Home Biography Pictures Showreel Writing Contact

THAT'S LIFE!

I’ve been a broadcaster since 1982 when I got my first big break, presenting That’s Life! on BBC1with Esther Rantzen. Until then, I’d been a print journalist in the West Midlands. I didn’t mind swapping the industrial tribunals and magistrates’ courts of Sandwell for the broken washing machines and phallic parsnips of Shepherds Bush a bit!

BREAKFAST TIME

I stayed with the show for three years, during which time, I was also in at the birth of breakfast television. I was a regional presenter, reporter and topical songwriter-and-performer for BBC Breakfast Time (the one with Frank and Selina on the sofa). Writing a witty, three-minute song overnight then singing it to a sleepy nation at 6.45 and 8.45am was quite an experience.

THE HOLIDAY PROGRAMME

I spent six years travelling the world as a reporter for the Beeb’s Holiday Programme. Years later, this held me in good stead with I returned to travel journalism as a reporter on Radio 4’s ‘Breakaway’.

RADIO PRESENTATION

Whilst on the Holiday Programme, I finally started doing what I’d meant to do since I was a little boy: regular radio presenting. My first station was BBC Radio Solent, based in Southampton, where I presented and produced the lunchtime show. Then came spells with South Coast Radio, Newstalk 1152 (what LBC was calling its AM service at the time), BBC Radio Berkshire, the Lite AM in Manchester, nine years at BBC Southern Counties Radio and London talk station, LBC 97.3.

On Friday 14th September 2007, I appeared on Ken Bruce's show on BBC Radio 2 as a celebrity contestant in his Popmaster quiz. I thrashed the charming lead singer of Del Maitri, Justin Curren, 30 points to 9 (but it's the taking part that counts!).

You can read download a profile of me in the South London Press.

TV PRESENTATION

Other telly over the years has included all kinds of regional programmes for Meridian during my years on the south coast – everything from consumer affairs via politics to amateur filmmaking – plus appearances on shows as diverse as Blankety Blank (Les Dawson referred to me as ‘ballast’ – undoubtedly a career highspot), Songs of Praise (on which I sang David Essex’s hit, A Winter’s Tale, backed by a huge orchestra and choir), Children in Need and Call My Bluff (a ‘chattee’ is someone having a conversation in which the other party – the ‘chatter’ - is doing most of the talking. Isn’t it funny the things you remember?).

CHANNEL 5 CONTINUITY

One of the most interesting and longest-lasting TV jobs I had was weeknights’ continuity announcer for Channel 5 Television. Our brief was to be unlike any other announcers; witty, opinionated and informal (whilst still clearly signposting the viewer through the schedule, of course). Listen to continuity on other channels these days, and you’ll hear how much we loosened the industry up! I had five happy years at Five, and was first heard on its second night.

FOOD JOURNALISM

In Spring of 2005, I won the London week of C4’s cookery and party-giving competition, Come Dine with Me. I have also cooked professionally on television, on Five’s Open House with Gloria Hunniford and several times on the Carlton Food Network. I write about food too - you can read various examples of my work including my report on New York's fine dining scene in Yes, Chef! magazine, on this site's WRITING page. I regularly review restaurants for viewlondon.co.uk Type the name of your favourite restaurant into the Search box and see if I have anything to say about it! Or type in my name to get the full lit. I am proud to have been elected to the Guild of Food Writers, other members of which include Antony Worrall Thompson, Raymond Blanc and Delia Smith. I compered the GFW's annual and highly prestigious awards ceremony in 2007, 08 and 09. I have chaired a debate on restaurant criticism at The Restaurant Show at Earls Court 2. Talking of Antony WT, you may have seen me judging his culinary efforts against those of Paul Rankin on The People's Cookbook, a series on UKTV Food. I judged and eliminated dishes on two editions of ITV1's BRITAIN'S BEST DISH Series 1 in October 2007 and four editions in Series 2 in October 2008 and performed the same job on the celebrity version, CELEBRITY BEST DISH, in early 2009.

MUSIC & THEATRE

Somehow, along the way, I’ve found time to star in ten pantomimes, play Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, and tour in the black comedy, Widow’s Weeds. I also wrote a hit song, Starting Together, which was the theme music to Desmond Wilcox’s acclaimed documentary series, The Marriage, and went to number two in the charts sung by Hi-de-Hi star, Su Pollard.

My first-ever professional recording was when I was a 21-year-old cub reporter on the Sandwell Express & Star newspaper in the Black Country at the time when Noele Gordon was sensationally axed by ATV in 1981 from her role as Crossroads matriarch, Meg Richardson/Mortimer. I wrote a tongue-in-cheek lament at home, made a tape of it and took it to work next day. When they’d finished laughing, my fellow journos said it was so good, I should get it released as a record.

You can hear both on the Showreel page.

CURRENTLY:

I present BBC Radio Berkshire's afternoon show, Mondays to Fridays, 1300-1600. I also present on Sundays on both BBC Radio Berkshire and BBC Radio Oxford, 1100-1400.