Exclusive: Interview with Sanditon’s Assistant to the Mayor Sidney Parker


As satisfying as the conclusion to Welcome to Sanditon was, we here at LeakyNews were left with a few questions we wanted answered. So we did what any good reporter would do– we called up the Sanditon Mayor’s Office, hoping to score an interview with Mayor Tom Parker.

Unfortunately, Mayor Parker was out speaking to Ed’s aunt about a new business venture (something about donkey’s-milk soaps and bath products, which are supposedly very good for the skin), but we were able to chat for a bit with his cousin, Sidney Parker, currently serving as Assistant to the Mayor of Sanditon. A transcript of the interview is below. Read on to hear about how Sanditon views the Domino beta test now that it’s over, some interesting hints about Pemberley Digital’s next venture, and if that mysterious auto-dialed call from Domino was really what it seemed!

Leaky News (LN): Now that the Domino beta test is over, how does the mayor’s office feel that it went?

Sidney Parker (SP): The mayor’s office feels that it was a thrilling experiment in technological partnership!

LN: No offense, but you sound like you’re quoting your cousin, Mayor Tom Parker.

SP: Well, maybe.  But it’s true.  Having so many eyes on the business of running the town has really pushed the office to be better, more transparent, more accessible, more honest.  And it’s raised the profile of the town enormously.  Before Domino, most people had never even heard of Sanditon. Now they’re talking about our community all over the world, and we’ve had a large influx of interest from tourists and businesses. People are even learning to spell it Sanditon instead of Sandition.

So really, from our end, the Domino beta test was pretty fantastic. [Laughs]

LN: You obviously got a chance to test Domino out a little bit. Did it really call Gigi automatically?

SP: It was crazy, it really did. I had no idea what was happening at first!

LN: Had you met Gigi Darcy before you arrived in Sanditon? Did you have any part in setting up the beta test back in the spring?

SP: I’d heard of the Darcy family before, of course, and Tom has been talking about Gigi all summer, but I hadn’t met her until the Domino app on my phone called her like you saw in the video.  Now that we’re both going to be in Sanditon, I’m hoping to get to know her better.

I had a very small part in setting up the beta test. Since spring, I’ve been consulting for a company called Emma Approved which was talking to Pemberley Digital about a joint venture. The owner, Emma Woodhouse, was intrigued by the possibilities and her biz-dev guy, Alex Knightley, asked me to come along on one of the meetings they had up at the PD offices to weigh in.  So that’s how I heard about the search for a partner community for the Domino Beta test.  I passed the info on to Tom and the rest. . . well, it’s all on up on YouTube.

LN: Did the joint venture with Emma Approved and Pemberley Digital wind up going ahead?

SP: I don’t want to step on anyone else’s big announcements, but last I heard it was looking very promising.  I think the two companies are a good fit.  Tom has nothing but good things to say about Pemberley Digital, and the Emma Approved team is just fantastic.  I really do wish them the best with whatever comes next.  They were great to work with.

LN: Had you watched the Domino videos before downloading the app, and if not, have you watched them since?

SP: I hadn’t, just because I was so busy with work and other projects. But yeah, I went back and watched them. Seems like it was a very. . . eventful summer.

LN: How did you end up with this appointed position in the mayor’s office? What were you doing before this?

SP: Mostly, I work as a financial consultant for digital and new media companies.  The work isn’t really glamorous, but I think it’s interesting.  I had just finished out my contract with Ms. Woodhouse’s company when Tom called looking for someone to fill in until he found a permanent replacement for Ed.  I didn’t have another job lined up, and it sounded like an interesting challenge.  Also, I think Tom really needed someone to help out, and I was happy to do it.

LN: You’re relatively new to both town and the mayor’s office, though you have the family connection.  How has your time in town been so far?

SP: It’s been great so far.  I spent a lot of summers in Sanditon when I was a kid, but I never really settled in.  I’m looking forward to doing the small town thing for a while.  I’m planning to get familiar with the local businesses while I’m here, as well as maintain the city’s relationship with our more high-profile residents in the wake of the beta test.  Maybe I won’t have to leave town to find my next gig.

And not to sound like I’m quoting my cousin again, but the town really does offer it all, from fitness to dining to sightseeing. I can’t wait to try some of Clara’s new ice cream flavors!

LN: Speaking of your cousin, can you tell us what he’s like outside the office?

SP: Tom is as genuine as genuine can be. He loves projects—from DIY house repair to volunteer campaigns and everything in between. He’s always launching new things and encouraging his family to get involved as well. He’s the ringleader in the family, and his enthusiasm is great.  I love getting to spend time with him and Susan, and all the rest of the Parkers.

LN: So did you ever figure out Ed’s filing system (if not, I’m sure I can find a friend who can translate Circular Gallifreyan for you)?

SP: [Laughs] Yeah, we got Ed to come back in for a few hours and translate everything for us. I like his inventive filing style, but I think I’m going to stick to English for labeling things in the future.

So there you have it! It looks like Sidney did make it down to Sanditon scoops last night, judging by his Twitter feed. The shipper in me is swooning. :) And the hints of what might be coming down the pipeline next with Emma Approved? I. Can’t. Wait.

(LeakyNews thanks the Mayor’s Office of the City of Sanditon, California, and especially Temporary Assistant to the Mayor, Sidney Parker, for this interview.)

  • yucaistudent

    OMG Connection=Emma Approved/Pemberly Digital…guess we will be seeing more of Mr. Parker huh?