Owen Jones, Rachel Johnson, Samira Ahmed and more kick off #VendorWeek in London

Some of the biggest names in publishing were coaxed out of their offices to take on the daunting task of selling The Big Issue on the streets of London yesterday.

Owen Jones makes a sale. Photo: Laura Kelly

They hit the streets of Covent Garden as part of INSP’s international #VendorWeek, a celebration of the 11,000 people who are currently selling street papers.

Rachel Johnson persuades a customer with a hug. Photo: Laura Kelly

Guardian columnist Owen Jones; editor (and sister of the London Mayor) Rachel Johnson, Buzzfeed’s Luke Lewis; journalist Samira Ahmed; Empire editor Terri White; Radio Times editor Ben Preston; editor of Kerrang! James McMahon; design guru Andy Cowles, and LBC Radio’s James O’Brien all sold the magazine for an hour.

Buzzfeed's Luke Lewis. Photo: Laura Kelly

All the guest vendors expressed their admiration for street paper vendors.

Owen Jones said he was “humbled” to be part of the global celebration of these hard-working men and women.

Radio Times editor Ben Preston agreed: “It’s not easy selling The Big Issue!”

Samira Ahmed selling The Big Issue in Covent Garden. Photo: Laura Kelly

James O’Brien said the experience will change his behaviour.

“There is something about the way people don’t see you. I’ve probably been guilty of it myself in the past – I won’t be after this,” he admitted.

More #VendorWeek events will continue across the UK this week. See here for full details. Read more about the international events here.