From as young as he can remember Gavin has always known he wanted to work in media, and specifically television. Using his Lego to make TV studios and creating shows, his choice of career was inevitable. At age 14, he received a very special Christmas present; his very own video camera. After using his parents for years, he was now able to make even more programmes and films, enticing his friends into messing around and stunts that would have any responsible parent concerned.
For his GCSE Humanities exam, Gavin as required to submit a big project on a local issue, whilst a presentation folder was expected, Gavin submitted a half hour documentary about how they were going to build a new cemetery behind his house. He sent this video to ‘The Big Breakfast’, a programme he absolutely worshipped. Gavin told his careers teacher at school he wanted to do his work experience in television and was told his was ‘unrealistic’ and even made a joke of it in a school assembly. Meanwhilst Planet 24 had been back in contact and they were so impressed with his video, they offered him work experience on ‘The Big Breakfast, at age 15 during his summer holidays an experience he describes as ‘one of the most exciting times of my life’. The careers teacher was speechless! For his ‘official’ school work experience he assisted camera operators at Television Sports News.
From age 12, Gavin has also involved in local theatre; as well as appearing in shows such Bugsy Malone (playing the lead) Bouncers, Half A Sixpence, Children of Eden, Chess, Annie Get Your Gun, Fiddler On The Roof; amongst others; Gavin also very involved in all aspects of production such as Stage Management, audition panels, lightning, sound and was on the committee working as Publicity Manager and then Business manager
At 16 Gavin went to his local college where he studied an Advanced GNVQ in Media Production and an A-Level in Theatre Studies. In Media Production Gavin won ‘Best Audio Production’ for his radio show ‘The Sunday Morning Zoo’ and ‘Best Performer’ in the college theatre festival where he got a love of comedy performance.
It was at this college where Gavin realised he was going to have to share his love of television with another medium – radio. Whilst there he met a friend; Stuart, who at the time was helping out on a voluntary basses at a local radio station in Harlow (Ten 17), working on the production team of a sports show ‘MegaSport’. Stuart invited Gavin along one Saturday and was offered to go back anytime he wanted, he did, and for every Saturday thereafter!Through this he got a part time job producing Drive, the What’s On Guide and coming up with promotional ideas.After a year of this and becoming a valuable member of the team, Gavin was asked about a new business idea. The station wanted to produce in house commercials. Gavin would write and produce them and the station would sell the production services when selling the airtime. So whilst at college, Gavin had a pretty cool part-time job ‘Head of Commercial Production for Ten 17”
In the early days of ‘MegaSport’ although the show wasn’t until 2pm, Gavin used to turn up at 10am to get into the second studio. He had gained an interest in ‘driving the desk’ and used this time to make fake radio shows, which are still locked away safely in his mum’s loft! After doing a few segueways on air when presenters wanted the toilet, the evening presenter got Gavin to TO (technical operate) his shows when he wanted some nights off! Although these were ‘unofficial’ shifts, his first official TO shift was The Breakfast Show, when the presenter didn’t want to work on New Years Day! The radio station ran a presenter training course, if you wanted to go on air (on a voluntary bases) you had to pass this 12 week course. Gavin didn’t; but a mix up with the receptionist led to her booking him to present ‘The Album Chart Show’ and the station manager didn’t want to let him down. This was his first show on air, aged 16. He then went on to present other weekend shows and even Late Night Love Songs!
After college, Gavin had a big decision. He was set to go to University to study business, as he thought this would be a good grounding, but Ten 17 had offered him a job- continue to make the commercials on a freelance basses, along with Monday-Wednesday evenings on air. After speaking to people in the industry he realised after 3 years of university people would kill for a job like this, and he was being offered if now. So he took it and didn’t look back. This soon led to presenting every weekday night and making all the station jingles, promos along with the commercials.
