Five minutes with our Founder

Make More Insects

Post by Sophie Taylor | May 20, 2019

Bridget Zaidee Nicholls, TED Talk

Bridget Nicholls, founder and CEO of Pestival, is the leading authority on cultural entomology.


Since conceiving Pestival in 2004, Nicholls has been tirelessly working on a plethora of eco-entertainment projects. In 2010 she formulated ‘Who’s the Pest?’, a month-long event series in collaboration with the Wellcome Collection and NOMA’s research lab before going on to conceive, direct and produce the Axolotl Odyssey musical at the Natural History Museum for the Cultural Olympiad, 2012.

Awards and Grants

In 2010 she was awarded the first International Zoo Art Fellowship of the Zoological Society of London, a role created for her. Nicholls also created the blueprint for Selfridges Projects Oceans Festival, showing how entertainment and luxury goods can be used for conservation education. More recently, Nicholls won a £1, 800 000 Capital Awards Grant from the Wellcome Trust to fund her ongoing work with the Pestival mission.

Ecological Entrepreneur

Not just an ento-preneur, Nicholls is also an established MC; voted Woman to Watch – Cultural Leadership Programme 2010, spoken at TED Salon London and named CRZ Cultural Engineer by Honda for her outstanding sustainable and ecological entrepreneurship. She has worked for BBC2, The Discovery Channel, The Ecologist and BBC World Service, appearing regularly on BBC Radio live debates with the likes of David Attenborough.

A lengthy list of top comedians have lined up to work with Nicholls including Sally Phillips, Russell Brand, Stewart Lee and Simon Munnery (with whom she was nominated for a Golden Rose and Perrier award). Alongside Rankin and Will Smith, she recently wrote for the Hedonists Guide to Art.

According to old friend and comedian Stewart Lee, she is ‘the eco-activist with Pirate blood’, hinting at her lineage to the notorious 17th century pirate, Captain Kidd.

Make More Insects

Nicholls’ current marauding mission for 2020 is to Make More Insects, in a rallying cry to help combat their rapid decline. Watch Pestival’s interview with our founder and find out more about her passion for insects.

"the eco-activist with Pirate blood"

Stewart Lee | Comedian and Pestival Ambassador