London-based broadcaster & songwriter, born 1950. His best known songs are 2-4-6-8 Motorway, Glad To Be Gay and War Baby; he has also co-written songs with Peter Gabriel, Elton John, Dan Hartman and Manu Katché.
Tom was educated at a (Quaker) Friends School in Essex, interrupted by a brief spell at boarding school in France at age 14. In 1966 he suffered a nervous breakdown and lived for the following 6 years at the Finchden Manor community in Kent.
Later in his 20s he formed the Tom Robinson Band – becoming an early campaigner for Rock Against Racism and lifelong supporter of Amnesty International and LGBT rights. In 1978 he achieved mild notoriety with TRB’s Top 20 hit Glad To Be Gay,
As a recording artist he has released 14 albums since 1978 – plus various compilations and live LPs. He also appeared on an earlier album in 1975 as a member of Cafe Society (produced by Ray Davies), and on two others as a member of Faith, Folk & Anarchy (with Steve Knightley and Martyn Joseph) in 2001.
1982 was a landmark year – when Tom relocated to Hamburg, wrote the future hit War Baby and recorded an indie single in German. That Autumn he lived and worked briefly in East Berlin, touring the German Democratic Republic with local band NO55.
Finally, back home at the end of the year, he contracted late-onset bisexuality after meeting his future wife at a Gay Switchboard benefit. A brief period in Tabloid Hell (“Britain’s No.1 Gay In Love With Girl Biker” etc) followed a few years later when the red-tops got hold of the story.
As a broadcaster he began hosting his own radio show on the BBC World Service in 1985. He’s since presented programmes on BBC Radios 1, 2, 3, 4, 4Xtra, 5 Live, 6 Music. He won his first gold Sony Radio Academy award for GLR (now BBC LDN) in 1997 and a second as the presenter of NowPlaying@6Music in 2012.
He has hosted weekly shows on BBC Radio 6 Music since the station started in 2002, with a particular emphasis on new and emerging artists. He can currently be heard on Saturday nights, Sunday evenings and Monday mornings,
Tom is a keen supporter of BBC Introducing, a member of the Ivors panel at BASCA, and hosts occasional workshops for songwriters and performers. He founded Fresh On The Net to help listeners find new music and musicians find new listeners.
He now lives in South London with his wife and two children.