The monologist/author/actor Spalding Gray often struggled when asked what he did for a living. 'I chose writer this week,' he used to say. I can relate to that. But here goes.
Firstly, I make programmes for BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4. I've presented over a dozen programmes on subjects ranging from Ivor Cutler, murmurations of starlings and time travel to the art of public speaking. In 2011 producer Sara-Jane Hall and I won a Sony Award for 'Best Feature' for our programme The Haunted Moustache. As a guest I've appeared on Radio 4's Saturday Live, The Museum of Curiosity, Radio 3's The Verb and The Chris Evans Radio Show. As a podcaster I produce and present Waterfront for the Canal and River Trust, co-host the popular fortnightly podcast The Odditorium. Thanks to Arts Council England funding I produced and co-presented a four-part podcast series on Watling Street with guests John Higgs, Alan Moore, Salena Godden, Cerys Mathews, Iain Sinclair, Victor Adebowale and Andy Miller. A new podcast series exploring the archive of Ken Campbell will be finished by December 2018.
As an author I founded Cheeky Guides Ltd in 1999 and have written several guide books and two travel memoirs, The No9 Bus to Utopia and The Haunted Moustache. I'm currently co-writing a trilogy of compendiums for Hodder and Stoughton, the first of which, The Odditorium, topped the Amazon charts for humour and compendiums at Christmas 2016. The second, a book of modern mysteries called The Mysterium, was published in October 2017. The Odysseum (about extraordinary journeys) is due out in October 2018.
Since 2004 I've been hosting Brighton’s Catalyst Club, a monthly event at which three guest speakers, from all walks of life, take to the stage to talk about something they love. To date we've had over 500 speakers on subjects ranging from Werewolf Erotica to adjustable spanners. As a monologist I've toured several one-man shows and given talks on such themes as ghost villages, the trickster, Operation Mindfuck, utopia, occultism and postal pranks. I've spoken at Somerset House, Tate St Ives, TEDx,the Women's Institute, Idler Academy, Hay Literary Festival, Wilderness, Port Eliot, Sunday Assembly and the Lowry Theatre. Together with fellow musician Eliza Skelton, I've also entertained festival and cinema audiences across the UK with Sing-along-a-Wickerman and get a cheap thrill watching audiences reactions when we ask them to tuck into the edible foreskins and umbilical cords found in the 'goody bags' we give out at the start of the show.
And finally there's Oddfellow's Casino. We've been together since 2002 and have released six albums, one EP and a short film and recently performed at festivals in the UK, Estonia, Spain and France. Give us a listen, you might be pleasantly surprised. According to the Sunday Times we combine the sensitivity of Sufjan Stevens with the big-hearted warmth of Elbow. And I'm not going to disagree with that.
It is worth noting that I'm a medical man by rumour only, though I'd be happy to whip out your tonsils in exchange for a packet of biscuits. Chocolate Hobnobs are a favourite.