I graduated from Durham University with a degree in English and Latin and went to work for Robert Maxwell’s media empire. Getting out just before Captain Bob went over the side of the boat with the pension money, I joined BBC Radio 4 as a researcher on Start The Week. I spent six years producing all kinds of magazine and feature programmes, finally fetching up as Senior Producer on the network’s flagship satirical chat show, Loose Ends with Ned Sherrin.
I came to South Africa in 1995, in search of adventure. I found SAfm and Bruce Millar and together we put together The Big Big Brunch. I trained some producers and created some other programmes for the station and then married my boss so I thought I’d better leave. After a stint as Head of Radio Training for Alistair Sparks’ Institute for the Advancement of Journalism, I joined 702 to get up at 3.30 every morning and produce the John Robbie Show. During five years at the station, I got more and more interested in writing (and less interested in getting up in the middle of the night) but, mainly, wanted to get back to messing about with recorded sound – which you don’t do much of on a live talk show. This meant I ended up running the 702 Productions Department – producing station promos and imaging material, coming up with on-air promotions and writing and producing client ads. 702 taught me a great deal about commercial radio.
I went freelance at the end of 2002 as a writer of anything anyone would pay me for. I also did a lot of media relations for various PR agencies as well running my own consultancy for a while. Missing the art of noise, I started Podcart in 2007 to produce quality downloadable audio for brands. I was part of the team that launched the Mail & Guardian podcast, Between the Pages, and I’ve produced podcasts for, amongst others, Old Mutual, Woolworths, Cape Town Routes Unlimited, UCT and Santam.
I now have what, I think, is called a portfolio career. I live in Grahamstown where I combine writing, audio production and media training. I also have strong ties with the Rhodes School of Journalism and Media Studies where I teach radio and writing – mainly through my work on Grocott’s Mail, a real newspaper owned by the university. In 2013, I got my MA in Creative Writing (with distinction) also from Rhodes. Like a lot of people, I’m currently working on my first novel.
I’m married (still), with two children. When I’m not working, I’m singing with Pro Carmine Choir or slugging it out in the pub quiz
If it’s real detail you’re after, let me know.