Like the How old Cary Grant? gag. Old Colin Briggs fine, how old you? I did O levels. Does that make me truly ancient?
Where are you from?
How did you get started in broadcasting?
I used to do it for fun as a student and in my spare time on hospital radio when I started work. Then I ended up doing more of it whilst working in Press and PR. Eventually I gave up resisting and ran away and joined the circus full time in 1983 with Gwent Broadcasting. I had the deep joy of assisting with the opening of the station and actually pulling the fader down to shut it down. Not good. But I did get to open Red Dragon Radio. Slightly better.
Why News broadcasting?
I’m a journalist by trade. I’ve done music shows, chat shows and run the sports desk, but I always end up drifting back into news and current affairs. Can’t help it. The day I stop finding breaking news stories of any sort exciting I shall pack it in.
Where else would have viewers seen or heard you before?
I used to be the AA spokesman in all manner of stories on national and local TV and radio. I was the expert available at the drop of a hat when they couldn’t find anyone else.
What is your Best on-air moment?
All sorts from a decent segue on radio to filling four minutes on the evening news programme when all the recorded stuff went pear shaped. Not really award winning, but immensely satisfying and fun to do – real broadcasting.
What is your Worst on-air moment?
Take your pick! Losing all the main studio lights 10 into a bulletin and doing the whole thing in silhouette. Having a peregrine falcon called Helen blow the pick up arm off a record (yes, that long ago) whilst my back was turned and my mouth full of cake with nothing on the other turntable or in the cart stack
What would you like to do before your career ends?
Tricky. As it stands I produce and present bulletins, present programmes, work as a general reporter and then when there’s time, produce and present features. I really do want to carry on doing as much of that as long as I can. Of course like everyone I’d love to be headhunted, paid enough to support my family in the style to which they’d love to become accustomed and be given a choice of classic car as a company hack …
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Loaf about – countryside or seaside, don’t mind, either will do. Fresh air with a decent meal and glass of something aiting at the end of it – even if I have to cook it.
What advice would you give to anyone that would like to get into the broadcasting world?
Given the meandering path of my career I’m the last person to advise. My problem is that I’ve enjoyed things so much along the way I’ve been inclined to stay and do a bit more. If you want a career be prepared to push all the time because there are plenty of others who won’t think twice about stepping on you to get on. I guess it comes down to what you want. A career or to enjoy yourself and your job on the way. Can you have both? Discuss.
I once subbed knitting pages … have fronted rock bands .. can tie my own bow tie … caught fish on a fly (once) … still get lost driving around London …
A big thanks to Colin for taking part.
BBC Look North presenter Colin Briggs has retired. He has been the face of BBC breakfast and lunch bulletins in the North East & Cumbria for decades. Colin started off in women’s magazines before settling into motoring journalism, PR and… Read more