My professional life started as a UK lawyer. After a few years in private practice and a short spell in banking, I became the in-house corporate lawyer for a group of companies in the entertainment and travel industry, eventually becoming a board director. As such, I needed to acquire a detailed understanding of computer systems and operation. I found this aspect of my work so interesting that I eventually decided to work full time in computer programming and consultancy.
I became Software Consultant to BBC Television's Computer Literacy Project, writing most of the software for "The Computer Programme", "Making the Most of the Micro" and "Computers in Control". I even appeared as a presenter in several of the programmes in the series. In those early days before in-studio graphics systems, I produced computer graphics for a number of other BBC television programmes, including "Tomorrow's World", "Horizon", "Science Topics" and "Body Matters". I also produced animated graphics to illustrate medical lectures.
My wife Susan and I met as students and together learnt to play bridge. My interest in computer bridge started in the early 1980s as a hobby project. After a few years' intermittent work, I realised that if I wanted to produce a good program, the project would have to change from a hobby to a commercial project. As a fairly average bridge player, I would also need input from a seriously good player, which is when I teamed up with Mike Whittaker.
Blue Chip Bridge has now grown to such an extent that it has taken over almost all of my working time.
My leisure time is spent with Susan. Since her retirement as a local government lawyer, she has been able to pursue her main interest as an osteoarchaeologist. She has already started to involve me in providing her with computer assistance for some of her projects ! We both enjoy London's varied cultural life, as well as travelling around the UK.
I began playing bridge at school in Edinburgh, over 30 years ago, and enjoyed some success as a junior player, winning the Scottish Junior Pairs and the British University Teams. After leaving university, I worked as an industrial chemist in South Africa and in England, and took a year off to drive around Africa in a Land Rover. My career as a chemist finished in the early 90s. Soon after that, Ian and I began to work on developing his early version of Blue Chip Bridge and this has kept us busy ever since. I have also written many articles for bridge magazines. My bidding quizzes for "Bridge Plus" magazine were published as two books : "Test Your Acol Bidding" (1995) and "Practice Your Acol Bidding" (1998).