Before coming to MMU I worked as a reporter, producer and documentary maker, mostly for BBC Radio.
For 29 years I’ve worked across the UK, America, Europe and Africa making documentaries for BBC Radio 2, Radio 4, BBC World Service and Five Live, many of which have won awards.
After ten years in news – which took me from local radio to the BBC World Service – I moved to an independent production company specialising in music. There I made documentaries about civil rights in America, the music of the West Coast USA and the Mississippi, Irish migration, African independence, Northern Ireland’s Troubles – all using music as the way in to the stories.
I spent 15 years in live music, producing the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, the Cambridge festival, the Blackpool Lights switch-on and many Radio 2 outside broadcasts. I also freelanced on phone-in shows, as a media trainer and teaching radio production and news skills. I am a musician myself – a bass player – and In the late 1980s I recorded four sessions for John Peel’s Radio 1 show. Since then I have shared stages in many European cities with an eclectic gathering of names, from Sonic Youth to The Fall, from Screaming Lord Sutch to Spizz Energi.
I present a podcast series about key moments in Cold War sport (http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/theme/sport-in-the-cold-war/resources), work with PhD students at Cambridge to increase the impact of their research and I have written two oral history accounts of the end of the Second World War; in Arctic Norway (Fire and Ice: the Nazis’ scorched earth campaign in Norway, The History Press 2014) and in Latvia (Blood in the Forest: the end of the Second World War in the Courland Pocket, Helion, 2017).
With the emphasis on the practical and on practice. Journalism improves with practice: writing gets sharper, thinking faster, reactions quicker. Do it enough times and it becomes automatic. Thinking on your feet is an important part of what I'll teach you, as well as finding answers, solving problems and getting on with it.
1987 – 89: Professional journalism qualification NCTJ Proficiency: first time pass at Wrexham’s Plas Coch College.
1981 – 84: BA (Hons) 2:1 in English and Sociology from North Staffordshire Polytechnic, Stafford. Modern Studies joint honours.
2014 – 2016: Documentary producer, media skills coach and editorial consultant. Documentary producer for BBC radio, media skills working on academic impact at Cambridge University and with business leaders, specialist editor for academic publications and podcast host and producer for an international series of Cold War sports history podcasts: http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/theme/sport-in-the-cold-war/resources
1999 – 2014: Radio and online producer for BBC Radio 2, 4 and BBC World Service at Smooth Operations production company. Producing award-winning specialist music programmes, social history documentaries and live event management, mostly for BBC Radio 2. I worked in Africa, America and Europe on issues like genocide in Rwanda, the civil rights struggle in the US and migration from Ireland as well as global sport. I produced the celebrity presenters of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards over a 15-year period for TV, radio and online.
2006-2012: Lecturer in radio production, The Manchester College. Teaching media skills to undergraduates, including scripting programmes, writing press releases, writing for radio and presentation skills. Teaching interview techniques with feedback and playback sessions, audio and video evaluation. Also guest lecturing at UCLAN and running Newsdays at Edge Hill University.
2006-2009: News producer, BBC Five Live. Producing late night weekend news and current affairs phone-in show from Manchester, hosted by Stephen Nolan and often controversial.
1995 – 1999: News producer, BBC World Service Radio and Television. Producing Newshour, Newsdesk and Britain Today for radio and TV bulletins for WSTV.
1994 - 1995: Reporter, BBC Radio Five Live, London. Launching Five Live Breakfast.
1990 - 1994: Reporter/producer, BBC Manchester. Covering Moss Side gang wars, Salford riots, Olympic bids and much more.
1988 - 1990: Reporter for the Derby Evening Telegraph regional paper.
1987 – 1988: Trainee news and sports reporter and sub editor working across Warrington Guardian series of newspapers. Music reviewer for Record Mirror. Cookery columnist for City Life magazine in Manchester.
I am a member of the steering committee of an international multi-disciplinary project producing podcasts about Cold War sports history with expert academics from around the world. This is a collaborative series between the University of California San Diego, New York University, the German Historical Institute in Moscow and the University of Cambridge. It is online at http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/theme/sport-in-the-cold-war/resources
V. Hunt (2019). Up Against the Wall The KGB and Latvia. Helion.
V. Hunt (2017). Blood in the Forest The End of the Second World War in the Courland Pocket. Helion.
V. Hunt (2014). Fire and Ice The Nazis' Scorched Earth Campaign in Norway. The History Press.
I am a member of the steering committee of a multi-international multi-disciplinary Cold War sports history project aiming to reach wider audiences with academic work.
2013: Sony silver award for Stuart Maconie’s 50-part documentary series ‘The People’s Songs’ telling British post-war social history through songs, for which I was a lead interviewer.
2009: Sony Bronze award for BBC 5-Live Stephen Nolan phone-in show - my interview with a paraplegic boy about the assisted suicide of 23 year old rugby player was among the highlights cited.
2008: Sony Gold award for a BBC documentary about British rhythm and blues band Dr Feelgood, presented by Mark Radcliffe.
2006: Sony Gold award for a BBC Radio Ballad about Sheffield's steel industry, ‘The Song of Steel’.
2006: Sony Bronze award for BBC Radio Ballad about Northern Ireland’s Troubles, ‘Thirty Years of Conflict’
1996: Sony Gold award as part of BBC World Service ‘Newshour’ team winning ‘Best Current Affairs’ programme.
1995: Sony Gold award for new BBC Five Live show ‘Five Live Breakfast’.