Q&A with Riot’s new Associate Director, Orla Houston-Jibo

27 Mar 2024 -

Orla has been a part of the Riot team since early February, and has already made her mark through playing a key role in the delivery of the inaugural Nero Book Awards ceremony this month. Orla brings with her a wealth of experience in the arts, publishing and heritage sectors, having worked with the likes of Thames & Hudson, Bloomsbury Publishing and the Victoria & Albert Museum. We’re thrilled to have her join us at Riot.

Want to get to know her a bit better? We’ve asked her to share a bit about some of her passions and the things she is most looking forward to about working at Riot.

What are you most excited about when it comes to joining Riot?

Being part of a team again, especially one where everyone shares a passion for culture and entertainment in the broadest sense. Having spent several years in-house in publishing, it’s wonderful to work with colleagues who are all avid readers and who take as much pleasure as I do in discussing what books we are currently enjoying.

With no limitations in place, who would be your dream client?

It’s so hard to pick just one! Earlier in my career I worked at the Victoria & Albert Museum and it is still my favourite museum in the world. I would absolutely love to work with them on their exhibitions programme and on the launch of the forthcoming V&A East site. Another dream client would be the National Trust. I’ve long been a member and I think it would be really interesting to work with them to explore growing their audiences beyond those of their core membership.

What was the first book that you fell in love with?

As a young child it was The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton. I just loved the idea of a secret, parallel fairy world and I definitely remember looking for my own magic tree and fairies in the woods. A few years later it was Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret. Judy Blume was such a beloved author for me in my early adolescence.

What are some of your other passions?

These days I mostly spend my time running around after my little boy in playgrounds, but I take any chance I get to go to the theatre or the cinema. Outside of cultural pursuits, I love getting out of London for long walks and hikes and hope to be able to do this more this spring and summer.


Picture: Orla Houston-Jibo © Marc Sethi