in my head. And now so do you.

Favourite place in the region:
Craig – Liverpool. Hands down. It’s my home town, people are lovely there and the city is beautiful.

Andy – The Village because it’s like a second home. I also love Alexandra Park in Whalley Range. I go there with friends quite a lot to chill and chuck a frisbee. Plus there’s ducks. And who doesn’t love ducks? Except possibly those who suffer from anatidaephobia (google it).

Person you would most like to meet- past or present, real or fictional:
Craig – I would like to spend some serious one on one time with Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore. I’m sure he could answer so many unanswered questions about what he put that poor lad through. However, failing that, I’d settle for JK Rowling.

Andy – Tom Hardy! For, y‘know, intellectual chats and stuff. Also, my cousin Phil, because he owes me £5.

What items would you take on a desert island and why:
Craig – I’m going to be really materialistic and say my phone, charger, a way to charge it, and the ability to have internet access. I feel that if I was to have this life, and I could still keep in touch with the world, I’d be absolutely fine to stay there forever.

Andy – I would have taken Craig. Now that I’ve read his answer though and seen that he’s not picked me, I’m going to have to rethink. I’d probably take my iPod and headphones, food and clothes (why does no one ever pick clothes on here, are you planning to wear the same thing every day?!). Oh, and Tom Hardy.