He presented the evening show for 18 months and delivered the station its best ever listening figures. He was also snapped up by radio talent agency USP Artists, describing him as ‘The UK’s most exciting emerging talent’. At Ten 17 he also presented live roadshows and theatre shows, charity auctions at the radio group HQ, interviewed a range of pop stars and celebrities and produced an April Fools joke involving Noel Edmonds presenting a new show which gained national publicity. Off air Gavin was also programming the station’s playlist and liaising with record labels, and working with the station manager on programming and marketing projects. Ten 17 was part of the Essex Radio Group and through this he also presented on the group’s flagship station; Essex FM, their regional dance station; Vibe FM and worked on production with Ten 17’s sister station; 96.6 Oasis FM.
Capital Radio’s Power FM came calling for Gavin, getting him to present a new interactive late show for a 16-24 year old audience under the name ‘Kid Kelly! During this time though Gavin realised he still had the TV bug biting and made a drastic decision! He left the security of this regular gig to work as a production assistant on Channel 5’s children’s strand ‘milkshake!’ But the work was only at the weekend and occasional cover, so he went freelance filling his week with work such as a Lecturer in Audio at his old college, working on corporates with an Entertainment Agency, Ellie Jay, film extra work (for some movies and HBO), developing radio comedy ideas with Celedaor Radio, and even at a local market research company - starting off as a recruiter moving on to working with the IT, programming and analysing surveys. He was also used as a live host for their groups. Yes it was random, but he was working in TV and in London! He also joined old friend Stuart, who was now a cameraman with his company Emagine Productions, to help him on shoots; directing for shows on Men & Motors, Carlton Food Network and various corporates. He still enjoys helping Stuart from time to time, most recently assisting and Floor Managing for UEFA matches.
Gavin continued to gain more experience in production with ‘milkshake!’ and the teen strand ‘The Core’. Because of his live experience in radio, Gavin was also used as a cover presenter on ‘milkshake!’ ; hosting live links between the programmes. Gavin’s responsibilities on the children’s team grew researching, producing edits and directing on location; as well as making random appearances too. When Channel 5 had its live summer roadshows; ‘5 Gets Out Of It’s Box’ – The Core was to broadcast all day from them each weekend in different locations around the UK. Gavin led the production on this on the Channel 5 side, acting as a researcher with Sunset & Vine and an assistant floor manager on site. When The Core moved to MTV Studios, Gavin produced the show in the week and then was the Floor Manager on the Saturday.
This work led to him being a producer’s assistant for the Kerrang! Awards on Channel 4 and a Floor Manager at Five News for ITN and for ‘milkshake! Christmas Specials’ with Roger Bolton Productions at Pearson TV Studios. Also in this time Gavin also worked with CBBC, developing ideas for what would be their new channel and presenting pilots and was invited to an intensive presenter workshop at CBBC Scotland. Gavin still presented on radio too, cover presenting on 101.7 Mercury FM for GWR Group.
One morning when working on ‘milkshake!’, in the studio they shared with the channel’s continuity announcers, he found a document - ‘Five Continuity Announcer’s Handbook’. He photocopied it, read it on the train, thought it sounded interesting so emailed the Head of Presentation. He was told he had no experience of announcing, so wouldn’t be given a chance on a national terrestrial channel; BUT because ofhis script experience, writing radio commercials would he be interested in writing the scripts around ‘Home and Away’ and ‘Family Affairs’ for the other announcers? As there were different announcers on different days, it was hard for them to keep up with the plots. So Gavin entered a new world of being the knowledge of all soaps on five (the new name for Channel 5). Through this he also directed edits for End Credit promotions.
