I usually skip the ‘early years’ chapters when I read a biography, but for the record:

""I was born in Swanley in Kent but moved while still very young to East Grinstead in Sussex. I went to Blackwell Primary and then Sackville Comprehensive School. I did well in my O-levels, less well in my A-levels and failed both my S-levels. I was hopeless at sport but pretty good at drama.


""I studied PPE (Philosophy, Politics and Economics) at Hertford College, Oxford. I worked on the student newspaper, Cherwell, and in my vacations for the Birmingham Evening Mail. I was active in the Oxford University Labour Club and disappointed those who believe that you don't get good grades by spending too long in the bar.


I joined the BBC straight from university as a News Trainee and worked there continuously from 1980 to 1998 apart from a year off to travel in 1992/3. I worked for three years in Northern Ireland and was then a national radio and TV reporter, Defence Correspondent and finally a Political Correspondent based at Westminster – a job I did for seven years.


""In 1998 I left journalism to join the press office at 10 Downing Street as a special adviser working for Alastair Campbell. In 2000 I became the Labour Party’s Director of Communications and helped plan and then run the 2001 General Election campaign.


Since 2001 I have been a freelance writer, broadcaster and commentator. I also lecture in politics and journalism and can sometimes be persuaded to do some media training.


BooksIn 2005 I published two books: The Spin Doctor’s Diary and a novel, Time and Fate. And in 2010, I published Where Power Lies. In 2011 I founded the Kaleidoscope Trust to help uphold the human rights of LGBT people globally and became its first Executive Director. When I’m not working I am usually travelling. The map below shows how widely. If I’m hard to get hold of it may be because I’m trying to fill in the gaps.

Places in the world I've visited:

Since 2001:

Writer, Commentator, Broadcaster


2011 - July 2014:
Executive Director, Kaleidoscope Trust


June 2000 – June 2001:

Labour Party Director of Communications.

June 1998 – June 2000:

Media Adviser to Tony Blair, 10 Downing St.



1989 – 1998: Political Correspondent, BBC

1987 – 1989: Foreign & Defence Corr, BBC

1986 – 1987 : General News Reporter, BBC .

1982 – 1986 : Reporter, BBC Belfast

1982 : Scriptwriter, BBC TV News, London

1980 – 1982 : News Trainee, BBC


1977 – 1980: Hertford College, Oxford

First Class Honours, PPE

1970 - 1977: Sackville School, E Grinstead





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