Articles by publication date

Below you'll find a list of my articles, organised by publication date - newest first.

October 2012

Kindle Fire HD launched in the UK, with integrated LOVEFiLM Instant

The arrival of the Kindle Fire in the UK.

December 2011

So long, New Broadcasting House

Wandering round the BBC's former Manchester studios

October 2010

The Bill stops here

It's very strange to be living in Sun Hill

March 2010

Red Button and widescreen

Explaining widescreen and red button

January 2010

BBC iPlayer on Freesat

Announcing the BBC iPlayer public beta for Freesat

August 2009

CBeebies Through the Years - part 3

Final part of the tour through the CBeebies red button archives

August 2009

CBeebies Through the Years - part 2

Continuing the tour of how the BBC Red Button CBeebies service has changed.

August 2009

CBeebies Through the Years - part 1

Part 1 of a tour through the Red Button archives, looking at the CBeebies service.

June 2009

More from the BBC Red Button "What If..." files

When the original BBC Text service was being planned, there were a couple of different designs tried. One was the very Ceefax inspired idea I wrote about recently. But there were more...

June 2009

Delving into the archives - how red button could have looked in 1998

I recently came across a set of archive files on one of our computer servers. Amongst them were these mock ups made back in 1998 showing how the BBC's new digital text service could look.

April 2009

Inside Da Vinci

The world of set top boxes in the BBC Red Button test farm.

December 2008

Please Wait...

If you use the BBC Red Button service on a Sky box you may notice that every now and then you come across a large "Please Wait" screen. Here's what it's all about.

November 2008

Welcome to Selkirk, West London

There's a new addition to our office in West London. Sat in front of a green glass screen, where everything is surprisingly dark and difficult to photograph, is another part of the country. Selkirk in fact.

October 2008

Freesat Radio

On Tuesday 30 September, we launched our first radio service on the Freesat platform.

July 2008

The importance of fish in interactive TV development

The internal video feeds which power BBCi development

May 2008

BBCi on Freesat

Building BBCi on the first new digital TV platform in seven years.

April 2008

Is DAB Dead?

There are technical reasons why DAB is not as good as it could be. But are implementation shortcomings enough reason to condemn the whole idea?

October 2007

Past Radio 1

Remembering Radio 1 in the 1990s. Written in celebration of the station's 40th birthday

July 2006

Mike Neville

North East television legend

June 2005

Freeview: The rise and rise

How the analogue status quo came to Freeview.

March 2005

Earth and Sky

Is Freesat a Freeview killer?

November 2004

Whither ITV?

Lets dust off the crystal ball and envisage a post-analogue future for ITV.

October 2004

DTT Challenge

An additional perspective on why analogue should end sooner, rather than later.

May 2004

Tip top

Can they get this old ONdigital victim back into pay-tv?

January 2004

Pure Evoke II.

Until the Evoke came along, DAB radio sets had been mostly hi-fi separates ? expensive tuners to sit in serious hi-fi systems. And then the Evoke I came along.

London's news

The demise of the London News Network.

August 2003

Fallen Idols

Watching Sadam Hussain fall to earth.

June 2003

Real Men Drink Pints

Searching for a Father's Day gift that doesn't involve socks, football, beer, d.i.y or Homer Simpson. "It's hard to find any male-orientated card that doesn't include either beer, football, golf or a steam train coming out of a tunnel (ooh, the symbolism!)".

May 2003


The new form of radio, DAB, has well and truly arrived, but is it worth switching?

March 2003

Rebranding TTT.

The prolonged death of Tyne Tees following a pretty major, but short-lived rebrand.

February 2003

Paying Up.

A scandal erupts as ITV Digital's receivers demand ITV Digital's receivers back. And someone was spoiling for a fight that never came.

January 2003

The Empire Strikes Back

Forty pounds or send the old ITV Digital box back. Forty pounds or bankrupt the receiver? Choices, choices...

January 2003

Digital Acorns

From digital acorns do a mighty free to air digital TV system grow...

January 2003

EMC Review of 2002

EMC's whistlestop tour of the year 2002. (Contributer).

December 2002


When there is but one ITV franchisee, it will be effectively unregulated. Let's preserve the best part of ITV1 now, and save tears later.

An LWT Diary.

With insufficient sleep and a pen at the ready, it was time to chart the last day of LWT and its downfall.

October 2002

Five Wins

Channel Five - or five as we must now call it - has succeeded in all it originally planned, and far more.

September 2002


20 minutes into the future with digital television.