In this year Gavin was also presenting for ‘Chatshow Network’ on Lycos interviewing celebrities and also got offered the dream radio gig he’d been waiting for; a Sunday late night show on a big young commercial station – where he could do sketches, be near the edge and just have fun. The offer came from Southern FM, part of the Capital Radio Group and a new show called ‘Late & Live with Gav’ where Gavin took the timeslot from No.4 in the market place to No.1 with 16-24 years olds, beating Radio 1. Gavin got old friend Stuart, from those early days at college, to come and produce it and they presented what Gavin says is ‘the best radio I’ve ever done and the most fun on radio I’ve ever had’. With the sketches and features they did, it would be a wonder how they would get away with it today; with ‘Party in the Car Park’ ‘Gav’s LapDancing Advent Calendar’ and‘Clean Out Your Friends’ the show developed a big following in Sussex.
After writing the soap scripts for a few months at five, the presentation managers liked Gavin’s scripts and knew he did radio – so wondered if Gavin could put the two together and be the announcer on Saturdays where they needed a younger voice to tie up the youth voices. ‘Funny you should ask that’ replied Gavin, ‘As I’ve recorded you a demo and here it is’ and passed the boss a CD. Gavin was then the voice of Saturdays on five moving to Sundays as well a couple of years later, and then finally onto weekdays in the mix with the announcing team. Gavin was on air with Five for six years all of which was live continuity.
After two years of ‘Late and Live with Gav’ on Southern FM, Gavin got promoted to ‘Sunday Lunch with Gav’ which he did for 3 years. In his time at Southern FM he presented elsewhere in the group, as a cover presenter on 95.8 Capital FM London, presenting evenings and overnights, a weekend show on Capital Disney and then during the historic Live 8 – as a production co-ordinator and continuity intake producer at Leicester Square for the commercial radio network coverage.
Whilst at Southern FM, Gavin was offered a reporter slot on their show ‘MTV Backstage’, pranking people with hidden cameras in a slot called ‘Monday Morning Mischief’ and then in 2007 was a presenter for Channel 4’s ‘Get Me A Producer’; which was like ‘The Apprentice’ but with Greg Dyke as Lord Sugar and for them competitiing to be a producer. Gavin presented a T4 show for a group’s task.
At Five, Gavin was getting more heavily involved in the channel, pitching and producing their first ever podcast for ‘The Gadget Show’; and also specifically in the presentation department where he was working on the presentation of other shows like ‘Prison Break’ ‘Joey’ ‘The Farm’ ‘Cosmetic Surgery Live’ and ‘Make Me A Supermodel; alongside the soaps. He was also writing and producing cast ‘stunt’ continuity with ‘Home and Away’, William Shatner, ‘Footballers Wives’ and ‘Prison Break’. When Five launched two new digital channels with each a day apart (Five Life and Five US), Gavin was tasked to manage the process of expanding the continuity department – finding new voices and creating a workflow system with new transmission provider, Red Bee Media. A process he found extremely stressful and completely offside from anything he’d want to do, but very rewarding once complete! Through working on Five Life, he developed and produced something new for continuity – double headed continuity with the 2 girls chatting, dubbed ‘Conver-nuity’ and the first US voice to do UK continuity. He also in charge of developing the new continuity booth for the channel’s new digital transmission suite.
Whilst being on Five, Gavin was also the announcer on ITV Play (pre-recorded) and covered on Living and Virgin 1 (all live). He also wrote for Virgin1 and Living2. Gavin was also really pleased to be asked back to his old team to do freelance work, studio directing milkshake! at MTV Studios. This led to also directing ‘Kids Take Over’ a show where teenagers were the presenters for Bommerang with Turner Networks in 2008 and for some live Ben 10 Roadshows for Cartoon Network in 2012
In 2009, Gavin left Five to become one of the two voices on BBC Three after being used for occasional cover These started of as pre-recorded shifts but are now are a mixture of live and pre-recorded. On the live shifts you will hear Gavin reading out viewer’s tweets and Facebook comments. Gavin is still on BBC Three toady, if you hear a boy between the programmes it’s Gavin! He feels very proud to represent the channel which is has a genuine passion for and loves being part, of the most exciting youth channel in the UK. He is very involved at BBC Three, as a channel; producing and directing talent when they voice continuity and has even written for their Blog on the website.
