After being educated at Perth Academy, he took a degree in English at the University of Aberdeen. Graduating with honours in 1975, he was selected as scholar of the St Andrews Society of New York, and then studied for a Masters at Princeton University combining literature, theatre and politics.
On qualification, he became a BBC TV news scriptwriter, and then a reporter for IRN/LBC. After helping to start the independent Radio Tay in Dundee, he then freelanced for mostly British news outlets in California for 6 years until 1987. Joining BBC News, Sharp was the channel's correspondent in California and the Pacific Northwest. In 1987 he moved with his wife to London as a reporter for the BBC World Service, then as duty foreign editor at Channel 4 News.
Returning to BBC News, when the corporation started the news and sport station Radio 5 Live in 1994, Sharp came up with the idea for the night programme. Since its launch he has been one of the two regular presenters. The Washington Post once described the show as probably the best night-time radio show in the world.
In 2001 Sharp was on the second commercial flight to New York City after 11 September to give in-depth analysis of the aftermath of the terrorist attacks. He also presented 5 Live's programmes on the American presidential and congressional elections. He has become instrumental in giving wider coverage on British radio of sports like baseball and American football, presenting its live broadcasts of the World Series and the Super Bowl.
After reporting on the 11 September attacks, while taking a sabbatical, Sharp and his wife fell in love with the fishing town of Marblehead, Massachusetts, USA. Since 2004 he has presented his part of the show (Monday to Wednesday), from the town. Initially using the studio's and ISDN line of local radio station WESX to connect him to Broadcasting House, London, since 2007 he has presented the show from a home-studio within the couple's 18th-century property. Broadcasting from the United States makes Sharp “pretty unique” among BBC radio hosts, according to BBC deputy news director Stephen Mitchell.
Whilst broadcasting from San Francisco in the early 1980s, Sharp met his wife Vicki Staveacre. The couple moved to London in the 1980s, where Sharp later created Up All Night. Following 9/11, the couple took a two-month sabbatical in Harvard, MA. On forays to North Shore, they became enamored with Marblehead. In 2004, they bought a small apartment in the seaside town, and in 2007 moved to their present home, an 18th-century house in Marblehead’s Old Town section.
- "Perth Date for BBC Presenter, Sharp". AllMediaScotland.com. 19 June 2012. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
- "Rhod Sharp - President". University of Aberdeen. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
- Joseph P. Kahn (3 August 2012). "The BBC, live from Marblehead". Boston Globe. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
- And now for a BBC reporter who is completely different SalemNews.com, 12 June 2009
- "BBC broadcaster to discuss ‘Avery’s Fall’ at Marblehead Museum". WickedLocal.com. 6 October 2011. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
- "WESX's 'international' era closes, too". WickedLocal.com. 26 April 2006. Retrieved 23 January 2013.