18 May 2011, 16:33
I’ve been a nightclub DJ, breakfast radio show presenter, TV football commentator, run a radio station in Malta and worked as an assistant manager of a Princes Street store.
My first taste of the limelight came as a 13-year-old schoolboy in my native Edinburgh after the DJ didn’t turn up for the school disco.
As an avid collector of records (yes I am that old), I was quickly dispatched home to collect them and the ‘wheels of steel.’ I was hooked, and the die was cast!
After leaving school, I started a management trainee scheme with a big high street retailer and got a gig as a club DJ in town – playing top tunes and having girls ask for requests - I liked that!
I switched codes in the mid eighties, leaving the club scene and making the move to radio to present a dance music show. I was then promoted to present Radio Forth’s Drivetime Show. This was an amazing gig – I worked from 4-5.30pm and had the weekends off!
During this time, I co-hosted a programme called The Mr Donny and Mr Bobby Show with the then breakfast show presenter at Radio Forth, Bobby Hain (who is now one of the big bosses here at STV). The show was a great success but the name was naff; but hey, it was the 1980s!
Various other radio stations requested my services over the next 20 years: Scot FM, River FM, Kingdom FM and another short spell back at Radio Forth – I even had the opportunity of plying my trade abroad. In 2008, I moved to Malta to run XFM radio station, fun in the sun it most certainly was!
In 2009, I was lucky enough to be invited as a VIP to the Malta Music Awards – the VIP area had a superb vantage point just to the side of the stage, looking out over the 10,000 not-as-lucky guests!
There were only a dozen VIPs and I certainly was in exalted company which included the President of Malta, the British High Commissioner and Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees – how I ended up there I’ll never know! Surely one of the organisers had made a mistake? But hey, it was good fun (and the free red wine was very tasty).
Well, I’m back home now in our beautiful country of Scotland and lucky enough to be asked to keep the good viewers of The Nightshift entertained. And you know what - there’s no place like home.
Here are one or two unusual things about me:
I had a part as an extra in the 1990s BBC Scotland Drama Tell Tale Hearts starring Bill Patterson and Dougray Scott. I was filmed walking past the main characters in the Royal Mile, Edinburgh at St Giles Cathedral.
My burgeoning career on the small screen continued when I was picked to be one of the ‘main’ extras in a TV advert for the ill-fated electrical retailer Clydesdale.
I had to turn up for filming in their store at the Forge Shopping Centre in Glasgow wearing my ‘worst’ Hawaiian shirt – I was filmed walking out of the store to a waiting jumbo jet (later superimposed) carrying a huge box, which, thankfully, covered most of my face and hid my embarrassment!
I’ve met and appeared on the same stage as Kylie Minogue – I was the ‘warm-up’ compere on the Coca Cola hitman roadshow (Pete Waterman was the main compere) at the Edinburgh Playhouse – Sonia and Big Fun were also on the bill!
Plane-spotters eat your heart out – I’ve travelled on a BA flight from Edinburgh to London Heathrow in the ‘jump seat’ of the cockpit, which is just behind the pilot and the co-pilot – what a view! And before you ask, no the pilot didn’t sit me on his knee and ask ‘have you ever seen a grown man cry?’)
At a U2 ‘invites only’ gig in London, I stood beside Jo Whiley from Radio 1 – I was convinced she had headphones on and was dancing to something else – she was very uncoordinated!
And finally, I’m rubbish at anything to do around the house – DIY Donny I am not! A few years back, I decided I should really have a Black and Decker Workmate – I bought one, got it home and out of the box, and had to phone my mate to come round and show me how to assemble it – true story!
Last updated: 30 May 2011, 15:38