What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
One thing that has stuck with me from a previous manager – “make it work, then make it pretty”. Often there is the temptation to work on the user interface before the core functionality is finished. Also, if you’re stuck on something, reach out to others sooner rather than later.
Which area of innovation excites you most and why?
I’ve always been fascinated by virtual reality; going back to early Virtuality headsets, to mobile phone-based units like Gear VR, and now what Oculus/Meta and Valve are bringing to both enthusiasts and the wider public. It’ll be interesting to see what the Metaverse project will bring. Will Mark Zuckerberg’s pet project be a success, or threaten the future of Meta and the adoption of VR in general?
What makes this industry special?
The TV broadcast and manufacturing industry is special as competing companies still come to work together for the good of the overall ecosystem, something the DTG has long championed. It’s quite a small industry though which means you often speak to people you’ve interacted with in the past – no room for burning any bridges!
What key skills do you think are needed for your role?
Having a strong analytical mind. Being able to juggle multiple workflows at the same time, as you’re rarely assigned to a single project. Working well with others, both within DTG and across the industry. And having a keen eye for details, especially when editing the D-Book!
What do you think is the biggest challenge that the industry needs to address?
The transition from traditional terrestrial/satellite-based TV to internet-delivered TV, while maintaining the same reliability and quality of service the public are used to. It’s been talked about how it’s coming for years, and with spectrum frequency becoming scarcer it looks inevitable. New technologies like DVB-I have been introduced to support delivering content from both sources; could this be the next digital switchover?
What do you do to unwind?
I’m a bit of a gamer, albeit not up-to-date, with PS3, Wii, PC and Quest 2 all fighting for my attention. And that’s before you start including all the emulators and games from past consoles I had growing up. A current favourite is Assetto Corsa (driving game), paired with the Quest 2 headset along with steering wheel + pedals, to give an ultra-realistic racing experience in VR. Last year I had a driving experience day out at Brands Hatch and used the game to practice for the real thing.
What are you passionate about?
I love listening to music from Above & Beyond and any of their Anjunabeats or Anjunadeep label artists, especially Tinlicker. I always have it on in the background, and I’m fortunate to live in London which means I often get to go to concerts. I’ve made lots of friends through the live events who all share similar music tastes; when covid shut everything down, people took to Twitch and live-streamed their sets.
If you had a catchphrase what would it be?
If based on how many times I say it: “Hello kitty”. An unexpected benefit of working from home has been the increased attention from my cat, Lily. And of course, I always greet her when she comes up to me!
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I’m a big fan of American football, having grown up watching games when it was introduced on Channel 4 in the 80s. I even tried out for the American Football team at university which was good fun, with the helmet and pads and everything. Unfortunately, my body took a battering; despite the protective gear, the training was too much pain and I only lasted two weeks before admitting defeat.
If you weren’t working in this sector, where would you be working?
A tennis coach… Before I went to university, I took the first stage coaching exam and worked part-time as a practice partner with juniors at my local tennis club. I still play regularly, but my Wimbledon ambitions are limited to watching rather than competing now.