Smiley Movement logo

8 amazing interviews in 2023

Words by Abi Scaife

As we round up 2023 and look forward to the new year, Smiley News wanted to reflect on some of the incredible people we have spoken to over the last 12 months. 

Our ethos is all about highlighting and encouraging change makers, activists, fighters, and dreamers - anyone who is trying to change the world for the better, and we certainly met a lot of them in 2023.

Still, it’s been a long year - so if you’re struggling to recall, here are just a few of our favourite interviews from this year:

67553eb2 9f0e 4f82 b0e9 29c1b14cc4ea


AJ and Curtis are fabulous dancers, of course - but what we remember them for is how much they love to give back. In this interview with the siblings, we talked about secret Christmas giving sprees, joining Smiley Movement and the Smiley Charity Film Awards as ambassadors, and the best ways to give back.

Read the interview here.

Artist Elijah scaled 1


Elijah is a fighter - he might be young, but he has spent so much of his time standing up for what he believes in and working for real, tangible change. As a climate activist and campaigner, Elijah has worked with some amazing people to make our world a better place - and make people better for the sake of our world.

Read the interview here.

IMG 0204 1024x692 1


She stole the hearts of people around the world when, at just 10 years old, Nada saved her first girl child marriage - herself. Her plea for help sparked an initiative that, more than ten years later, continues to ripple through the world, saving children from being forced into marriages they do not want and are not ready for. Today, Nada runs the Nada Foundation and speaks out about her own experiences - just like she did in our recent episode of Speak Up! which you can watch here.

Read the interview here.

Lizzie Outside Web 20 of 37


Lizzie is a paddleboarder with a passion for the planet; her time on - and in - the water made her realise the level of pollution in the UK, and how we need to step up and make a change. Today she runs Planet Patrol, a charity which campaigns with the government for change surrounding water pollution and littering. Lizzie and her team teach people to paddleboard, and then go out together to take stock of our waterways - giving vital information to the government and other campaigners.

Read the interview here.

Hank Portrait 1 683x1024 1


Hank Green is well known for his vlogs with his brother John Green, his books, and so much more - but did you know that he is working to make education more accessible? We were honoured to have the chance to talk with Hank about Study Hall, his new initiative helping thousands of people in the US to access affordable, high-quality education.

Read the interview here.

FA DKBOOKS GUERRILLAGARDENING 220823000000010007 5 1024x786


Ellen set up Dream Green to encourage people to take ownership of the space around them - and to improve it. Guerilla gardening is the act of planting in those grey public areas that you don’t own, but also don’t really belong to anyone else. Doing this enables you to better the place your community lives, improve your mental health, and benefit the planet by planting wildlife-friendly plants. 

Read the interview here.

Ea7e100a 783a 4fa4 b167 9e5ee91f5da6


Graeme became popular on TikTok, not because of his skits or his humour, but because he is helping to raise awareness of a very important issue - Alzheimer’s. When Graeme’s mum, Linda, was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s he began documenting their journey together on TikTok and has created a community of incredible people, as well as raising plenty of funds for Alzheimer’s Scotland. If you can’t get enough of Graeme, you can find him on our TikTok too, where he presents our daily positive news!

Read the interview here.

Noga Levy Rapoport Headshot 1 751x1024


Noga grew from a teenager, angry about the climate crisis, to one of the most important climate campaigners in the UK. When they sat down with Smiley News, we were able to talk about what drew them to climate action, why it is so important for young voices to be involved in the fight against climate change - and how to take care of yourself, too.

Read the interview here.

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs