My name is Rowland, and I like blowing stuff up.
For nine years I worked at the BBC on the coal face of a host of well known shows like Crimewatch (which does give you nightmares…), Watchdog (don’t ever buy a Hotpoint washing machine, and let Pop Tarts cool down before you attempt to consume) and talk shows starring aggressive psychotherapists shouting at wrinkly old ladies.
Bored with reading letters from the public that were written on what looked like human skin and penned in their own blood, I heard on the jungle drums the Top Gear programme was up for a relaunch. One wistful gaze out of the window at my uber-modified Toyota MR2 confirmed my natural habitat calling, so I put on my best reasonably priced suit and went for an interview with Andy Wilman, who was assembling a special forces team of TV people to bring back a much loved brand. Somehow I managed to join the group, though wasn’t given unsupervised access to supercars for the first 6 months. Fast forward through 92 shows, 134 originally broadcasted hours (not counting Dave, which would break my calculator) 276 VTs, four major accidents, 1million cans of Red Bull and only one cigarette and I felt it was time to extend the family.
In 2008 I moved over to Brand Events, who had acquired the licence to make Top Gear Live; a live arena version of the now iconic TV show, complete with lots of explosions and hypercars tearing through £1000 worth of rear tyres in 20 seconds. As the Executive Producer of TGL, my job is to basically create and develop the show (usually done in a small windowless room at Earls Court) and follow the aforementioned stupid ideas through to completion. I’m still as close as ever with the lads who make the TV show, but now I get to commission 12ft high fire breathing lizards that break out of oil tankers, force three middle age men to fall over live on stage and am able to use Gordon Gecko style 80s Wall Street slang.
But most importantly, I get to blow stuff up ☺