2) I have moved house 24 times, 21 of those moves after leaving home at the age of 18 … and most of them connected with chasing my career in radio.
3) I was pretty entrepreneurial as a teenager – I set up and ran my own disco business with a friend, I worked several gardening jobs at a time, had a paper round and fixed broken calculators from the local electrical store to sell on for profit.
4) I took the academic ‘conveyor belt’ route in life, gaining 9 x ‘O’ levels, 1 x ‘O/A’ level, 3 x ‘A’ levels, 1 x 2:1 degree and 1 x postgraduate diploma. The funny thing is, although all that studying gave me a teaching career for 4 years, it was the things that I did on my own – radio and web work – that resulted in the best career moves and the most pleasure in life.
5) I did my first ever radio broadcast on Scunthorpe Hospital radio aged 18 in 1983 and was ‘bitten by the bug’. It took me another 9 years of work and persistance to finally get my first job at the BBC where I worked for 20 years … as a journalist, broadcaster and website manager.
6) I have been to New York to receive an international web award. My BBC web team and I received the communities section in the international Webby Awards in 2006. You can still see what’s left of the winner’s page here. I didn’t realise the significance at the time, but we beat Xbox.com and Tripadvisor.com in our category.
7) My dad played with Cliff Richard before he was famous. In the days when Cliff was Harry Webb, he was a singer in my dad’s band, ‘The Dick Teague Skiffle Group’ until Cliff moved on to other things. Most people don’t believe me when I tell them this, but if you look in the first pages of virtually any Cliff Richard book, you’ll see the group mentioned. I also got Cliff to record a special birthday message when my dad was 70 – and as you’d expect, Cliff was an absolute gent, and did a lovely job of it. As final proof, here’s a photo 🙂
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8) I didn’t fly in a plane until the age of 27 – my parents could never afford it and neither could I until that age. These days I can’t stop … I love to travel abroad, and one day hope to spend time living elsewhere in Europe or America. I flew in a hot air balloon before I flew in plane.
9) I didn’t own a computer until 2002 – even though I’ve been working with them since my days as a teacher.
11) I love eating out in restaurants with good company – it’s my ideal night out.
12) I love the cinema … and now fortunately we’ve passed on that love to the kids.
13) I worked in a restaurant as a waiter between the ages of 13 and 18 (this was in addition to all my other jobs) and also did a summer season at Pontin’s in Lancashire waiting on tables whilst on vacation. It was always work I enjoyed.
14) I have interviewed a number of politicians such as John Prescott, Anne Widdicombe, Ken Livingston, Jeffery Archer and Michael Howard – who told me off for being ‘negative’ about his latest political announcement!
15) I love the Scottish group Runrig (my wife is Scottish) and have seen them perform many times – at Loch Lomond, in York, twice in Carlisle, at Edinburgh castle and at Stirling Castle. I have also interviewed band members several times for radio items.
16) I’ve also had a long standing love of the rock group Queen – the first single (remember those?) I ever bought was ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ and I got to see them with Freddie as frontman at Elland Road in Leeds in the 1980s, on the ‘Hot Space’ tour.
17) While we’re talking about music, I was once embarrasssed at a Motorhead concert. They were once known as the ‘loudest live band’ so I’d bought along a roll of cotton wool so could put some in my ears if it was too loud. When I was frisked at the entrance I had to explain it’s purpose surrounded by hundreds of seasoned heavy metallers.
18) When I was a child (ie below the age of 11) I used to write books. I’ve got a rejection letter from Penguin in my scrap book. I’ve had several skirmishes with writing over the years – with short stories and plays mainly – but never with any level of accomplishment or success.
19) I would love to play a musical instrument, but I can’t yet. The best I did was recorder at school. I need to take lessons one day … I love music, and I know I’d get massive pleasure from it … I just need to do it! I’d also love to know if I can be taught to sing.
20) I love live radio broadcasting and would love to do it again. My career took me away from the practical stuff when I moved into management, but I did a live, all speech talk show for 6 months of my career and although it was raw, uncut and dangerous, I’d love to do it again some day.
21) I love American TV … Battleship Galactica, Jericho, Big Love, 24, Game Of Thrones, The Sopranos, 6 Foot Under, Dexter, The American Office, Damages … the list goes on and I love ’em all. Fortunately, my wife does too!
22) I love crime fiction, and it all started in my mid teens after getting told off for messing around during a library period at school. I just grabbed the first book after my telling off, sat down and pretended to read it … well, at first that was the case. It was a book called ‘There’s A Hippy On The Highway’ by James Hadley Chase and it turned out to be excellent! I read virtually all of his many books, and as an adult I now read Harlan Coben and Linwood Barclay as my current favourites.
23) My wife and I would like to take a driving holiday across the USA. My wife loves American wooden porches and I’d like her to sit on one at some point in her life (too many cowboy films when she was a child!). This is penciled in for when the kids are older as we’re likely to be away for some time 🙂
24) At the age of 18 I cycled around Lake Geneva in 1 day (see note 8 – we traveled by coach) stopping off at Castle Chillon for a swim to cool off.
25) Although I haven’t done it for years now, I used to be into drama and acting in a big way. My biggest roles was as the Reverend Samuel Parris in ‘The Crucible’ whilst studying Theatre Studies for a year at college, but lesser parts included playing Lady Begonia, a ghost in ‘A Christmas Carol’ and one of King Herod’s ‘disco courtiers’!