Welcome to my online world. I’ve been on and around the Internest (sic) since it was in short trousers (1994, if you were wondering), so I’ve seen quite a bit. Most of it emanates from pornstars (all of whom seem to know me on a first name basis), strange, yet equally familiar people in Nigeria who apparently want to give me money, and people who want to know if I’m interested in possessing a big new rod that will enable me to experience the kiss of a womb.
I was born in the suburban hellhole that is Epsom in 1973, an age when computers took up whole rooms, and Internet was where a Leeds United player tried to put the ball. I fled northwards to Lancaster in 1992, where three years of applied beer-tasting were rewarded with a piece of paper that claims I know stuff about politics.
For the last fifteen years or so, I’ve been scratching a living in the armpit of popular culture as a journalist, writing for the likes of Publishing News (where I did 4 years on the staff, and met many people, some very dear, some less so), the Radio Times, Private Eye, The Oldie, the Spectator, Literary Review, the New Statesman and Crescendo and Jazz Music, not to mention the odd stint on the Independent‘s Pandora diary column. Right now, I’m having a lovely time reviewing radio for The Lady magazine and trying to make sense of my vast archive of music industry and light entertainment ephemera.
As well as writing about radio, I’ve appeared on BBC Radios 2, 3, 4 and 5 as an ‘expert’ on various subjects including the state of book retailing, the Nigel Molesworth books and Dudley Moore’s jazz piano playing. I also had a habit of turning up on BBC Radio Norfolk until I wrote this about their bloody awful morning presenter.
In December 2001, I handed in my notice at PN, having persuaded Atlantic Books to pay me to write the complete and utter history of the record industry. It must have been good, because they then paid me to write the complete and utter history of light entertainment, which came out in 2008. My third book, a biography of Les Dawson, one of my comic heroes, came out in February 2012.
Without wishing to blow my own trumpet too hard, I am an experienced researcher who remembers an awful lot and can usually find out pretty quickly about the things I don’t remember. If you think that I might be able to help with a project, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I live in the Cotswolds with my wife, daughter, dog and four adopted open-reel tape recorders.
- Radio critic and feature writer, The Lady
- Series consultant, Come On Down!: The Game Show Story (Shiver for ITV)
- Programme consultant and on-screen contributor, It Was Alright in the Seventies (Objective Scotland for Channel 4)
- Author, The Trials and Triumphs of Les Dawson (Atlantic Books)
- Programme consultant, Funny Business (BBC2)
- Contributor, Shouting at the Telly (edited by John Grindrod – Faber and Faber)
- Author, Turned Out Nice Again: The story of British light entertainment (Atlantic Books)
- Author, Where Have All the Good Times Gone? The rise and fall of the record industry (Atlantic Books)
- Assistant editor, Crescendo and Jazz Music magazine
- Freelance journalist, contributing to Private Eye, The Oldie, Radio Times, The London Line, the New Statesman, The Spectator, the Sunday Telegraph and Sunday Express.
- Staff writer, Publishing News