Derek is a popular, cheeky and busy presenter on the UK's sales TV channels. He lives in North Yorkshire, enjoys driving (good job really) around the UK and spending time either in the garden or near the sea with as much sunshine as possible.
He is now toying with the idea of bringing the many other elements of his story together one day in a book. Whenever he can't tell you something on-screen he says 'It'll be in the book'. One day that book will come!!
Welcome - and thanks for coming in for a little read. Now, sit back - and get ready to hear the story of a boy that never could make up his mind what he wanted to do!
1973 ARRIVAL: Well, the journey begins in 1973 (I know, it can't be possible you say!) down in the garden of England in Kent (a little town called Westerham - famous for being where Churchill had his home at Chartwell).
1983 In a bedroom in Westerham, there is a dreaming child watching the local ITV channel, TVS in Kent. He records the local news programme, 'Coast to Coast' - re-types the news script into one of the first home computers (think it had rubber keys - ZX something or other) and delivers the news back to an empty bedroom. It kind of did start like that in terms of TV interest - but it was radio that Derek always wanted. He used to listen under the covers late at night (and still very much does) to speech radio. Back then, it was Chris Ryder (aka Caesar the Boogieman) on Kent station, Invicta FM as well as LBC legends such as Mike Allen, Mike Dickin and Robbie Vincent. Being an only child, Derek befriended the radio and had ambitions from there to head to the airwaves one day to be that friend for just one other person. It took a while.
1989 Leaving school with not many (any) letters before or after his name, his trip to the careers office took him one of two ways. To train to be a live-in silver service waiter in somewhere called Hook in Hampshire (sounded scary) or to stay in his home town, Westerham in Kent. He chose home and went to the customer service department of shower company called Aqualisa (short-lived but fun) and trotting through a variety of different jobs - from home help, kitchen porter, carpet salesman to fork lift driver before heading off to work for BT on an internal supply helpdesk first in Surrey.
1994 - Let's halt the story there - BT was the start of what you might call a career which saw Derek move into management. He was working then in a high security secret location in leafy Reigate (Surrey) when it was announced that the function he managed was transferring to Preston in Lancashire. He lived between the two for a while for the handover and fell in love with 'up north' - so much so he asked to be transferred to Lancashire to start a new life.
Thinking that his dream of working in radio would be over there and then, he made moves from BT after training in IT support. This led to other positions for United Utilities in Warrington and Manchester and then on to Shell Oil in Manchester. This job was great, and involved spending a year in Holland near The Hague working on an IT transition project. After Shell, Derek took on a contract to create a prospective call centre connected with a public transport initiative (that he knew would never happen) and decided enough was enough and asked one day if he could quit.
He resigned the same day and decided to go and see if he could make a move to radio. He literally went for broke - and was!!
1997 - Derek started by reading travel news for AA Roadwatch in Cheshire - broadcasting travel news to the North West UK radio stations. He also started presenting radio live at Blackpool Pleasure Beach on a station that really was called called 'KIT KAT RADIO' (wondered who the sponsor was? Oh, here's the jingles from the station) for two eventful seasons where station manager and radio legend Robin Ross decided that Derek was destined to be a host and entertainer with a wider remit. It was ace working at the Pleasure Beach, and he met the odd celeb too (Nikki Sanderson, Candice from Corrie (now in Hollyoaks), Shane Richie and Oliver Tobias). He hosted trade shows, quiz nights, wedding events and much more. All amazing experience for what was to come.
In the same year - and on initiative alone thanks to a flyer in the local paper, Derek started an unofficial 'fan' website for a new radio station starting in Wigan and St Helen's - 102.4 Wish FM . He approached the station presentation manager Steve Collins and sent him a disposable fun camera to take pictures of the presenters, made a schedule and kept it up to date with all the shows and features.
Here's where good luck and fortune started to play its part. One of the stations he was reading travel news for offered him some shows (the now former Dune FM in Southport). He still remembers pre-recording and indeed listening to his first show on Boxing Day (happy days). Wish FM allowed him studio time to 'play' in their studios in exchange for maintaining their website.
Alongside all of that, wonderful and legendary mentor Robin Ross in Blackpool decided to turn Derek into a DJ (he wasn't sure, but went with it!) He apologises now if he DJ'd your wedding ha ha
He found himself with a busy diary and plenty of work around the North West.
After working for many trial and internet radio stations, Derek started presenting full-time for Dune FM, starting on the Weekend Breakfast show which soon catapulted him to the station's flagship weekday breakfast show (very much not his time of day with 3.30am alarm calls, but it was one hell of a fun time!!).
2004 - This is where the telly came along purely by chance - the right time, the right place etc etc along with a bit of cheek thrown in. Derek jumped sideways from the 3.30am alarm calls to join the launch team for shopping channel YES - Your Easy Shop (later Price Crash TV) in Manchester after a chance connection and a bit of coincidence (oh, and a halogen heater).
