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Alex Riley

Alex Riley is not afraid to ask difficult questions or hold people to account...

Fact title Fact data
What would be the ONE meal you could not live without?
Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding with all the trimmings followed by treacle sponge pudding and custard. I really do love custard
What would be the ONE thing you could not live without?
Car magazines. I’ve read them every month since the age of ten and never throw them away as they’re a constant source of information and enjoyment to me
What ONE surprising fact do you have that our audience should know about you?
Until the age of thirty I was working as a Quangocrat in the world of European Funding!

I’ve made programmes and series about all manner of subjects including housing, transport, caravans, classic cars and 20th century antique dealing but I’m probably best known for the eleven one hour documentaries I’ve done for the BBC including the series’ ‘Britain’s Really Disgusting Foods’ and ‘Secrets of the Superbrands’. I love comedy and really enjoyed hosting the Comedy Club on BBC Radio 7 (now 4extra) interviewing top comedians and introducing some of the BBC’s brilliant archive. I really enjoy interacting with people, and usually find the best way of getting to the bottom of a story is by using charm, humour and being a bit cheeky. I’m not afraid to ask difficult questions or hold people to account.

I’d always dreamed of working in television and spent years in the Crucible Youth Theatre (they finally asked me to leave at 26); doing ‘am-dram’ and generally making people laugh at work while wondering how I was ever going to make it. Then one night watching Top Gear (in the days when it was a half hour programme about cars), they made an appeal for researchers, so I sent in some ideas and a CV and got the job. And it was there I finally began my presenting career. My first item saw me mounting the stage as Elvis to sing Blue Suede Shoes to an audience dressed as Indian Chiefs, motorcycle cops and cowboys at an American Lifestyle Festival near Newark. I didn’t realise it at the time but this would be excellent preparation for working on the One Show.