S01E03 Alice in Wanderland
Play • 40 min

From Alice's website: 

"I was born in 1963 in the Edinburgh Infirmary. Six weeks later, just after my mum had successfully taken her law exams, my parents Jim and Fredi  boarded a ship and sailed to Africa. For the first 8 years of my life, I got to run free in the African Bush, roaming around the foothills of the Mountains of the Moon in Uganda, hunting tadpoles and running away from snakes.

At the age of 11, by now the family was living in Ghana, it was back to Scotland to St Denis and Cranley Academy for Young Ladies, where I had to wear two sets of knickers – under and over – and a velour hat to church. NO idea why the two sets of knickers but they did help keep the nethers warm in the freezing winters of an unheated school in Edinburgh!

At Edinburgh University, I studied Arabic and Turkish and discovered the joys of the Poetry Society and the Socialist Worker’s club – both joined because I fancied the guy that ran them. Six memorable months were spent living in Damascus with my lifelong (now!) friend and fellow Arabist Martin, where we faced down the secret police and survived on a diet of bread, condensed milk and jam because I was a terrible cook.

After university I spent two years teaching English in Cairo and exploring the country. Hitchhiking on military trucks across the Western Desert and spending afternoons sleeping with the stray dogs in the shade of the Pharaonic temples of the Luxor.

Moving to London, I pursued a career in journalism which had started in Dubai at “What’s On in Dubai”. My first job was with Technical Review Middle East (there is nothing she doesn’t know about concrete decay). From there to Middle East Broadcasting, the original Arabic Satellite News Station, with my first assignment being to produce coverage in the USA for the Clinton Election.  My next step was to BBC News with jobs on BBC World TV and then BBC Arabic TV.  I rose quickly (ish) through the ranks in BBC News and was recruited to help launch the BBC News Channel where I went on to become co-Editor of the daytime hours which meant I was in charge of all the BBC News Channel output between 10 am and 8 pm. I was one of only three female news editors in the corporation at the time. My speciality was managing the complexities of live, breaking stories in the news gallery, and one of my abiding memories is causing higher ups to almost have cardiac arrests when I threw live to the George Michael arrest press conference in the USA when the details of his cottaging were revealed – apparently that was not what the British news-watching public wanted to watch at teatime with the kids.

For the new millennium I moved North to Manchester and onto the internet www.supanet.com  where we built the ISP’s content from six pages to one million pages in two years; oversaw content deals with all the major players and attracted six million users. Happy days! I also started to break out into mini adventures squeezed into the holidays: the Snowdon Challenge, crossing Costa Rica coast to coast, Kilimanjaro, ice climbing in the Andes, climbing the Ruwenzoris….

In 2002, I plunged into public service when I was appointed  as CEO of Vision+Media, a quango dedicated to growing the creative industries in the Northwest and remained there for nine years. I am proud that I managed – with my Board and my Team – to build the company from a modest start of £830k funding annually to £10 million, move it into brand new premises in Salford’s media city, work closely with the BBC Move North team and delivered 10x value to funders. However, following Tory government cuts in 2011 we were no longer viable, so I merged the company into Creative England and cast off my pinstripes for lycra."

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