Derek learnt the weird and wonderful ways and the language of 'shopping telly' working among the greats of the time (Debi Jones, Paul Lavers, Glen Thomsett, Clive Holland, Tony Clark and many more) He soon found his own way of making shopping fun, factual and entertaining all in one whilst working live and in pre-recorded shows. He was used by the channel regularly for repeat show infomercials including the famous flaming bonnet demo for the channel's car polish. He went on to launch and develop the channel's jewellery strand, Gemtique before they disappeared in 2007. He looks back now and wants to tell himself to STOP SHOUTING ha ha. Memorable times, and that was just the start.
2007 When Price Crash TV disappeared suddenly, Derek panicked and thought he'd never work again - but of course that was just the beginning. He went on to appear in a JML Direct infomercial for a new TV product launch campaign for 'Doktor Power' - recording the ad in the Metro Centre in Gateshead (it's still on the shelves, saw it recently in 2021 in The Range)
He also popped briefly into Ideal World the UK's second shopping channel to launch some new products (happened by chance, but wasn't the right time - big thanks to Martin Parker for being such a gent!)
He then moved on to be part of the Gems TV team for two years. Initially, he was there to cover maternity leave for Angeline Davies, but soon became one of the regular primetime hosts for the channel (and has since gone back again in 2019). He was one of the first shopping presenters to appear what was the brand new Freeview service which opened up TV shopping to millions more people.
2008 Derek moved into lifestyle and news reading for a wee while here in Manchester - fronting 'Shine!' for DM Digital - this was a "This Morning" style format for two years as well as trying his hand as a newsreader (wasn't for him - not enough room to be cheeky apart from "hello" and "goodbye"). Highlights including broadcasting live on Cheetham Hill Road and above it - and covering the Christmas Lights switch on in Albert Square - interviewing Alexandra Burke in the process.
2009 Derek joined London channel TJC (formerly The Jewellery Channel) which saw the start of a 7 year journey. With a wealth of gemstone experience from other channels, he not only presented live shows for the channel but even designed pieces of jewellery. Again, lots of happy memories of the 'Midnight Society' and dressing up at Christmas - plus the promos and riding on a scooter in 35 degree heat in the middle of Summer to promote a show. Travel was part of this role too - going several times to India to the company's HQ to see jewellery being made - as well as attending trade events for the channel and even assisting the buying team in product selection. He also played a key role in a number of hosted customer events in London. He was there when the channel started diversifying from Jewellery to include all sort of other items.
2010 A chance conversation with The Liverpool Cruise Club (later to become Vision Cruise) led to Derek to bring the company on TV from their own office and he formulated a way to bring their cruise offering to television as both presenter, consultant and producer all in one.
He fronted cruise shows in the studio and on location for almost five years - creating lots of different ways of presenting offers along the way. He also went off to film an entertainment series, "The Showcase" (WATCH A SHOW) in Bournemouth.
This was also the year Derek went back to radio, joining regional station The Bay in Lancashire and Cumbria. His Saturday show, which spent most of its time out of the studio from shows, events or clients trebled it's audience. He was awarded the station's 'On Air Achievement' award in 2011.
2011 Derek joins multi-channel retailer Findel, recording items for the websites of Express Gifts, Studio24 and Kleeneze brands. He also took his first cruise with Fred Olsen heading up to the Norwegian fjords.
2012 In September, Derek went on board the Carnival Breeze for 6 nights for a fun-filled cruise from Dubrovnik. What an amazing ship - great to enjoy the 4D cinema, great restaurants - Guy's Burgers. The pools were incredible and lots of spontaneous fun on board. What an adventure!!
2013 Derek goes on board Brilliance of the Seas with Royal Caribbean for a filming trip. What an incredible ship, with lots of artwork on board. The food on board was absolutely a highlight.
2014 Derek changes TV course and sets sail for a new exciting adventure for Cruise 1st TV to bring a fresh outlook on cruise holiday packages. The company has already seen major success from the TV shows and established two sky channels, Cruise 1st TV and the former TV Cruise Channel Derek and TV wife Emma Redman front the tempting holiday shows. He also joined the UK family footwear business Pavers Shoes, presenting footwear and fashion on (formerly) the world's only 24 hour shoe TV channel. The channel relaunched with a number of presenters from their own purpose built studio centre at their Headquarters in York.
2015 Derek moves from Lancashire to Marlow in Bucks to near Ripon in Yorkshire (it was complicated - think house prices and lots of sky) - and in all of that he heads on board the cruise ship Anthem of the Seas with Royal Caribbean ,the second of their Quantum Class. Derek had an amazing time on this tech-rich ship - taking advantage of the Bionic Bar, the SeaPlex, North Star and much more on an exciting filming trip.
2016 popped into Hochanda for the first time briefly in 2016 to guest present some Cruise 1st TV shows, and then saw another change in direction. It was time to move on from tjc after seven years and went north to work with UK publisher Immediate Media who were, at the time launching their TV shopping portfolio. The company had recently acquired the JewelleryMaker channel in late 2015 and wanted to launch a new channel dedicated to sewing and quilting. Sewing Quarter launched in early 2017. Derek was proudly part of the launch team on style, look and feel, presentation and customer journey. He presented test formats for the channel, and provided presenter cover for the channel - at the same time as falling in love with JewelleryMaker.
