I've been in the media industry for 30 years, presenting top-rated radio shows and working around the world in all formats - on CHR, Greatest Hits and Speech, Local, Regional and National BBC stations. Alongside this I have hosted big events from 'TFM Party In The Park' in front of 120,000 people, to Sunderland and England football matches at the Stadium of Light for 18 years, to a decade spent as the start-line announcer at the world's biggest half marathon - the Great North Run. I've written for newspapers, fronted award nominated television features and hosted hundreds of corporate events. You can find out more about all of this below.
Recently, some people have been in touch asking my why I left BBC Tees after 15 years. Here's a link to the report from the Teesside Gazette.
Thanks for reading
At BBC Tees I presented both the Breakfast and Afternoon shows, as well as a Saturday morning unique ‘music years’ programme and a Saturday night soul show. I’m experienced in all formats, from pure speech broadcasting to music radio - including contemporary pop and gold. My afternoon programme was a music/news mix with long-form interviews and local features celebrating the history and people of the area. I achieved consistently strong audience figures for all my shows, recording increases year on year. I’ve also presented for BBC 5 Live as cover for ‘Up All Night’, a weekend show on BBC Radio Sheffield and cover on BBC Radio Leeds, Lancashire, York and Humberside.
Before BBC local radio, I had a very successful time in commercial radio presenting, mainly breakfast shows, on a variety of stations and formats.
I’m a versatile outside broadcaster, and have the ability to cope with challenging environments. I’ve presented from the Olympic torch relay, London 2012 Olympics, Middlesbrough Football Club's Carling Cup win in Cardiff, at Royal visits to the area by the Queen and the Duchess of Cambridge, from the gates of Teesside’s iconic steelworks on the final day of production, at major football matches, and from one of the biggest concerts in the region in recent years when Sir Elton John played in Durham. I’ve presented the station’s special programmes for Sport Relief and Children In Need, including from the top of the iconic Transporter Bridge and in a department store window in Darlington.
I’ve a great deal of experience in handling breaking news on air. From the announcement of thousands of job losses in local steelmaking, to local football club Darlington FC avoiding closure with minutes to go before administrators locked the gates, to flooding and snow problems. I’m confident and adaptable when it comes to changing running orders and hastily-fixed guests. In my all-speech Breakfast programme on BBC Tees I interviewed politicians and local decision-makers, holding key figures in the area to account and chairing on-air discussions and debates.
Some of the strongest journalism on BBC Tees came from my daily hour-long interviews connected to the local area. I spoke to a Teesside mum who fought for a landmark change in the law after her daughter’s murder, the head of BAFTA, British Airways’ former Managing Director, and local celebrities like Bob Mortimer and Chris Rea. I contributed two films to the North East and Cumbria edition of Inside Out. One was a completely original story about a man being reunited with lost recordings of his late father, which was nominated for a Royal Television Society award in the ‘Scoop of the Year’ category, judged on the quality of the original journalism and the national impact it made.
I’ve conducted big interviews with football managers past and present, local competitors and Olympians – from Steve McClaren to Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson. I anchored BBC Tees’ coverage of some of the area’s biggest sporting events – including Middlesbrough FC in the Carling Cup final and Hartlepool United at the play-off final. I presented the Afternoon show from London for the Olympics, sourcing a venue and putting together a sporting guest list from scratch with just 24 hours notice.
On both Breakfast and Afternoons I was responsible for formatting my own programme. I’m very experienced with editing software, and regularly produce original built features. One such was for my afternoon show which was a ‘Time of our Lives’ feature, now common in local radio, but I like to think I’ve set mine apart from the competition by creating my own news montages from the relevant years sourced from BBC archive material. In 2007 I was also a key part of the team that commissioned a new station sound for BBC Tees.
Was the voice for Sunderland Football Club for nearly twenty years, the Great North Run for over a decade. Voiced commercials for, amongst others, CommunicorpUK, Global Radio, Bauer Radio, BBC, BBC Sport, UKRD, Darlington Hippodrome, NTL Teesside, County Durham Community Foundation, Stockton Council & Middlesbrough Council.
I was the matchday announcer at Sunderland AFC from 1996-2014, and start line announcer at the Great North Run from 2001-2014. I’ve hosted a wealth of radio station events – from Christmas carol services and light switch-ons to bonfire night displays, live concerts, charity events, the Stockton International Riverside Festival, and the Middlesbrough 10k run. I’m confident on stage and always happy to promote the radio station out in the community. I’m also a regular on the Women's Institute speaking circuit.
I’m named on three Sony Award wins for BBC Tees – the State Visit of President Bush (Gold), the death of steel making on Teesside (Silver) and the Welsh Weekender, Middlesbrough’s cup final coverage (Bronze). I’ve also been involved in several Gillard award wins and nominations for the station’s news and sport coverage. For the last two years I have also been part of the team that has been nominated for ‘Station Of The Year’ at The Radio Academy Awards.
RADIO EMPLOYMENT HISTORY
2018 - Present, Freelance presenter for Smooth Radio Network, BBC Radio Leeds, BBC Radio Merseyside
& BBC Radio Sheffield. Freelance Lecturer at Salford University, Media City Campus
2017 - Present, Owner, John Foster Voice
Broadcaster, Voiceover, Event Host, Media Trainer
2017 - Present, Freelance Radio Presenter for West Yorkshire's Pulse 2 and Vita Radio
2015-2017 Presenter, BBC Radio Sheffield
Saturday Morning Show
2014 Presenter, National BBC Radio 5 Live
Cover presenter on 'Up All Night'
2002-2017 Presenter, BBC Tees
Breakfast, Mid-Morning, Afternoon, Saturday mornings and specialist soul music show
Sony and Gillard award-winning
Skilled in both news/speech and music presenting
2001-2002 Presenter, Magic 1152 (Newcastle)
Audience figures for an AM show beating local BBC FM competition
Spearheaded launch of new ‘Big Easy’ rebranding and music policy change
1998-2001 Presenter, 96.6 TFM Breakfast (Teesside)
Headhunted for the role
Officially rated Number 1 by Rajar in the region
Audience figures at their highest for over 20 years.
First local breakfast show to broadcast a daily TV show on Teesside NTL cable channel
1997-1998 Presenter, Great North Radio (North East regionwide)
Breakfast, headhunted for the role
Crucial part of station changeover from heritage name to new brand ‘Magic’
1995-1997 Presenter, Sun City (Sunderland)
Launch Breakfast presenter
Later also became Programme Controller, combining the on and off-air roles
1993-1995 Presenter, Great Yorkshire Gold (Yorkshire-wide)
Early Breakfast and Saturday mornings
The youngest presenter on a Gold format station in the UK
1990-1993 Presenter, AA Roadwatch (Leeds-based)
Traffic broadcaster on stations from the Scottish Borders to Derbyshire