Richard began his career by taking the one-year
pre-entry NCTJ course at Highbury College in Portsmouth. From there he was indentured with the Midland News Association -
starting as a trainee on a local weekly newspaper in Shropshire and progressing to senior reporter on the Shropshire Star.
From a very young age he had harboured ambitions to work in radio and had joined one of the country's
largest hospital radio stations at the age of 16. The combination of this experience, along with his journalism practice,
landed him – at the age of just 21 - a much coveted job as a newscaster and reporter at one of the then only 19 commercial
radio stations in the country. Here he reported on many stories with a national profile and often featured on the network
Independent Radio News. He also presented the hour-long Newsday.
Richard was intrigued
to learn from the station's new Programme Director, who had just arrived from Germany, that the British Forces’ Broadcasting
Network was still going strong. He secured a traineeship with them (which included an intensive course with BBC training in
London) and joined the service in Germany, initially in television, including reporting and editing using the then new ENG
technology. He later transferred to the organisation’s largest and most famous broadcasting station in Cologne, and
was then posted to Berlin where he started the Breakfast Show in the divided city - which continued under numerous hosts and
editors until British troops finally left in 1994. He also hosted and produced many Outside Broadcasts, documentaries, ‘specials’
and interviews with ‘A’ list celebrities and politicians – as well as less famous, but often sometimes even
more fascinating folk, both civilian and military.
During this period though Richard had married
and decided he wanted a more settled life and so returned to the UK, where he produced and presented programmes - including
the famous Night Owls ‘phone-in programme - at Metro Radio on Tyneside. Unfortunately, the station's managers
decided to ditch most of the ‘meaningful speech’ content from its programmes but Richard quickly landed another
job as Senior Presenter at Red Rose Radio in Preston, a period which he describes as “one of the happiest professional
experiences in my life."
As well as the mainstream programmes, he presented election specials,
documentaries and Outside Broadcasts, one of which was nominated for a Sony Award -- British radio's equivalent of the ‘Oscars’.
Quite early on though in this stint he was spotted by the BBC as a potential Programme Organiser/Deputy Manager and in 1989
he became one of the youngest to hold that position, and at one of the Corporation’s largest local stations -- BBC Radio
Leeds. During his time there the regional centre introduced a bi-media newsroom, with Richard being tasked to help integrate
radio and television journalism.
Neighbouring station Radio Sheffield was experiencing some problems
in its programming and Richard was sent on ‘attachment’ to this station to sort them out and soon after took over
the news-led Drive-time. He also presented a number of ground-breaking programmes – literally in one case,
as it was from hundreds of feet underground in a coal mine! An interview with Michael Palin - which, due to interference from
a taxi firm, was even more hilarious than intended – was featured on BBC Radio 4’s Pick of the Week.
This was just one of a number of features and reports broadcast on BBC network radio, including Radio 1’s Newsbeat.
Towards the end of 1992, for personal reasons, he moved back across the Pennines with his wife and
baby son, and took up the Programme Controller’s post at Radio City Gold in Liverpool, where he also presented a daily
show. His highlights there included his mid-morning slot beating the generally much more popular FM station’s ratings,
and producing and presenting an outside broadcast from one of the Mersey tunnels. This including an interview with conductor
and composer Carl Davis – the pair of them were transported to the centre of the tunnel in the back of a police van!
Having gained a BA (Hons) with the Open University, Richard grew increasingly interested in education
and training and he qualified as a teacher in further and adult education and taught part-time on the City and Guilds radio
and journalism qualification. After changes in the top management at Radio City, Richard left to pursue lecturing and was
appointed as a full-time journalism lecturer at the Liverpool Community College, teaching NCTJ, NVQ and City and Guilds courses.
During his time there the small journalism lecturing team won a national award for its training of newspaper journalists.
In 1998 he moved a few hundred yards to take up a post as Senior Lecturer at Liverpool John Moores
University, where he leads the radio journalism modules, as well as teaching a variety of other subjects, including public
administration, journalism history and study skills.
He completed an MA in Mass Communications
soon after joining LJMU and quickly developed a research profile. He has presented scholarly papers at a number of international
conferences – three in the United States - and been published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals. He was one of the
main contributors to the internationally acclaimed three-volume Encyclopedia of Radio. He teamed up with Trevor Ibbotson,
one of his former tutors from Highbury College, to write the successful and highly acclaimed An Introduction to Journalism
– which is on the recommended reading lists of the key training bodies and a ‘set book’ at numerous colleges
and universities in the UK and internationally. It has been re-printed twice and translated into Italian! He is writing a
book on developments in broadcasting, due to be published by Palgrave Macmillan at the end of 2008. He contributes to the
trade press and has made numerous appearances as a contributor to programmes about the media on BBC Radio 4. He is a member
of the north-west committee of the Radio Academy and a founder member of the Radio Studies Network.
has presented papers at numerous national and international academic conferences, his work has been published in peer-revieed
academic journals and was (joint) second in the History division's paper competition at the 2007 BEA Convention
in Las Vegas. At the same Convention he was elected vice-chair of the International Division (due to become Chair two years
In 2005 the former Managing Director of Red Rose Radio asked him to present the breakfast show
on a short-term trial station with a ‘rolling news’ format, in advance of a licence application for a new FM service
in Liverpool. This saw Richard working alongside students from the journalism and media courses at the University.
His views on being a university lecturer? “At its best it feels like not so much of a job and more like a privilege,”