Oli + Alex


Written by Hatti Whitman
Photos and illustrations by Oli + Alex
10 Monday 10th December 2012

We met on a beach in Thailand. We had other partners then. We met up at a party when we got home. Oli got drunk and blurted out “shall we work together?”. Oli rang in the morning to say: “I meant it, you know”. We met in McDonalds that week. Oli had a McChicken Sandwich meal. Alex had nuggets. We’ve been working together ever since.

Putting a love of McDonalds to good use.

You’ve had a lot of media attention before for various projects. What’s been the most surreal response you’ve had?

Oli: It was Richard Branson calling [After Oli's complaint letter to Virgin went viral]. Hang on, that was also in McDonalds. Obsessed with McDonalds. He rang to apologise for the food on the plane but I thought it was a mate mucking around and was sort of humouring him going: “Ah, Richard, Finally! I’ve been waiting for your call.” Then realised it was actually him.

The Sun's coverage of the complaint letter. To see more, click here.

Alex: NBC news in America reporting on the Mills and Boon pictures.  Although I don’t think my Mum has ever been prouder than when it was on GMTV. GMTV! On ITV! On the Telly!

What’s been the most fun you’ve had on a project?

We’ve had some ridiculous shoots. There was a night in Iceland where we all ended up in a hot-tub in the wilderness under the Northern Lights. It was the second best night of Alex’s life and the third best night of Oli’s life.

Can you each describe the other in three words?

Oli: Alex is on the spectrum.

Alex: Oli is not my boyfriend.

One of the images from Oli + Alex's campaign for Brylcreem, with Kevin Pietersen.

Does working in such close partnership ever get difficult?

Oli: Nobody can understand how it remains platonic. Especially as we are both single. A lot of people think Oli is in love with Alex. Following her around. Sniffing her hair when she’s not looking. We’re like brother and sister. We tell each other everything. That is a rule. We rarely argue and it never lasts. We hang out as friends at the weekends. That is important.

Alex:  In between our last job and Mother we took a month off. None of our friends could take that kind of time off so we went on holiday together. The month included ten days in a honeymoon resort in Mexico where they put Ferrero Rochers on our pillows and brought miniature bowls of fruit to our private hot-tub. It still remained completely platonic. Even the night in a restaurant when we were told ‘ you guys are a really cute couple’. 

One of Alex's Mills & Boon re-enactments. That's not Oli that she's with. For more, click here.

What would you say is your proudest achievement (either together or individually) to date?

Oli: A bespoke album launch for the Kaiser Chiefs last year. It made the front page of the papers and NME said it had revolutionised the music industry. Watching it all unfold on The Internet on launch day after a year of work was magic and still gets me misty-eyed thinking about it.

Alex: Getting in The Sun newspaper.  Pg 17 not Pg 3.

Oli on telly, winning 'Best Artist Promotion' for the Kaiser Chiefs album launch, at the Digital Music Awards.

And what are your aspirations for the future? (Or the next year at least?)

We want to do something to do with porn. It’s a big business and a world we find mysterious. Haven't quite worked it out yet. Oli is also working on a project for kids and Alex is doing something to do with cigarette advertising.  So Porn, cigarettes and kids. Definitely not kiddie porn though.

To find out more about Oli + Alex's work and their many side-projects, visit their website

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