I thought I would share ten things you may not know about the author of the Splidge books:
1. Richard owns a coracle and paddled it on the River Severn in Shropshire.
2. The first town featured in his Bald Explorer TV series is Lewes in East Sussex. It was chosen because of its proximity and its historical significance in Sussex.
3. In 1996 and 1997, Richard wrote, co-produced and starred in a children’s television comedy series on British television entitled ‘Snug and Cozi’. These were the adventurous mishaps of two crazy aliens who crash-land on Earth.
4. In the late 1980s and very early 90s, Richard appeared as a regular background police officer in the ITV series ‘The Bill’. There were three units filming on the same set which at times caused quite a bit of confusion.
5. In his mid-twenties, Richard attended three courses at the Desmond Jones School of Mime in Shepherds Bush, London. This amounted to a year’s tutoring and he went on to perform mime plays and skits across the UK and abroad.
6. Richard has also learned a number of circus skills from which he made a living on the corporate entertainment circuit. These skills included, juggling, unicycling, fire-eating, stilt-walking, walking on glass, lying on a bed of nails, slack-rope walking and knife throwing!
7. In 2006, Richard caught a bug that began, over a four-year period, to destroy his left eye. It was Acanthamoeba keratitis, an amoeba which ate the cornea, resulting in three cornea transplants, each of which failed to take hold. At the end of July, Richard’s left eye was removed. He now wears a prosthesis.
8. Richard left Forest Boys school, in Horsham, at 15 in the late 1970s, with 8 CSEs (Certificates of Secondary Education). He worked for two and a half years as a reprographics printer before leaving to work in a recording studio.
9. Richard was one of the first four British podcasters in the UK and started recording and uploading a 30 minute comedy podcast show in January 2005. He maintained this daily for 500 shows, then continued with five shows a week until he reached 1800 shows. This podcast ceased in 2012. He won an award for the Best Sounding Tour from the Peoples Podcast Awards in 2005. He continues to record a daily audio journal podcast, a behind-the-scenes look at his life, called The Naked Englishman which commenced in January 2006.
10. Richard’s only vice is books, mostly secondhand history books. These mostly include British history and English social history. He cannot pass a secondhand bookshop without diving in and making a purchase.