Another channel that Gavin was a genuine viewer of and is now very proud to be a voice of is Discovery. In 2010, Gavin became one of two announcers of Discovery Science, writing and voicing the pre-recorded links between the programmes. In 2011, he also became one of two announcers for the network’s main channel; Discovery and Discovery HD, now Factual channel of the year. He has also covered on Dave and if you travel further afield you can hear Gavin as the voice of BBC Entertainment for BBC India!
TV presenting wise, in 2009-10 Gavin worked with Fremantle Media, presenting a daily live show for The Sun Online and in 2010 during the lead up to the general election Gavin was a ‘David Dimbleby’ when he presented ‘Uni Q’ – a Question Time type show for students for The Independent Online. Also that summer, Gavin got to use his comedy experience in a pilot for a new hidden camera / gameshow for BBC One, working with Zeppotron called ‘It Could Be You’. He also worked with Fremantle Media and WOW! Stuff, presenting on Britain’s Got Talent DVDs learning a range of skills from magic to juggling, and has presented various corporate of them since. In 2012, Gavin became the presenter of ‘App Lab’ for O2 Guru TV, their very popular Youtube channel. The programme is like ‘The Gadget Show’ featuring apps and draws upon Gavin’s knowledge for gadgets and technology.
Although TV has kept Gavin very busy, he can’t get rid of the ‘radio bug’ and since leaving Southern FM has presented cover shows on BFBS Radio 1, BBC Radio 7, The Hits Radio and was used for a lot of cover on Galaxy )South Coast) presenting Afternoon and Drive, where during his show he sold out their ‘Love Music Live’ event. He has also been a contributor on BBC local radio.
Since 2006 Gavin has also been a Stand Up comedian presenting at gigs across London, and the UK from Portsmouth to Manchester appearing on the bill with acts like Russell Kane, Isy Suttie and Jon Culshaw. He gets booked by different promoters and currently is billed as an Opener or Middle Act, and has experience MCing. He thoroughly enjoys studio warm up as well, having done so at Media City Studios in Salford for BBC North. With his comedy he enjoys writing and has a column with a Hertfordshire magazine.
From being a continuity announcer and his work in radio, throughout his career Gavin has been a sought after voice over artist, having voiced promos/commercials for BBC Radio 1, Disney XD, Sky1, Top Gear Live, BBC Entertainment, Virgin Radio, Crimewatch, a police documentary for Current TV, Lee Nelson’s Well Funny People to name literally a few. He also can be a live announcer/awards host having voiced events like Promax 2011 and Lee Nelson’s live tour.
Gavin is an extremely social people and loves to hang out with his friends and people he works with, which is why he’s always arranging work events and in a more official capacity is involved with the relevant industry bodies such as the Radio Academy, where he’s co-produced a comedy session; arranged the UK’s first radio industry music quiz with X-Trax Magazine; and is involved in Promax (the television industry body for marketing and creative), where has sat on the committee – producing sessions and booking talent.
He is a big technology nut and loves all things to do with computers and gadgets and also a passion for Consumer Affairs, his friends call him the ‘Consumer Warrior’ – if you need a complaints letter written Gavin is your man! This may be why he’s a director on the RTM company where he lives! Gavin enjoys learning new things; from recreational wine tasting courses to comedy; from self development to HTML, Word Press and other aspects of the internet – he has completed many courses and is a managing partner in a gift list website.
Gavin’s favourite things in life include; socialising, pub quizzes, poker, Cornwall, surfing, films, theatre, magic, Hertfordshire (where he lives), technology, Sunday roasts, squash, gym (well after the gym!), board games and most importantly his work, which never feels like ‘work’. He’s learning to play golf at the moment and would like to get back into piano as he reached Grade 4 as a child. His dog Holly was cousin to Rolly in Eastenders and he gets freaked out by putting his ankles together.
Learn what Gavin gets up to from NOW – by following him on Twitter @gavininskip and by reading his Blog.