Jamie Owen

Jamie Owen talks to guests from all walks of life in his Sunday magazine show. He also anchors flagship BBC Wales TV news programme Wales Today.

At Home

I was born in Haverfordwest in Pembrokeshire in 1967 and was brought up in Pembroke Dock where my dad was the local lawyer and mum was the health visitor and mid wife. Our house was a little like a drop in centre, in that anyone who was in need of a solicitor or medical attention would find themselves in our kitchen. One day it might be about advice about delousing the kids - or perhaps offloading a troublesome husband. It was like a human zoo. All human life walked though our front door.

Home is now Cardiff where I've been doing up an old house. It's nearly finished. I've learnt never again to trust those television programmes who claim that Grand Designs are easy and straightforward. Though you'll be pleased to know that after my "small renovation job" the builders have Started a New Life in the Sun on the proceeds, so that's nice...

I'm a big foodie - although my interest only goes as far as eating it rather than cooking it - but I'm trying to improve my kitchen skills. Outside work I love travelling and have journeyed around Africa and India, but my favourite places are France, the Greek Islands and Pembrokeshire.

At Work

I never intended to be in this broadcasting lark - I thought I'd follow my dad into law but got cold feet after a particularly dull work experience placement that was more probate and conveyancing than juicy court work. I read history and English at university - the refuge of the undecided - and after directing student theatre at the Edinburgh Festival joined the BBC in London working for Radio 3 music department.

On my first day the historic Langham Hotel opposite Broadcasting House burnt to the ground. With the attention span of a crashed gnat I got bored after a year and left to join Radio 4 as a trainee news reader and annoucer. I had a wonderful apprenticeship - they let me loose on fronting the news, Today in Parliament, and Prime Minister's Questions. They even let me announce The Archers. For my grandmother this was the high point of an otherwise undistinguided career.

Television beckoned after a few years and the chance to direct - I joined BBC Wales directing news bulletins and announcing telly programmes. I fell out with the boss and got sacked from this job after a year - wrong kind of Welsh accent apparently...

I needed a job and a change of career quick - I had liked working in news but felt frustrated just reading and directing other people's work and at the grand old age of 26 returned to university as a mature student to read journalism.

After a year of belting back and for to London at the weekends doing freelance shifts to pay university fees I ended up rejoining BBC Wales, but this time it was the newsroom and a job as a sub editor - it sounds glamorous - but its the most junior job on the programme.

I loved it and was in the right place at the right time. Over the next few years they asked me to stand in presenting Breakfast bulletins and eventually the main programme Wales Today.

These days the working week is a wonderful and varied mixture of Radio Wales, TV news, and documentary filming. I've been lucky, very lucky.

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