So as well as doing all those theatre shows, TV programmes and radio projects, I've done lots of other things.
professional career in the media began
in information distribution - I was a
paperboy while growing up in
Whittlebury, Northants and Whitstable,
Kent. Other jobs in my younger days
included working as a shop assistant
in Riceman's department store in
Canterbury and as a hop cutter on a
Kent farm at the end of glorious
In the early 90s I worked at the Guardian Media Group on The Guide and The Observer Preview magazines and for some of their other publications. Then I worked at Virgin Net in their very early days as a start-up. This was in 1996 when Netscape 2.0 browsers ruled the world and when we first saw Java we thought that was as good as the web was ever going to get. They were great people to work with and for, but office life wasn't really for me. Also I was useless. My main contribution was writing the installation instruction booklet and a very rough style bible for the news site.
In 1996-97 I worked on the UK version of 'You Don't Know Jack!', the comedy quiz CD-Rom game. This was a lot of fun to do and I think we came up with a pretty funny game. It was shortlisted for an interactive BAFTA and although it didn't set the sales chart on fire, it found its place. The British game was produced by Somethin' else for BMG and we worked closely with the American producers at Berkeley Systems and Jellyvision.
Amongst the magazines and papers I have written for are the following: FOCUS, CULT TV, TOMORROW'S WORLD, BLAST!, SPEAKEASY and WIRED UK. I mainly wrote about comics or sci-fi or cool new things - for example, I reviewed Mark Leyner's 'Et Tu, Babe' for Wired and found myself in PRIVATE EYE's Pseud's Corner. That was good. I've had pieces in THE IDLER, PILCHARD TEETH and THE EROTIC REVIEW as well.
yes, I would also write the back page
'Weekender' column for the GUARDIAN
GUIDE. I did about 15 columns over a
year and reviewed occasional movies
such as The Mask and Star Trek:
Generations. Then I was asked by Tony
Ageh, the inspirational head of the
Guardian's Product Development Unit,
to help come up with a weekly magazine
for The Observer. It was to have
previews, TV listings and interesting
comedy pieces and Catherine Wilson and
I (with a great team of designers)
came up with a really good dummy issue
and we called it PREVIEW. It was a
good experience and I'm really proud
to have been part of an excellent team
includes appearing on a few TV adverts
over the years. To the right of this
text is a shot of an 'I Can't Believe
It's Not Butter' ad that the people at
Spitting Image made. They based the
sad lonely cow who's just doing his
laundry on a picture they had of me.
PRESENT - 2013
In 2013 I tried to come up with concepts as rich and full of possibility as Undone and this was another. The Present is about a community of stranded time travellers all from different possible futures who are competing with one another to ensure their version of the future is the one that comes about. Devious scheming and duplicity and lots of other fun things emerge, but they have more in common here in their shared past than they would in their alternate futures. It's pretty complicated but funny too I think.
Another successor to Undone in terms of a light drama with sci-fi concepts. A pair of brothers involved in the esoteric departments of the British government (one is the keeper of the magical menagerie, the other is an alchemical engineer) are relocated to a stately home in Cumbria due to metropolitan cutbacks. When another strange civil servant (the curator of the national songs) joins them, a love triangle develops. Unicorns, magick (with a K), tattoos and a house that seems to have every architectural feature in the British Isles all come into it. Lots of ideas for this one, but I fear it's not a goer.
A radio script about a woman whose daydreams can be tuned into at the end of the medium wave radio dial. Her boyfriend seeks out the truth about her past and discovers more than he bargained for. This was going to be one of a series called Other Things that all crossed over in a weird comic/scary universe.
APPLES - 2010
My first idea for a follow-up to Undone. This one is about a normal single Dad whose world is turned upside down when his ship's crew arrive and explain he's actually a time travelling pirate who has been mind-wiped and dumped in 2010 London. Weird but a lot of fun and tons of potential.
FOUNDATION - 2006
A pilot script about a group of friends who win the lottery but are complete idiots about it. Their one friend who didn't come in on the syndicate helps them run their charitable foundation but is secretly trying to embezzle the lot - but he's just as useless as they are.
MINISTRY OF ALTERNATE AFFAIRS -
A pilot script for the BBC about an offshoot of the Foreign Office that deals with Britains in parallel universes. The BBC had put the call out for sci-fi comedy ideas and the one they went for was the excellent Hyperdrive.
AGAIN - 2002
A screen story about time travelling pensioners. Time travel will never be invented, so the argument goes, because if it will, why isn't the present full of time travellers? But what if it is and what if we don't notice them because they're us? A couple spend their whole lives and careers not quite getting together in love but when they hit 70 they make a breakthrough and develop a technique to send their consciousnesses back to their younger bodies. Naturally they return to their firm 23 year old selves and shag like monkeys. But is there another use for the machine, one that might just save the world? It went into development for a short while with Monkey TV in 2008, but exists only as a scriptment at the moment (part script / part treatment).
UNTHINKABLES - 2002
The worst load of psychics you could ever come across. It's the story of a group of people thrown together by what seems like a set of coincidences who form a potentially useful team of ESPers. Only the British government doesn't want anything to do with them. The team consists of pre-cogs called Good News and Bad News who can only predict optimistic or pessimistic future events, Sickhead, who can induce various mental illnesses, The Stowaway, who has moved her consciousness into the body of a supermodel and now can't get back, and three others. It currently exists only as a screen story.
ALICE - 2001
It's all about a guy who is jilted a few days before his wedding but decides to clone his fiancee and marry the clone. But then he bumps into the original on their honeymoon and she has second thoughts. Does he marry her again? Does this make him a bigamist? It's a naturally weird romantic comedy. I have a radio play script of this and a longer scriptment.
HUMAN SOUP -
A flatshare horror-comedy where people resent the fact their co-habitees have been turned into vampires and are now super-cool. Aone-act stage play that was really just an exercise in writing dialogue for the stage. Three Wishes, which was written about the same time, is so much better.
LENGTHS HE WENT TO - 1999
Your basic love triangle as written by a ten year old sci-fi fanboy. A newsreader moves in with an engineer and an actor and begins to play with their heads. One of them has to win her, so what do they do to get ahead? Did you just suggest inventing a pair of bank robbing giant robots? Yeah? Darn, it's obvious isn't it. Well, anyway, that's the play. Never performed.
NEW ADVENTURES - 1998
A play about a team of former teenage superheroes who get to their late twenties and realise they've overachieved very early in their lives and very massively. It's a dry comedy about friends and lovers and what happens if Nintendo make a game of your life and you can't work out how to win it.
DAY POEMS - 1997-2002
Each year I would write a love poem on Valentine's Day. Three of them are included in Each of Us (and other things) as some of the other things.