Born in Rochester, Kent on March 29th 1955 into a Naval Family, Charles was educated at Westminster School and joined the BBC as a finance clerk in January 1975.
The following year came his “lucky break” when he applied for a job as clerk to Radio 4’s World at One and PM programmes and ended up presenting a sports round up on the Saturday edition of PM. His first broadcast was April 24th 1976 and he was, in his own words, appalling!
The following year Charles went on a training attachment to BBC Radio Oxford where he spent a blissful summer in the Parks commentating on University Cricket.
It didn’t last, as the BBC HR department said if Radio Oxford couldn’t give him a full time job he had to go back to Central Directorate Accounts as he was “being exploited”! His protestations that he didn’t mind being exploited fell on deaf ears and he was hauled back to London kicking and screaming.
By January 1978 though his days as a “don’t wannabe accountant” were over as he secured another attachment, this time to Radio 4 as an announcer. Within six weeks the attachment had become a fulltime position. He was still just 22 and the youngest ever staff announcer.
Continuity announcing and eventually news reading soon made him a familiar voice to radio listeners but, not one to let the grass grow underneath his feet, in the summer of 1980 he had his first look at the world of television with an attachment to TV presentation; joining the team of voices behind the iconic spinning “BBC globe”. He also had his first taste of in vision work when he was sent to BBC East in Norwich for six weeks which required him to read the close of day news bulletin.
By 1983 he had moved to Radio Sport; presenting the 1983 Cricket World Cup and going onto
carve out a niche for himself by becoming the first regular sports correspondent of BBC Radio 4’s “Today” programme (1984-1988). He also expanded his television experience with a stint at BBC
TV’s “Breakfast Time”, which led in 1986, to his first ever documentary – about the M25 – which was
broadcast on BBC 2.
In 1988 he left the BBC for LWT ; taking up a job as a presenter on the prime time weekly current affair shows – “Friday Now” (1988) and “Six O’clock Live” (1989). It wasn’t completely the end of his association with the BBC as he was hired to present two seasons of “Charles Colvile’s Sunday Sport” – a live five hour summer sports show on BBC Radio 2.
With the new decade came new opportunities as the fledging world of satellite television came calling. To start with Charles joined BSB – catch phrase “its smart to be square” – but when after six months they merged with their rivals Sky, he had had found his home for the next 27 years of his career as key member of the Sky Sports on air cricket team.
Amongst his many highlights have been presenting live coverage of England’s winter tours to India (1993), The West Indies (1994), Australia (1994/5) and South Africa (1995/6), six cricket World Cups, numerous award nominated cricketing documentaries (Out of the Wilderness, England’s Foreign Legion, Pace Like Fire, The Jackman Affair, Cricket and The Rainbow Nation) of course the much loved “The Verdict” with Bob Willis.
He has also broadcast on ESPN Star and Australian Channels 7 and 9.
Away from broadcasting Charles is a sought after MC of sporting dinners, has served on the General Committee of Surrey CCC and continues to play for his village (Holmbury St Mary CC) whenever possible. He quite likes gardening, especially if it involves lawn mowing and severe pruning. He is married with four grown up children, two dogs, who he walks twice a day, and three guinea pigs who he doesn’t.
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