This month we catch up with National Geographic Kids features editor Tim Herbert.
I studied English from 1991–94. It was a polytechnic when I started, but became a university in my second year. I remember the first day back after it had changed – none of us knew it was happening and we all walked around staring at the new signage, thinking 'eh?!' It was surreal walking into the refectory at Penrhyn Road and seeing a Pizza Hut in there. We all thought we were lost!
Kingston was the top poly in the country at the time and I'd heard great things about the place. I actually got turned down, initially, because I didn't get the right A-level grades. But, incredibly for me, I grew some balls, jumped on a train and just turned up at the course tutor's office. He had a few minutes to spare and I somehow managed to persuade him to give me a place on the course anyway! I live in south east London now, but I've lived all over the UK. When I went to Kingston, my folks lived in Romford, Essex.
Three fantastic years.
I loved them all. Tim Cook (my course tutor) and Lindsey Stonebridge were my favourites – most of the blokes on my course had a crush on her, I seem to remember! But we had some great lecturers including John Mepham, Peter Conradi and Martin Corner.
No, I've not been back to the university, but I have popped back to Kingston itself a couple of times and had a drink down memory lane at the Boaters. The town's changed loads. I'm still in touch with ten or so friends from those days, which is great.
I always wanted to become a journalist, so after graduating I did a postgrad magazine journalism course in Portsmouth, and did the all-important work experience stints. It all sort of clicked into place from there. I freelanced for a bit, got a staff job on FHM and, thankfully, I'm still a journo today. I'm working on National Geographic Kids magazine now.
Blagging my way onto the course at Kingston, probably, plus getting a career which I enjoy. And my wife and two lovely kids, of course.
Work as hard as you can while still being able to enjoy yourself. Uni is all about having fun as well as having an education. And if an opportunity comes your way, take it!
This morning – my little boy, Jamie, telling me all about my birthday present before I'd opened it.
Three points at the football (Brighton & Hove Albion), nice dinner with wine and a lazy Sunday in bed. Not that that last bit ever happens these days because of the kids. I'd love a lie in!
I got my tongue pierced when I was travelling.
Who would you take with you any why? Hmm... if I can't take my wife and kids (obviously), I think I'd take Blue Peter presenter Helen Skelton. She's lovely and knows loads about survival, so she'd be fun and very handy!
What book would you take and why? Shantaram – a great adventure that would be perfect for whiling away the hours.
What movie would you take and why? Castaway with Tom Hanks. I don't particularly like it, but it's like a desert island guidebook. Other than that, something funny, like Uncle Buck!
What food item would you take and why? Shepherd's pie – it's one of my favourites!
Photographer's credit: Tim Roney
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