August 2002

Fourgone Conclusion

Once it lead the way, now it seems just to follow. Channel 4 has lost its way.

July 2002

Branding Sacred Cows.

And then there was one... or so the Network Centre would like. But the bosses of ITV1 may not get things all their own way.

July 2002

No News is Good News

The ITN News Channel? What a waste of time.

July 2002

New Ways and Means

The fad of flagging "new" programmes onscreen.

You the Jury

After the demise of ITV Digital, did anyone notice the absence of pay TV? Written with Jon Bufton, James Pittman and Catherine Redfern.

June 2002

Five For News

C5 news bulletin presentation is setting the standard.

May 2002

Federation News

ITV's regional news is falling away, unloved and uncared for. It's time to bring it back out of the ghetto. Originally published under the name 'Regionality News'.

April 2002

Who Cares?

ITV Digital - so many channels and nothing to distinguish itself.

March 2002

Set Pieces

The branding of ITN's news programmes for ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5.

February 2002

Rock and a Hard Place.

Which to choose? ITV Digital or Sky Digital? Well I couldn't see the difference...

February 2002

Three's Company

A look at the disasterous, brief life of Channel 3 North East.

January 2002

Ultimate Branding

Getting the viewers to stay: invision continuity is the secret to perfect TV branding.

January 2002

All Together Now

Why the regional system is no longer appropiate for ITV.

EMC Review of 2001.

EMC's roundup of the year 2001. (Contributer). Not currently online.

December 2001

The Colour of News.

An authorative indepth look at the launch of the new regional news programme, BBC London News, and how its set and design fits into the overall scheme of the BBC News corporate look.

October 2001

Fourth Estate

A look at the highly coordinated attempt by Channel Four to brand its station. Since this article was written, it appears that BBC Two has been taking some tips from the station.

February 1996

Rant 'n' Rave: America

Bods goes off on one about America.

On The Shop Floor

Part four in the intermitant series on supermarkets, and Bods explains what goes on behind the scenes.

Get Wired

It's 1996 and the internet has just arrived. And it was dead cool. Honest.

December 1995

Rant 'n' Rave: Why... (I write that is)

Why I write.

Corporal Punishment, edition 5

Sorted for E's and whizz? Sex? Yes please!


Hydra 'attempts' a sports section.

In the Cutting Room

Not particularly subtle article relating to censorship in the October 1995 issue.

The Mailbag, Christmas 1995

Answering non-existant letters, the Andrew Bowden way.

The Student Cookbook

Student gormet delights.

The Inner Circle, edition 1

High quality cartoon fun.

October 1995

Rant 'n' Rave: Europap

Europap music gets the R'n'R treatment.

What A Problem!

The male obsession with the problem pages from womens magazines.

Supermarket Fun

The joys of filling in for your boss.

Data Bytes Back

The Hydra computer muses on life, online can machines and more.

Corporal Punishment, edition 4

Vanity, batman, Mark Tonderri and (amazingly) rag and bone men.

The Mailbag, October 1995

Opening up Hydra's buldging sack. Mail sack that is.

May 1995

The Rather Sad Diary Of Andrew Bowden

Diary entries from when I was 13. Real ones. Sadly.

Corporal Punishment, edition 3

Des Lynham and sex on a stick? It could only be the Corporal.

Rant 'n' Rave: Top of the Pops

Top of the Pops - it's apparantly a good laff, but for some reason, I can't remember why.

The Mailbag, May 1995

More exciting correspondence on Hydra's letters page.

April 1995

Rant 'n' Rave: Deodrant Free Zone

Deodrant stinks! When you get it for every birthday.

Supermarket FAQs

The guide to working in a supermarket continues with a look at how to answer those customer questions.

Corporal Punishment, edition 2

The Corporal returned for episode 2 - and was twice as big and twice as odd.

Clubs and Societies

A tour of the odder end of the student social scene as Hydra revealed some of the odder clubs and societies.

The Mailbag (Easter 1995)

More exciting correspondence on Hydra's letters page.

February 1995

Rant 'n' Rave: How Do They Do That?

How do they do that? Do what? Make a TV programme that diabolical! (Hint: if you don't remember How Do They Do That? with Des Lynham, this article will probably make no sense at all!)

Supermarket Speak

Learn the supermarket lingo of 1995 with Supermarket Speak. It's probably not changed much to this day!

Corporal Punishment, edition 1

Hydra's answer to... err... something... makes his very first appearance. And I'm sure the world rejoyced when that happened!

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