After I left, I joined the BBC's studio manager training scheme. In the interview they'd ask you if you wanted to make documentaries about Dostoevsky, but you ended up transferring country and western songs from one tape to another in the basement of Radio 1. The only fun part was coming up with sound effects for lesbian love scenes for Radio 4 drama.
But it gave you access to all the radio producers, and I just knocked on people's doors and got some of them to allow me to do some reporting. I did quite a lot of work for the World Service, and also became the male reporter on Woman's Hour. At the same time, I started writing features - things like "Your guide to London's doormen" - for the Evening Standard, The Times, and the Daily Mail. I also got a column in Harpers and Queen, and I was a model at the Ugly Agency - so I had an awful lot of jobs at that stage.
But since the age of 12, when the BBC came and made a Man Alive documentary about my parents and their neighbours, I'd wanted to work in television. And the first job I got in TV was as a researcher on That's Life, in 1986. That was incredibly good schooling, because you had to do proper investigative journalism; I went undercover as a rogue insurance salesman. I then worked on Kilroy, before it was called that, before getting a job on Network 7 in 1988 as a researcher and reporter. (I was interviewed by Janet Street- Porter - who I said at the time was the most frightening person I'd ever met.)
We worked on the reports all week, and presented it all live on Sunday. I had the best time ever on that show: I went to China and into Thailand to do stories for the programme, and in the second series I became a producer. And, in between the two series, I was a reporter for The Six O'Clock Show.
When Network 7 finished, I didn't have a job, so I thought I'd go and live in New York and freelance. I was able to do a report for the pilot of a new LWT show called Eyewitness, and from that report they gave me a job as their American reporter. The next year they sent me to China before and after Tiananmen Square. Then I was sent to Eastern Europe - to Berlin when the wall fell, and to Poland and Romania - 1989 was a very exciting year to be a journalist.
Then, Janet Street-Porter offered me a job as editor of Reportage. So, at only 29, I was in charge of a news and current affairs show - though I reformatted it as a single-issue show. I did a series of that, and was also series producer of Rough Guide To The World. And from there, I went to Planet 24 to be editor of The Word, for the second series - the series with Katie Puckrik and a pregnant Amanda de Cadenet.
I did that for a year, and then briefly joined the BBC as executive producer in the features department, before Planet 24 asked me to go back as editor of The Big Breakfast. It was fantastically exciting to do in the beginning: there was this belief we were doing something really different, and Chris Evans and Gaby Roslin were brilliant to work with. But, after three years, I could take waking up at 3am no more, and so did a few other projects for Planet 24 - until I had a row with them and left. They enforced my contract and made me come back, as executive producer of Nothing But The Truth, but, after one series of that, we reached an agreement and I was allowed to leave.
I then joined Princess Productions, which was set up by Henrietta Conrad, and, last year, started Light Lunch, which became Late Lunch. It's been more successful than we ever hoped for. I never thought I'd work on a show that taught me how to griddle and prepare coriander.
Apart from doing some presenting again recently, for BBC's Arena pay- TV channel, I'm working for myself, and so am able to make programmes I enjoy making with people I enjoy making them with. Our challenge now is to prove that we're a production company that can compete with the other main suppliers of programmes to Channel 4 - and to other channels, too.Reuse content