Christine Cort remembers Tony Elliott
Tony Elliott, founder Time Out, 7 January 1947 – 17 July 2020
To say Tony has been a major influence on my life would be an understatement. When I first worked for him at Time Out over 25 years ago, his approach to processing and disseminating information stopped me in my tracks. He caused me to look at the world in a different way. Tony’s fastidious attention to detail, his unerring search for the best of everything and his desire to share that with all who would listen was infectious.
I worked closely with him for more than 12 years and that period, more than any other in my life, has informed how I approach my work. Never was I able to go to a restaurant again without taking in every single aspect of the experience – music, lighting, service, food, drink, price, interior, clientele and a million other things. Apply that same principle to all the different areas that Time Out covered and my life was enriched. I soaked it up and learnt from him almost subconsciously, but it was all there ready and waiting when Alex Poots (now at The Shed in New York) and I set MIF up.
I handed in my notice at Time Out and Tony and I vowed to always keep in touch. And we did, I constantly checked in with him – he helped my thinking in those early MIF days enormously. He and Janey came to my 50th birthday deep in The Forest of Bowland – I wanted to show him the North as he had showed me the world.
I persuaded him to come to Manchester and see what we were up to. I don’t think he’d ever been before, and he was surprised by the city and what he could see it could become. I organised a dinner with Peter Saville and Tony Wilson and I could see Tony becoming an honorary Mancunian. And with my help he put together an edition of Time Out Manchester and fell in love with the vision for MIF – 18 days of world premieres and special events.
Tony and Janey became early commissioning circle investors and supported us with each and every MIF – they always came, hosted generous fundraising receptions for us in their homes and were global ambassadors. Tony spread the word about MIF and more recently, The Factory – our future home – across his extensive networks. He agreed to sit on The Factory Trust helping steer fundraising efforts.
The last time I saw him was a couple of days before lockdown. He looked through pages and pages of potential Factory brand direction ideas with me – passionately talking about them and his guidance and enthusiasm for our future journey will stay with me forever. We also talked openly about his illness and how long he thought he had left – total Tony, matter of fact and direct. We both knew it was the last time we’d meet.
Tony was my close friend, ardent MIF and Factory supporter and a true visionary. The world will be a little less organised without him.
Christine Cort, Managing Director of MIF