2017 saw Derek join JewelleryMaker as a freelance presenter, working on-screen with talented guest designers and once again revisiting his love of gemstones. A surprise call also came when Derek was asked to present again a brief revival of the Price Crash TV format for television.
2018 saw Derek continue to present with the JewelleryMaker and Sewing Quarter teams on-air. He also joined Gibraltar's new radio station, Rock Radio (again, purely by coincidence, accident and good fortune). He was taken on to train and mentor the on-air team - a role that soon expanded to include Sales and Promotions, audio production and presenting shows. An office in the sun and the most amazing team of people to spend time with - someone has to do it :)
2019 has been an interesting year with plenty of trips out to Gibraltar for Rock Radio. There were more appearances for Sewing Quarter and JewelleryMaker. There was a cruise with Celebrity Cruises on their new Edge ship in Southampton - and the first LIVE show for Cruise 1st TV in their new studio centre in Greater Manchester. Derek also had a surprise return to Gems TV to cover some shows after a gap of 10 years back at the Eagle Road Studios in Redditch.
In November, Derek also joined the team at Hochanda - again presenting crafts and hobbies, joining a number of creative crafters across many different mediums.
2020 January saw the launch of Cruise Deals Live on Cruise 1st TV, a weekly one-hour LIVE show dedicated to the latest offers (set to return when travel was back up and running again) In February, Derek stepped on board with Virgin Voyages on to the brand new Scarlet Lady, popped off to Portugal for some filming for Pavers Shoes - and even managed to sneak in a little sunshine getaway to Lanzarote in early March somehow.
In March, the world took a pause for a while....
In July, Derek joined Crafter's Companion as they set up their new online channel, then spent the summer learning to craft, still popping in at Gems TV along the way.
2021 - a new year and new adventures, starting with a return back to Hochanda (now The Craft Store) for some more crafty fun. Derek has also recorded an infomercial for new sweetie company Retro Sweet Club , a new commercial too for All Star Discs reuniting with TV wife Emma Redman as well as lots of promotional videos for Pavers Shoes and a show for Joolseez Puppet Theatre. TV wife Emma has now sadly emigrated out to the U.S (good luck wifey) so Derek has now been joined by good friend Jo Grimwood in the Cruise 1st TV studio as well as regular Polly Winder.
2022 started with lots of changes. The crafting journey for Derek has moved west as he joined the Gemporia Partnership - presenting "Secret Sale" for Gems TV in the wee small hours of the night, but also popping up on JewelleryMaker and their new crafting channel HobbyMaker. In April it was time to set sail on the brand new Celebrity Cruises new 'Beyond' ship, and another trip in May to join the new largest ship in the world - 'Wonder of the Seas' from Royal Caribbean (which was amazing). In September, Derek along with fellow presenter Jo Grimwood (who he worked alongside at tjc years ago) started filming cruise shows for Australian cruise agent CruiseAway. The shows appeared on 7two each morning. September also finally delivered the first (well, the third attempt but the first actual) 'Cruise with Derek' with Cruise 1st TV, setting sail with many of our viewers around the Med on MSC Meraviglia. October saw Derek take his first visit stateside on his "stag-not-stag" do in Las Vegas, spending four nights in Planet Hollywood - sampling everything that Sin City had to offer. He took a zipline all the way down Fremont Street, conquered the death-defying rides on the Strat, conquered the Blair Witch Project escape room, took an ATV tour across the Mojave Desert, a helicopter across the grand canyon and managed to keep the house despite many attempts to 'put it all on red' - and all of that before the "wedding-not-wedding" in Leeds in early November after 19 or so years together (ball and chain firmly installed now)
has started - and lots of new beginnings I'm sure will be in store. Derek started a new series on Cruise 1st TV called "Weekend Extra", which gave the viewers chances to win big and enjoy exclusive show discounts. CruiseAway in Australia have changed channels to Channel 17, Gecko and is bringing even more variety of cruise offers down under with Derek and Jo.
he "Secret Sale" show on Gems TV sadly came to an end in February, and it was very sad to say goodbye to the wonderful after-dark team as well as our fabulous viewers the UK, US, Australia and around the world (that's showbiz folks!) April saw a weekend away cruising on the MSC Virtuosa with Mr P, Polly and Jo and Richard behind cameras 1-26. What an adventure to Rotterdam and Bruges - and everything enjoyed responsibly, one at a time ha ha. A wonderful trip on board Explora 1 with Explora Journeys for a look on board. Back to Las Vegas in September and a big birthday (dreading, one with an 0 at the end) coming in November
FOLLOW DEREK ON SOCIAL MEDIA FOR THE LATEST NEWS - FOLLOW THE ICONS AT THE TOP OF THE SCREEN
Thanks for reading - you deserve a medal for getting this far. You can contact Derek via e-mail at email@example.com
.......... and now, to read Derek's CV HERE or check out his SHOWREELS HERE