When Heydon was 11 he acted as Colin in the Agneska Holland film The Secret Garden. He decided not to pursue his childhood acting career as he had a lot of school work to do. He studied philosophy and cognitive science at the University of Sussex and then went on to study journalism. This ultimately led to his role as editor of online magazine Don’t Panic, which was the birthplace of the BBC3 comedy series The Revolution Will Be Televised, which went on to win a BAFTA, a Rose D’or and a Broadcast Digital Award.
Heydon’s online videos for Don’t Panic were a mixture of comedy pranks and investigative journalism and achieved wide coverage in national newspapers and television. Protesting MPs’ second home expenses claims, Heydon would put satirical blue plaques on MPs’ houses. He would fish for bankers in the city with a £5 note on the end of a fishing rod or D-lock the door of the Nobu sushi restaurant to protest their use of endangered blue fin tuna.
In perhaps his most explosive film, Heydon dug a hole and planted pansies in the shape of a pound sign in MP Alan Duncan’s lawn as a protest over his taxpayer funded gardening expenses. The film went viral and hit the front pages. In a later meeting with Alan Duncan in the Houses of Parliament, Heydon took a secret camera and filmed Alan Duncan complaining that MPs were being ‘treated like shit’ and ‘living on rations’ when Alan was supposed to be in charge of Conservative Party expenses reform and was saying the exact opposite in the press. Heydon released the footage on the Don’t Panic website. It hit the front pages and most major news broadcasters and drew responses from David Cameron himself.
As a journalist Heydon’s humorous investigations have featured in The Guardian, The Independent, BBC Newsnight, The Telegraph, The Evening Standard and Huffington Post. He has exposed – among other things – government complicity in the sale of fraudulent bomb detectors to Iraq for Newsnight. Heydon’s undercover films into the BNP and government departments posing as a mercenary also made the papers. His investigations were always satirical. In one film he posed as a representative of arms company Lockheed Martin and exposed an ‘environmental’ charity that was willing to help the arms company draw attention away from the collateral damage their bombs had caused in Iraq by finding an endangered bird of prey to sponsor in the middle east that ‘suited Lockheed Martin’s brand.’
As a director Heydon has made films for Channel 4, Vice, Sony, BBC, The Guardian, W Hotel, The English National Opera, Greenpeace and Shelter. He has won a Lovie and a W3 Gold award for directing branded content films.
Heydon has presented documentaries for BBC3, Channel 4 and The Guardian and in 2016 he wrote and presented a documentary for BBC2 entitled “The Town that Took On The Taxman” in which he taught an entire Welsh town how to avoid tax like Starbucks. Most recently his show ‘Revolting‘ (Hattrick Productions) aired on BBC2 in January 2017 and ‘The Ministry of Justice‘ (Monkey Kingdom) aired on Channel 4 in December 2018. Heydon wrote and starred in both.
- DateProduction (role)Company
- Date: 2017Production (role): RevoltingCompany: Hat Trick Productions for BBC2
- Date: 2016Production (role): BrexigeddonCompany: Hat Trick Productions for BBC2
- Date: 2016Production (role): The Most Dangerous Town on The Internet (Presenter)Company: HELO (For Norton)
- DateProduction (role)CompanyProject details
- Date: 2016Production (role): The Town That Took On The TaxmanCompany: Renegade for BBC2Project details:
- Date: 2015Production (role): Revolution Presents Democracy DealersCompany: Hat Trick for BB3Project details:
- Date: 2012-14Production (role): The Revolution Will Be TelevisedCompany: Hat Trick for BBC3Project details: Series 1-3
- Date: 2013Production (role): Horsemeat BanquetCompany: DragonflyProject details:
- Date: 2011Production (role): Dispatches: Selling Off BritainCompany: Vera ProductionsProject details:
- DateProduction (role)Project details
- Date: 2013Production (role): The Revolution Will Be TelevisedProject details: BAFTA Award for Best Comedy Programme
- Date: 2013Production (role): The Revolution Will Be TelevisedProject details: Broadcast Digital Award for Best Entertainment Programme
- Date: 2011Production (role): Don't Panic OnlineProject details: Gold Lovie Award for Branded Content