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From a Norwich bedroom to the depths of outer space

PUBLISHED: 13:30 07 December 2011

Richard Hollingham has won a grant from the UK Space Agency.

Richard Hollingham has won a grant from the UK Space Agency.

Archant

A radio and TV broadcaster who started from his bedroom in Cringleford 31 years ago has been awarded a grant by the government's space travel authority.

Richard Hollingham, along with wife, BBC Radio 4 presenter Sue Nelson, has been awarded a £4,400 Space for All grant from the UK Space Agency for their internet radio podcasts about the UK’s space exploration, called Space Boffins.

Mr Hollingham started off in his bedroom on Keswick Close in Cringleford, age 11, setting up microphone, turntable, loudspeakers and amplifier and broadcasting around his house. He remembers doing a commentary on the neighbour’s gardening.

He attended Cringleford Primary School, Hethersett High School and the City of Norwich School in 1986 for sixth form.

He says he was inspired by “brilliant” science lessons at Hethersett High.

Speaking from Iceland, where he is working on his new show One Planet for the BBC World Service, Mr Hollingham said: “I loved radio, I listened to Radio Norfolk, guys like Wally Webb, and thought, ‘I want that job’.”

Mr Hollingham, now 42 and living in Hertfordshire, took a biology degree at York, before doing a journalism diploma and going on to be a science journalist and producer for the BBC and local radio stations.

However, his first job was in hospital radio, broadcasting at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital.

“I feared I was turning into Alan Partridge when working on local radio station as a DJ, so I moved to London to be a science journalist. But I’m still very proud of Norwich.

“My wife accuses me of being the Norwich tourism board because I tell everyone what a great place it is. I still consider myself a Norfolk boy.”

Broadcast on http://audioboo.fm/spaceboffins, the podcast has had guests and contributors such as astronauts and renowned scientists. “Our podcasts are a labour of love, and with the help of this money, hopefully we will build the listeners,” said Mr Hollingham. “It will help with paying for travel for guests and studio facilities.”

Have you received an award for your good work? Call Joe Wilkes on 01603 772 439 or email joe.wilkes@archant.co.uk.

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