12 August 1950 |
|Occupation||Television presenter and producer|
|Known for||Blue Peter (1978-1986) and a producer/director of documentaries|
Simon Groom (born 12 August 1950) is a British producer and director, best known as a former presenter of Blue Peter.
Groom was born in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, and was brought up on a farm in Dethick, which he often visited for Blue Peter reports. He attended Birmingham University and worked briefly as an English teacher before becoming a disc jockey and joining Blue Peter in 1978.
He became known among the programme's production team for his dry humour and ability to ad lib innuendo in his broadcasting (which would pass over the heads of the programme's main audience of children). Probably his best remembered such statement was at the end of a piece on a replacement door knocker at Durham Cathedral, declaring "what a beautiful pair of knockers". Another remark followed a piece about hedge maintenance where he closed with the remark, "As long as you have a decent length to start with, well then you can manage a good lay."
After leaving Blue Peter, Groom produced his first TV documentary: Angels & Devils, a critically acclaimed biopic of film director Ken Russell, voted 'Pick of the Day' in both the Daily Telegraph and The Guardian. He also wrote, directed & produced A Steamy Affair: the Story of the Flying Scotsman for Channel 4. His other television documentaries include: Bucking Mad, the story of an English rodeo rider and Full Circle: the Saving of Derby's Roundhouse', both broadcast by the BBC.
Groom has also produced and presented documentaries for BBC Radio Four, including: George Oliver: A Man For All Seasons, the story of a Bedfordshire Gamekeeper; Peak Park Pressures - Britain's first national park; and Ferry Across the Mekong: 2 thirty minute programmes (Sony nominated) in which he makes a return trip to Cambodia. In 1979, he was one of the earliest Western journalists to enter the country, following the end of Pol Pot's regime.
Groom is a passionate fan of Derby County F.C. His other interests are: music, film, classic cars & steam locomotives. He and his wife Gilly run a sheep farm in Derbyshire, where they are actively involved in developing environmental projects.
He currently works as an Ambassador for the city of Derby and in 2010 was given an Honorary Degree by the University of Derby in recognition of his contribution to broadcasting.
Groom's most recent documentary - "The Flying Scotsman: A Rail Romance" - was transmitted on BBC2 in March 2013. The 60 minute programme, a co-production with Available Light Productions, has since been repeated twice on BBC2.
|Blue Peter Presenter No. 8