Ian Waugh (58) was born and brought up in the rural English South West.
“I am a proud Westcountry lad who leads a city life. Because I come from a rural background it does not mean I have straw growing out of my ears and speak with a broad incomprehensible accent. My parents come from Devon and London – so I guess that makes me a Devonshire cockney”.
“My earliest recollections were those tough years we spent living at Princetown on Dartmoor in the late 50′s – early 60′s. As a young lad I lived just a stone’s throw from the most notorious prison in Britain whilst enduring the vicious unrelenting moorland winters”.
Ian is the third generation in his family connected to broadcasting, his father worked for the BBC for many years.
“As a young man, I was not perfect – I am the first to admit the errors of my youthful, unorthodox ways. Academically I was a disaster, bullied at school, failed my exams and yet a natural for my chosen career. Broadcasting is a lifetime love that came very early to me – I was surrounded by it, my Dad was in it and I wanted to be part of it as quickly as possible. By the time I was about 10 I was fascinated and well and truly hooked. By about 12 years old I was happily alone in my bedroom with my tape recorder, 78 rpm records and hours and hours listening to shortwave radio on a radiogram – that was my idea of heaven. Hours of tape recordings capturing my breaking youthful vocals and an uncontrollable aspiration to be one of the voices that crackled through the those glowing valves.
“Given a choice, I guess I prefer radio to television, mainly because the broadcasters paint better pictures with the sound – in television the job is already done. Sound broadcasting provides genuine stimulus for the listener. The wireless is honest, a more intimate medium. There’s no artificiality in radio, what you hear is what you get”.
Ian Waugh’s broadcasting life began as a ‘voice’ in the early 1970′s with Independent Television (ITV) in the UK with Westward Television, Southern Television and HTV. Later his deep quality voice was heard on London Weekend Television, TVS, Television South West and the fledgling Sky Channel. “In those days I was very much a ‘voice on a stick’, but the experience and the contacts were invaluable”.
Ian joined UK commercial radio with the start of DevonAir Radio as a presenter and later as the station’s Head of Presentation. Within six years he went on to become a successful international broadcast management consultant. “I wanted a challenge and found it outside the UK. To shift from the domestic broadcasting scene was a move that vastly broadened my experience and outlook. Overnight I was in a position to modernise state broadcasting, constructively advise and gently change the face of the media on a very large-scale”.
Prior to the current Zimbabwean political crisis Ian worked with the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation as an adviser and turned a flagging national radio service (Radio 3) into a profitable and popular national station.
Ian Waugh was a production and presentation adviser to Malta’s national broadcaster, Xandir Malta (now PBS) and was later involved in several projects concerning deregulated broadcasting in the republic.
He assisted the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation and helped to establish the country’s first all black presentation television news and current affairs programme as well as assisting and developing several major national radio projects.
(right: 11 May 1995 – Babbacombe, Torbay in my lovely Devon. My osteoarthritis had already started to kick in – I think this one my last pictures of me without the aid of walking sticks).
Ian Waugh has interests in several DRM and DAB digital broadcast ventures across Europe and has a constant eye on media trends and development.
“News and current affairs fascinates me. I start the day with news, end with it but I am not ‘glued’ to it. A well-balanced news story to one that is screaming its politics one way or another is definitely my preferred read”.
“Despite my physical and mobility restrictions I’m quite an active person. There aren’t enough hours in the day – I have to admit I am not the sort of guy to sit still for more than 10 seconds”.
Apart from broadcasting, Ian is a renowned historic researcher, historian and published author. His extensive research into the life of Victorian murderer and celebrity John Lee resulted in the publication of The Man They Could Not Hang which has been well received and reviewed worldwide.
These days Ian lives in the English South East although he still keeps his strong ties with the Westcountry where he was born and brought up as well as Malta in the Mediterranean where he still retains personal and business connections”.
(image: The Railway Stationmaster’s House (middle cream coloured building) at Princetown where we lived between 1957-1962. The Princetown railway had closed in 1956 so we moved in as GWR personnel moved out! The mast is the BBC North Hessary Tor television and radio transmitter where my father worked. We moved to nearby Tavistock just before the infamous winter of 1962/63. You can read more about North Hessary Tor here.)