So, that was it. My last ever Radio 1 Big Weekend. It was good to go out on Gaga too. I couldn't have planned it any better. If you don't already know, after 15 years in the best job on the planet I've decided it's time to move on. From September 1st I'll be handing in my BBC badge and saying 'so long' to the greatest broadcasting company in the world.
As a senior digital producer at Radio 1, whose responsibilities include mucking around with social media, fiddling with innovation and help others across the Audio and Music department think creatively around projects, I've been lucky enough to occupy a position that was built around my skills - and it's been great. Such is the respect I have for the BBC there isn't a morning that I don't wake up and wonder 'how the hell did I get here?' - I'll never work that one out.
Despite being here for so long I still get excited when I walk through the door like it's my first day every day. And why shouldn't I? It's one of the most famous radio stations in the world thanks to its ability to break new music for young people like no other. From Glasto to Big Weekends to Ibiza and Miami I've watched so many DJs and bands make their first appearance on the BBC Introducing stage and followed their progress to headliners years later.
I started working at Radio 1 in 1996 when Britpop was at it's peak and Chris Evans was at his most exciting and dangerous. It was also the beginning of the digital era for the BBC with the launch of a handful of websites - including Radio 1's. Being honest it was quite a terrible site at first, but it was a start - the start of a digital journey none of us could have ever imagined. It was also the start of a personal journey I've feel privileged to have been on.
Working in digitial at the BBC from the early days of the world wide web enabled me to experiment with every new web development or web related technology that has surfaced over the years. From webcasting and making online films in the mid-nineties, to experimenting with mobile early in the last decade, then alternate reality games, augmented reality, data visualisation, gaming, social media and the real time web, it's been amazing having the freedom to experiment without any pressure. I owe that to Chris Kimber, Dan Heaf and Ben Chapman, brilliant bosses over the years who trusted in me to try out new things with a simple brief to be creative and share the learnings. Amazing!!! Of course it's not just bosses I have to thank. I've always been surrounded by incredibly talented team members who never get the true credit they deserve, especially as they were doing all the hard stuff whilst I was fiddling around at the fun end of things.
So why am I leaving?
That's not so easy to answer. I don't really have a career plan. I'm rubbish at that sort of thing. I just know it's time to go and I know I want to do some other interesting things I've never done before. The first thing I plan to do is take a leaf out of Stefan Sagmeister's book and spend some time doing creative projects that I wouldn't be able to do if I had a 9-5 job. I kinda see it as my career's 20% time. I'm hoping these projects will lead me in the direction of my next career and feed my head with inspiration for future projects or roles. Though I'm really sad to be leaving I'm incredibly excited about what I may end up doing in this time.
I do have a few things planned. I've got a book to finish writing, a module based around a game to design for Media Students at Salford Uni, and some unfinished business in Africa. Oh yes, I'll be traveling around the world too. Apart from that I'm up for collaborating on some interesting projects. Storytelling using new technologies is what interests me most so if you have a project in mind that we can work together on just drop me a line.
I've still got a few months left at the BBC and some work that needs wrapping up. As well as managing my team I'm doing some work around creative process for the department, organising a TEDx day and attempting to bring a dead star back to life as a hologram for a live event later in the year - what an amazing job!!! Why would anyone want to walk away from that?