I started my career in radio back in the 1970s and have worked at the BBC and many of the country's top commercial stations. There's a more detailed resume here.
I have also designed radio programming and presentation training courses for Bolton University, Estonia's Raadio 2, The Baltic Media Centre in Denmark, and the St. Petersburg Insitute of Journalism in Russia. I was also nominated for a Sony Radio Award, and have been a guest panelist at many music & radio events, including the Guinness Student Radio Forum, Liverpool Sound City and Norwich Sound & Vision.
Today, my specialities include online audio engineering, music programming and commercial voice acting - more here. You can also hear me with embarrassing frequency as the 'Station Voice' of 2XS Rocks!
I have recently supplied the on-board 'Next Stop' announcements for Stagecoach buses. There's more on that here.
What I Do
Radio Production & Presentation
Commercial Voice Acting & Production
Bolton University, England
"... direct, genial, eloquent speaker ... instant hit with the students ..."
Baltic Media Centre, Denmark
"... the participants really related to what you said..."
Eesti Raadio, Estonia
"... I've heard some great work by our DJs since your course..."
Target Training, Manchester
"...excellent feedback on your particular session..."
'Next stop' announcements creation & delivery.
Audio & website creation, operation, development & management.
Audio creation and development.
Audio & website creation, operation, development & management.
UK Country Radio
Creation, launch and first year operation.
BBC Radio 2 'Arts Programme'
Commission, recording and production.
BBC North 'New Music Scene'
Commission, recording and production
friendly, knowledgeable, humorous
After a wobbly start with the Dutch offshore 'pirate' station, Radio Veronica (still on the air in 2019, although now respectably land-based), I am proud to have then become the youngest-ever BBC network radio announcer & newsreader at 22 years old (and that's still the case, as far as I know). Sadly, it was a very nervous debut in October 1974, breaking the news of the Guildford pub bombing horror to the national BBC Radio 1 & 2 audience. I later worked at the BBC in Manchester and Birmingham on news and currents affars programmes.
More cheerfully, most of my radio career has involved presentation and programming on some of the UK's biggest commercial stations where there have been many great music moments. Although the '70s had started sedately enough with Radio 2 parties given by the likes of Norrie Paramour, Cliff Richard and others, my career then got into gear as I recorded radio shows with rockers Richie Blackmore and Ian Gillan, multi-instrumentalist Mike Oldfield (including the world premiere of his album 'Ommadawn'), ex-Monkee Mike Nesmith, John Martyn, and many more. In the '80s at Glasgow's Radio Clyde, it was Phil Collins, Meatloaf, Marianne Faithfull, Kate Bush (a rare interview opportunity, the details of which I shall keep for my memoirs!), and the first UK radio plays for emerging new bands Simple Minds and Heaven 17. A couple of years later at the BBC in Manchester, I secured the exclusive first broadcast of New Order's 'Blue Monday' - introduced by the band.
During the mid-'80s, I moved to Italy to set-up my own pioneering 'border-blaster' station, LBC Music Radio. It broadcast from an Italian mountain-top overlooking the Swiss city of Lugano (at that time, Switzerland had no commercial radio of its own). In less than a year, it became the most-listened-to station in the area.
Returning to the UK, I worked on great stations like Rock FM and The Superstation, before ending up at Sheffield's Hallam FM. It was there that I started the 'XS' show, recording live sessions and gigs with Brit-pop and indie favourites Travis, Pulp, Richard Hawley's Longpips, The Dandy Warhols, Feeder, Idlewild, Catatonia, Morcheeba, Cornershop, Alabama 3, and many more.
'XS' then became the syndicated New Music show '2XS' which was broadcast by several stations across the North of England, before I developed it into the full-time station, 2XS Rocks, which launched in 2002 and is now the longest-running independent station in the UK. I also continued to work on Smooth Radio in Nottingham and Manchester for some years, before concentrating on New Media and voice work.
warm, authoritative, professional.
I am an experienced voice actor and have been performing in audio commercials and corporate videos for many years. My clients have included major names such as Ikea, Wilkinson, Furniture World, Bellway Homes, and countless local businesses all over the country. Some are made for local radio, but most are for agencies. At one time, they all necessitated travelling to a radio station or commercial facilities house, but nowadays they can be produced at my own studio near Sheffield, with or without client direction. As an Equity member and an experienced audio engineer, I can assure you of a professional performance, with the finished product delivered in your chosen audio format.
To hear my current voice-over demo, click here:
Public transport announcements:
clear, intelligible, accurate, neutral.
Public transport is becoming increasingly vital to a 'green' future. As a result there are significant moves to make it more attractive. For example, the on-board announcements that have long been used on trains and planes, are now also coming to buses.
As well as my radio work, I have had a close association with Stagecoach Yorkshire since 2008 when their then-M.D., Paul Lynch, who was always keen on positive media coverage, gave me the chance to take the bus driving test (the 'other' thing I'd always wanted to do since I was a youngster). I passed after a tense couple of weeks, and two effective newspaper articles were the result. I continue to have nothing but admiration for bus drivers to this day!
Recently, these two seemingly unconnected industries have converged for me when the company's current M.D., Matt Davies, contacted me to discuss providing the on-board announcements for their new X6 service between Sheffield and Doncaster-Sheffield Airport.
Those are now successfully in place and give a real 'feel-good' vibe to the journey. Together with the video screen information, they provide useful information about where the bus actually is: essential if you're new to a route, but also useful if you're a regular commuter who's nodded-off, or is deeply engrossed in the free 'Metro' newspaper!
As buses become more and more comfortable and high-tech, these facilities will be increasingly commonplace - along with the free wi-fi and USB charging points.
If you are a public transport manager, please contact me to discuss how I can provide a similar solution for your services. The announcements need to be clearly intelligible above the ambient vehicle noise, and neutral to suit all passengers: if the voice is too shrill it will be annoying, and if it is too muffled it will be inaudible.
From my professional studio, I can handle the whole job flow, from the recording to the final audio delivery in whatever format is required. The recordings are archived so that any future changes, even minor ones, will match the originals. I'll even check local place-name pronunciations, because I know from radio work that getting those wrong can really alienate your audience. And I understand a lot about your industry, having got to know bus operators in Sheffield and Nottingham. The short video below gives a flavour of how they sound in action.
Here are three of the Stagecoach X6 bus announcements..."The next stop is"...
"Doncaster Sheffield Airport."
"We are now arriving at Doncaster Sheffield Airport..."