Toby Amies (born 27 June 1967 in Birmingham, Warwickshire) is a broadcaster, filmmaker and photographer, best known for his feature-length documentary The Man Whose Mind Exploded, and his work on Radio4, MTV UK's Alternative Nation, FilmFour, Lonely Planet Six Degrees and The Rough Guides. Toby has specialised in making programmes about art, music and travel, with a special emphasis on fringe culture and alternative perspectives. In addition, he is a widely published portrait photographer and writer.
Amies was brought up in Worcestershire and went to the University of Exeter in Devon and subsequently the University of Kansas, where he was awarded a scholarship in Art History. He declined the scholarship in favour of work in music TV in the UK at the Powerstation, where he was on the air with Chris Evans, Boy George, Steven Wells and Suggs. He started DJing in art college in Cheltenham (he was in the same class as British artist Tim Noble) and after leaving the UK he worked behind the decks in Arizona at top 40 radio station KRQ alongside Jimmy Kimmel. He later worked at MCA Records in Los Angeles and then moved to work in the news department at MTV Europe partly thanks to work/appearances with Quentin Tarantino and Traci Lords at MCA.
Whilst at MTV Europe he worked on the programmes Alternative Nation, Weekend Edition, The Big Picture and was the co-creator of the programme MTV Hot which later featured Paul Tonkinson, Sara Cox and the German actor Christian Ulmen as hosts. He also worked alongside Davina McCall.
Amies later moved to MTV USA to host MTV Live with Carson Daly. This show later became TRL. He also hosted his own show, Countdown to the Ten Spot. In 1999, he moved on to form the band Genius Steals with New York photographer Brooke Williams, working with Moby, Romanthony, Darry Logan, Jim Sclavunos and Matt Verta-Ray amongst others. At this time he also hosted the anarchic US Top 20, most famous for the show that attempted to measure the length of Long Island.
Since moving back to the UK he's covered film festivals for FilmFour, worked for Radio 4 and became the host of three series of Lonely Planet Six Degrees and two series of The Rough Guides. He now concentrates on photography, making documentaries and sporadic artworks.
Amies recently has presented programmes on Radio 4, BBC Two, BBC Four and BBC World Service. He occasionally podcasts on podomatic. He is has made a feature-length documentary The Man Whose Mind Exploded supported by the Wellcome Trust, Screen South and the Arts Council
http://www.philstar.com/travel-and-tourism/406551/rough-guide-toby-amies http://reflectonfilm.co.uk/2013/07/03/the-man-whose-mind-exploded-dir-toby-amies-uk-2012-review/ http://www.dgmlive.com/diaries.htm?entry=19384 http://www.theguardian.com/media/2008/may/23/radio.tvandradioarts
- Toby Amies Home site
- The Man Whose Mind Exploded Film Site
- Toby Amies Showreel
- Toby Amies's podcasts
- Toby Amies profile at the Lonely Planet website
- Beat Mining With The Vinyl Hoover