Next up on our Tea Break Chat series is Oxygen MD, Steve. He started the business over 15 years ago, but what does he like to do in his spare time? We find out all about his love of comedy and his secret squash success.
Hi Steve. So you’re busy being an MD during the day, but what do you like to do outside of work?
For the last 12 years I’ve been running a comedy club at a local theatre. I’ve been bringing acts such as Bill Bailey, Ed Byrne, Alan Carr and Russell Howard to Mid-Devon, and there’s nothing better than seeing 300 people – not literally – laughing their socks off.
Comedy is a big part of my life outside of the office, and I even host a comedy radio show on a local radio station – something I’ve always wanted to do.
Well it sounds like it keeps you busy. So tell us, how did Oxygen begin?
I trained as a journalist and a copywriter, and I love to write. I’ve always fancied working for myself, and one day I decided to take the plunge. Oxygen was originally founded as a copywriting agency, and the rest is history!
During my spare time, aside from running comedy, I still write a lot purely for pleasure. Buried away somewhere at home is a book I wrote around 10 years ago, and another that I’m half way through. I might publish them one day, but for now they can stay buried.
A secret author – are there any more talents you haven’t told us about?
A long time ago I was quite a successful squash player! I’ve been in two British squash team finals, representing Bristol Polytechnic, and for a time I was the youngest qualified coach at the age of 17. I also played squash for 24 hours for Children In Need. I was much younger then!
So you’re a comedian, author and secret squash professional, as well as being the MD of Oxygen – quite a few different roles there! Who would you swap places with in the office if you had to choose?
As a writer I’ve had creative input in thousands of projects, but rarely have I put the design imagery to those projects. Sometimes I think it would be nice to see a project from start to finish, so for that reason I would have to swap places with our designer, Emma.
Thanks Steve! Next up we’ll be talking to our Marcomms Exec Sophie, finding out what she does every night at 9pm now that Love Island has finished and how she found her way into marketing.