Crowdwish founder Bill Griffin is dedicated to making dreams come true. Ahead of the release of a new book, he tells us about his favourite wishes and how he achieved them

Four years ago, Bill Griffin had what he describes as a classic midlife crisis and walked out on his top job at Comedy Central to get into the wishing business.

The result was Crowdwish.com, a site where users share the one thing they wish for most in the entire world. Every day, Griffin then attempts to fulfil the top-ranking wish, as voted by the public. He can only attempt, mind: Im not in the wish-granting business I always emphasise that. I investigate the feasibility and do what I can in 24 hours.

More than 1,000 wish days on, Griffin is releasing The Wish: The 99 Things We Think We Want Most (complete with 99 different cover designs for readers to choose from). These 99 best-of wishes range from I wish I could do something about my awful mother-in-law and I wish I could be an extra in Game of Thrones, to I wish people understood what it is like to have an invisible illness a compendium of the comic, grave and profane to which Griffin has now sought to provide useful everyday solutions.

He now passes his time slaving for the happiness of others, but has it made him any happier? Absolutely, he says. If you look at the basics of positive psychology, the stuff that makes you happy is being creative, being engaged, having tasks you can see through to completion, and doing good in the world. I have all of that.

Bill Griffins favourite wishes

Griffins
Griffin encouraged people to stay strong. Photograph: Etsy

 

I wish I could make my relationship work

When this was voted most popular, I sent a bunch of people who had made this wish a little necklace I had made, which said Be strong or Stay strong. A while later, a woman wrote to me to say that the night before she received her necklace, she and her husband had agreed to separate. Then this thing arrived in the mail, saying Be strong, so she reversed course. She said: Were going to have a proper conversation about everything and go for counselling. It apparently saved the marriage.

I wish I could have a cup of tea with David Attenborough

This one typifies a lot of wishes where you just do whatever you can in one day. I went to Attenboroughs house, and met his daughter. She explained the great man was much in demand and it was extremely rare that he did meet-and-greets, what with being 90 and that. But she gave me some signed merchandise and good wishes, which I then passed on.

No
No time for tea … David Attenborough. Photograph: David Parry/PA

 

I wish I knew what to do about my child being bullied

A woman from Scotland put a wish on the site, explaining that her daughter was being bullied by girls in her school. She had ambition in the performing arts, so we organised a day out for her in London. We took her on a backstage tour of the Royal Opera House, then Pineapple Dance Studios, then Kiss FM, where she met one of the DJs, who had also been bullied in her youth, then she went backstage at a performance of Mamma Mia! She had this transformative experience, largely put together by people who had seen the wish online, and often responded from their own experience of being bullied.

I wish Katie Hopkins was banned from public speaking

I posed as a Katie Hopkins super fan and got her autograph, but actually in classic heist caper style she was signing a document committing her to stop making controversial and asinine comments and accept that my 15 minutes of fame are over. Of course, I make no judgement personally. Its not about taking a stance one way or another.

Controversial
Controversial comments … Katie Hopkins Photograph: Dan Kennedy/Discovery Communications