Where are you from?
Barry, South Wales
How did you get started in broadcasting?
I was working as a forecaster for the Met Office in Birmingham in the summer of 1995 and had to do radio weather as part of my duties. I took a job in London and did some TV weather during 1996 for GMTV mainly on Sunday mornings when most people were in bed! I left London in 1997 and worked in Bracknell for a while at the Met Office headquarters. I returned to Cardiff one day and popped into the weather centre. I was told Helen Willetts was leaving BBC Wales to go national and work in BBC London. BBC Wales were looking to replace her so I did an audition and BBC Wales selected me. So it was a case of being in the right place at the right time plus being a local lad helped too.
When was that?
My first broadcast on BBC Wales was during September 1997.
Why News broadcasting?
It was never my ambition to work in a news room environment. I have had an interest in the weather since the age of 8. The long, hot summer of 1976 was the catalyst. I trained as a forecast with the Met Office and then fell into TV by chance. A job came-up in London working with the media and a colleague said I should go for it. I did and got it – the rest as they say is history.
Where else would have viewers seen or heard you before?
As well as TV weather I am also regularly on Radio Wales through the day and have appeared on Auntie’s bloomers twice. I am currently involved in a programme called the Big Welsh Challenge learning welsh with the help of Sian Lloyd ITV Weather. I have also had my own TV Series called Derek’s Welsh Weather which was shown in 2005. Also present a radio programme called Weatherman Walking. This has now been turned into a TV Programme which will be shown Autumn 2006.
What is your Best on-air moment?
During the Rugby world cup in 1999 I dressed up in various costumes, including an Italian Chef, A Frenchman and a big red welsh dragon which was fun.
What is your Worst on-air moment?
I got a little over excited one day and dropped my chart clicker in the studio (I called it a plunger!) which was a little embarrassing.
What would you like to do before your career ends?
I love telling people about the weather so hope to stay in the job for a good few years yet – hopefully until I have paid iff my mortgage! I would like to make other programmes too, such as travel or science based programmes.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I like to relax with friends and family. Also try and keep fit. Play tennis and squash when I can. Also enjoy going to the cinema or theatre now and again.
What advice would you give to anyone that would like to get into the broadcasting world?
It was never my ambition to work in TV or Radio just to be a weather forecaster. The TV thing happened by chance. I guess I was in the right place at the right time which is often the case in life. However, I did have to study hard and pass some tough exams. At the end of the day, life is what you make it. Work hard and do your best. You can do anything if you put your mind to it. There will be a few knocks along the way but these are character building – stick at it and don’t give up. A sense of humour helps too.
A big thanks to Derek for taking part.