Andy came to London in 1984 to work as Billy Bragg’s driver and roadie. It was while he was chaperoning Billy to BBC2′s “Whistle Test” that he was spotted by a producer as a potential new presenter. He began his broadcasting career in September 1984 with a baptism by fire – a report for Whistle Test from the Monsters of Rock heavy metal festival.
In 1985, Andy was invited by Radio 1 to present his own show with a free choice of music. As his own tastes evolved so did the content of the radio show. Meeting the musicologist and Radio 3 presenter Lucy Duran – now an old friend – and the first appearance of Zimbabwe’s Bhundu Boys in the UK tipped Andy heavily into African music.
In his spare time Andy enjoys motorcyles (particularly racing) and travels to extreme countries. He has thrice holidayed in North Korea and, for Channel 4, made the very first film inside the secretive country.
A journalist at heart, he has often reinvented himself as a foreign correspondent for BBC radio news and occasionally made travel documentaries for Channel 4. He reported for the BBC from the midst of a volcanic eruption in Montserrat, where he had taken his partner for “a quiet Caribbean holiday” (the island blew up the day after they arrived) and, most memorably, from Rwanda during the horrors of 1994.