What makes this industry special?
TV is an essential part of everyone’s lives no matter what your background, your age or your interests, which I think is special. So, even being even a small part of making that work makes this a great job.
What key skills do you think are needed for your role?
There are so many different aspects of my role covering everything from TV production to receivers and from regulation to mobile technologies and standards. Having the ability to understand enough about a wide range of different technologies is key – enough so you can at least ask the relevant questions to the people who know the finer details.
What do you think is the biggest challenge that the industry needs to address?
Finding a way to implement change – broadcast TV and radio is built on huge amounts of legacy infrastructure and device bases which are difficult to move away from.
What is your desert island luxury item?
Probably just some way of facetiming the family, a radio and some Yorkshire Tea (I’m assuming the desert island has a kettle, electricity, internet, and DAB+ coverage). I’d be quite happy relaxing on the island with those things taken care of. [Ed: ahem – we think this breaks the rules actually Alex]
What do you do to unwind?
I try to keep active. I play football every week, although now only with similar 40-somethings so there’s not too much running about. I like to go swimming in the sea and paddleboarding – you’ve got to make the most of living down on the coast in Bournemouth. I speak French (ish) so spend a bit of time learning that to help with the holidays. Most of all I like to spend time with the family which often means driving the kids round to various clubs and playdates, but we also do as much as we can together.
What are you passionate about?
My wife would say Newcastle United but I’m sure there are other things…
What is your all-time favourite film or tv show?
I’m not a massive film buff and rarely watch films twice but I love the film ‘Withnail & I’ and have watched that lots of times. Other than that, growing up the A-Team and Dukes of Hazzard were must-watch. Nowadays it’s just Match of the Day, which I watch with my son and anything with David Attenborough.
What fact or stat do you quote most often?
This stat is not exactly catchy but I like to remember it. It helps me to put things in perspective if I’m getting bogged down in day-to-day problems, which in the grand scheme of things should not be something to get stressed over. It’s courtesy of Professor Brian Cox: There are 200 Billion Stars in our galaxy the Milky Way, which in itself is one of 200 Trillion Galaxies in the observable universe!
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
My twin brother and I were the heaviest twins ever born at Newcastle General Hospital at the time – nearly 18lbs (between us). A niche record.
If you weren’t working in this sector, where would you be working?
Before working as an engineer in the TV industry I used to work at National Grid planning electricity supply – I’d hope I wouldn’t be doing that again mind, as it wasn’t the most exciting! Other than that, I’ve also worked in the mobile industry which involved a lot of travelling around Europe deploying 3G mobile networks which was great fun pre-kids. Once the travelling became difficult, I worked at the Met Police as an engineer which was great in terms of the projects we were involved in such as the Olympics, in the control rooms, or getting to go about in the Police Helicopter. So, I think I would most likely be working there in some way.