It's always fairly dry reeling off the chronological events to date... but here goes...
I was born in Leeds (so I could play cricket for Yorkshire... can't bear cricket.) but grew up in Liverpool. After spending eighteen years without any real idea of what I wanted to do, I started bunking off art college to do local youth theatre shows and decided to try drama school. This decision led to me being expelled from Art College. I've always been curiously proud of that. (They actually let me back in, but that doesn't sound as rock and roll...)
As a professional actor, I starred in... OK... appeared in ‘Godspell’, ‘Lark Rise to Candleford’ (Nottingham Playhouse) ‘The Meg and Mog Show’ (Unicorn Theatre and National Tour), and in the West End’s ‘Blood Brothers’ (playing Sammy opposite Kiki Dee and Stephanie Lawrence). TV included ‘Inspector Morse’, ‘Flying Lady’ and I was also a presenter on the BBC’s ‘Playdays’. (The 80's version of 'Playschool')
Whilst at ‘Playdays’ I trained to direct and directed more than 100 episodes before directing the location-based Art Show ‘Bitsa’ after which I moved into a two-year stint directing ‘Coronation Street’ and ‘Emmerdale' That's when I really understood that it doesn't matter what age group our audience is, what is important is always the story, character and relevance. We don't change much as we grow up...
Since then, I have co-created, written, produced and directed some of the UK's best-known programmes for children, including ‘The Tweenies’, ‘Jim Jam and Sunny’, ‘Boo!’, 'Fun Song Factory', 'BB3B', 'Wibbly Pig', 'Mighty Mites', and 'Florries Dragons'. I also have (modest nod of the head) a BAFTA, a ROYAL TELEVISION SOCIETY AWARD, six BAFTA nominations and another 14 awards and nominations.
Not content with TV, I have also written, co-written and directed over 30 live shows, from all the traditional pantomimes to huge arena shows, including seven 'CBEEBIES LIVE' tours, seven 'TWEENIES LIVE' as well as ‘Dr Who! The Monsters are Coming!’ arena tour, starring Matt Smith (via video) and Nigel Planer, which opened at Wembley.
Currently, I am adapting Oliver Jeffers' 'Lost and Found' for the Manchester International Festival, partnering with Gruff Rhys, a fantastic solo artist and member of the Super Furry Animals. Into this mix comes a musical based on eternal outlier 'Dennis the Menace'.
The trick is not just telling the story - but finding it in the first place. Where does the story really connect with an audience and why. After all, the most important part of any production, be it TV or theatre, is the audience because, in the end, it should be all for them.