I’m really good at some things, bloody awful at others. Majestic at tennis.
Escaping from a childhood of forced labour (violin practice and ballet classes), introspective shoegazing (I was a goth for a few depressing months) and apples (I had issues with apples – braeburns especially), I journeyed west and found solace studying for a degree in pretentiousness at Dartington College of Arts.
I graduated in 1994 and jetted off to Hong Kong where the real (unpretentious) world hit me squarely between the eyes. Although I experienced tough times initially, within a month there was cash in my hand. My first job was as a mime artist at a corporate function for bottled-water company executives! My attempts at finding my way out of an imaginary box are still talked about to this very day.
It has been said that I look a bit like the action hero Chuck Norris. Can’t see it myself.
Unfortunately I was never again asked to repeat this amazing feat and had to look elsewhere for employment. Things soon started to look up though and after three years in Hong Kong I’d managed to achieve a microcosm of my dreams. I’d been a children’s TV presenter, a composer for film, television and theatre, a session pianist and had staged two one-man shows to critical acclaim.
Having written the music for a section of the Hong Kong Handover in 1997, I moved to London with a severely swollen head. A head that was soon shrunk back to size by the harsh reality of working creatively in the UK – “Wow! Hong Kong? That’s in Japan isn’t it? Sorry. No jobs here. Move along now.”
In London, competition was fierce and I was forced to focus solely on my strengths. Surely I should be driving down the highway of music, but why couldn’t I start the car in this goddam town? Fortunately help was at hand. A friend was the director of The Chris Moyles Show, a music and comedy TV programme made by the BBC. He needed a new angle for the third series and asked me to pop along in fluorescent clubbing gear, with crazy hair and made-up face, clasping my beloved Bontempi keyboard under my arm to meet the presenter. The house band had arrived!
As soon as I stepped through the hallowed doors of BBC Television Centre I knew that this was just the chance that I’d been waiting for. Over the following few months of filming, contacts were made (sans make-up of course), and now, many years later, having composed the music for more than a hundred shows for various broadcasters, the ball is rolling faster than ever. I’m still a bit pretentious though.