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About Me
PeterAn Essex lad through and through, if you cut me in half I would probably have it stamped right through me like a stick of rock from my home town, Southend. I have long held a passion for photography. My father was a freelance cameraman for everyone from local Essex papers to Fleet Street's finest as I was growing up in the 1950s, '60s and '70s, as well as a news cine cameraman for the BBC. And while I chose writing as my profession, I loved taking pictures with my little box Brownie and developing them in my dad's darkroom, posing for photos with my brothers and sister when he needed models and later helping out occasionally as his sound assistant. What started as a hobby has since become an obsession.

After 12 years as a reporter on regional Essex daily the Evening Echo and sister paper the Southend Standard I joined leading UK travel industry publication Travel Trade Gazette, where I spent 17 years globetrotting, the last 13 of them as features editor. Early in 2002 I left TTG to try my hand as a freelance travel writer and photographer, and have since also gone into TV in China. Miraculously, I'm still surviving and enjoying the freelance life.

Family status:
Married with two daughters, one 17 and the other 21, and a 23-year-old son.
Behind you...
Golf and diving. I am a qualified BSAC Second Class diver and have dived around the world since first qualifying in 1976. I have played, or attempted to play, golf for the last 18 years and have been privileged to hack around some of the world's finest courses. I take a camera with me when I play and my best shots are always through a lens rather than with a golf club.

Inuit outside his hunting shack, Nunavut, Arctic Canada I was named UK Travel Trade Writer of the Year in the annual Canada Travel Awards in 1993 and 1996. In the inaugural United Business Media photographic competition in 2001, I came 2nd overall out of 650 entries worldwide with a picture of an Inuit outside his hunting shack in Arctic Canada territory Nunavut. I also had six other pictures as category winners or runners up, from a total of 34 winning pictures. All of them are displayed on the director’s floor of UBM’s London HQ, Ludgate House. Two of my entries came in the top 100 in the inaugural Travel Photographer of the Year 2003 competition, for which 10,000 images were submitted from 34 countries.

In October 2005, I was shortlisted for both the Best Writer on Hotels and Best Writer on Car Rental in the annual Carlson Wagonlit Travel Business Travel Journalism Awards.

In November 2005, I won the Photograph of the Year award in the British Guild of Travel Writers annual Members' Awards for 2005. The winning picture was of a Mosuo minority girl rowing across Lugu Lake in Yunnan province, China, and was published in a photo-feature about Lugu Lake's matriarchal Mosuo society in CNN Traveller magazine.

I am a member of the British Guild of Travel Writers and the Golf Travel Writers Association

Panels and presentations:Cowboy Pete
In 1995 and 1996 I served on the prestigious How to Pow Wow Task Force, a voluntary panel of senior travel industry figures and Press which helps orientate new delegates at the Travel Industry Association of America's annual Pow Wow trade marketplace, addressing audiences of 600 people on each occasion. I addressed the Public Relations World Congress in Chicago in 2000 and have given presentations to the Spotlight Canada Media Workshop and the SeeAmerica Forum, both in London.

And another thing:
I organised a major charity auction at World Travel Market in November 1997 in aid of two causes a trust fund I set Young Travel Writer of the Year logoup for the young daughters of TTG's US correspondent Barbara Land, who died suddenly a year earlier, and the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fund. The auction was supported by many leading travel companies including airlines, tour operators, ferry companies, hotels and cruise lines, with more than 60 lots auctioned by TV personality Russell Grant and myself. It raised £24,000, while the trust fund raised the $45,000 needed to pay for the university education of Barbara's three daughters. I also helped launch the Young Travel Writer of the Year Award, in Barbara's memory, on behalf of TTG and in conjunction with US tourism organisation Travel South, and ran it until I left TTG in 2002. The award has now been presented to six young journalists. Past winners include gapyear.com founder and Government youth adviser Tom Griffiths and author Rich Knight, now a producer for BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

Does my bum look big in these? - Peter in polar bear trousers Favourite destination:
A question I'm often asked. The answer is anywhere that has beaches, mountains, snow, deserts, rivers, canals, forests, crystal clear and warm water for diving, great golf courses, photogenic and friendly locals, good beer or wine, good cuisine, great bars or pubs, stunning sunrises and sunsets, and more great bars or pubs. I guess that rules out Southend!

Thanks for your interest