Michael Collie – Q&A

Michael Collie

Where are you from?
Born in London, grew up and schooled in Sheffield, now living in Worcestershire – working primarily in Birmingham and London.

How did you get started in broadcasting?
Listening to my radio in bed under the sheets! I loved radio, and living in Sheffield we had two local radio stations and couldn’t get Radio 1 because of the hills … so I became a local radio fan. But my first proper job was at Pebble Mill in Birmingham.

When was that?

Why News broadcasting?
I loved radio, and met a radio journalist, who told me journalism was a good route into broadcasting. I was also aware that at university, where I studied Drama & Theatre Arts, I was always being cast as a Newsreader or as God. Realising I couldn’t be God, I thought I’d do the next best thing as a career …

Where else would have viewers seen or heard you before?
Countryfile, Top Gear, Paddles Up, Radio 2 News, You & Yours, BBC WM, BBC Radio Shropshire, BBC Radio Gloucestershire, BBC Coventry and Warwickshire – all as presenters. As a reporter, You & Yours, Today, BBC World Service, News 24 and others. Otherwise, on the bus.

What is your Best on-air moment?
Falling over many times in the heather, while making a film about Capercaillie in Scotland. Why my best moment? Because it keeps getting repeated … and I get repeat fees!

What is your Worst on-air moment?
Realising that the BBC network ident had failed, along with the programme title sequence, so when the Director said in my ear, you’re on, I was … standing in the middle of a factory. Try explaining that to the viewers.

What would you like to do before your career ends?

What do you like to do in your spare time?
Spare time? My passion is my family – and with four daughters we’re quite a gang to be reckoned with. If only there were more hours in the day …

What advice would you give to anyone that would like to get into the broadcasting world?
Don’t do Media Studies as a degree. Find something else you’re really interested in, and become passionate about it. Broadcasting needs people with passion. Listen to the radio, watch the television. Work out what’s good and what’s bad – and why. Then work out how you could do it better. Then grab the media world with both hands …

A big thanks to Michael for taking part.

Posted by Johnnie Larkin on Thursday 21 May 2009