Friday, December 11, 2009


Seems like deadlines come thick and fast at present. I had one on the front of my website... I had forgotten to check it and saw yesterday I had 1 hour left to complete a project! Ha.... Well the project in question is not completed. There are three main areas still to address then a raft of detail. However - the good news for me is that it is nearly done and will be something to build upon in the future and that 27 other areas have been addressed already.

Completed iSkate 3 article. Had double the words for one page so hopefully they can give me two pages.

Dancing On ice photo shoot was last Monday - I was ready for that. New suit, tailored with new shirt, shoes the works. Plus interview for later use. All good - excepting that someone snaffled my iphone - in a secure environment too. Very disappointing - have to sort that today.



Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Had a wonderful holiday. Two weeks away, lovely. We went around the Med on a ship, I spent lots of mornings in the creche with Tiger and his chums. Great fun. I have always wanted to jump into one of those ball park things you see at Ikea and was able to fulfil that aspiration whilst posing as a help to the youngsters playing! :)

Back for a week and in action then... MAN FLU. Sunday - lousy cough and it's all over - to bed for the day. It's worse for us guys than the ladies I'm sure. Today I'm nearly back in action but still groggy. Christiane has been making me egg soldiers and buying Lucozade - to replenish her man/boy. I love her.

And Dancing On ice is staring to gear up. New judge, new celebs, a lot of the same team. It will be good to see friends again sat in the same seats doing the jobs they did last year - a little deja vu.

Back to the cough medicine.



Monday, October 12, 2009

On a Glacier

First go at creating a film from my studio... Rough around the edges but still a bit of fun methinks...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Getting Fit

It's coming on winter here and I have decided to get fit. Now, like you perhaps, I have decided to do this before joined a gym and gone along to a couple of classes. Or I've been to some classes and that worked. But recently - the last few tears I haven't done much. But I was inspired by Andy's Peter's and Collin's and to get in the gym on the Dancing On Ice Tour this year.

So now Christiane has found me a gym where I've signed up to do every class I can. I'm doing one to one and a half hours six days a week! Boxercise was today - I was soaked through by the end of it. Christiane always says get a shower before I can have a hug when I come back from a workout.

It's been four weeks and I touched the floor with legs straight this morning for the first time in years - hamstrings lengthening.

So kettle bells and bags full of weights along with Hours of Power and cycling I'm doing it all. Going on a cruise in the med in a couple of weeks so need to look in better shape anyway.

This working out thing is good for the head too... everyone should do it. But not in an isolated pocket in a gym - gyms should be more class and interactive based - works for me.

Love N

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


This weekend we had time with my brother and his family, he has three boys - 2 1/2, 6 and 10 years old. Christiane did a film making course so I had Tiger for two days, he's 19 months old. My it was exhausting... There was one moment where I was distracted by watching cycles in Richmond park - a duathalon was in progress and I suddenly lost Tiger from my vision. A moment but my what a moment! He was beside me. I can understand how Christiane and all mum's get so tired by the constant demands of the little one, not so much in attention as in running all over the place, interested in everything, little apparent concept of fear.

I ended up facilitating the use of a toy phone amongst the three youngest boys. The phone was George's and it was 'mine' initially but shared later on... Good corporate managing training methinks - for me that is!

Yesterday a sound and lighting show... learnt a lot but not reached end of specing for lights studio. Some interesting innovations possible though. Wish I could fast track learning still.. Found some breakthrough sound products - APC 640 from Akai for Ableton is super aid to composition in live performance mode.

Last night I had a meeting with some business friends and come away a bit bruised. It's funny how you know you are climbing a mountain of a project and others can see a different perspective as they watch you. Need to take on board comments and reset some areas - it's all about focus...

Back to the mountain then...



Grey wet September day. Winter comes soon

Monday, August 31, 2009


A week away on the high seas - a force 9 to 10 at one point! Great fun, new friends and seeing the engine room of a ship. Brilliant. I have been trekking across a glacier and speaking about my life and times. The venue was the Oriana and the journey was to Norway and back. A rich time.

There is a Gary Rhodes restaurant on the Oriana and we went twice. Had to be done. It was 12.45 am when we realised everybody else had left... food and service was superb. Oriana is a lovely ship.

I need a holiday now to recover from our week away:)

Love n

Monday, August 17, 2009


Had a super weekend filled with friends, new places and faces and great food and drink, exhausting and wonderful. Now back to work...

I am still in STUCKSVILLE re technology. One of my suppliers has suggested I getting a Master Tech helper in for £550 a day to train me in how to do this stuff. Seems funny to be sold it and then have to pay to have someone to teach you to use it!? Hmmm...

But... I suppose I am trying to fast-track my learning?

I long for the day when I have this system working - all the bits enabling fast workflow and production... Until then. Frustration, helpline's, chat rooms and the worst kind of computer stress caused by brick walls of computer programes and codecs not working.

My advice for anyone thinking for buying final cut pro and final cut server pro with xdcam sxs media input and thinking it's not a great upgrade from imovie.... do not believe the marketing - it is a huge jump and it eats time.

There must be millions of people leaning new computer stuf everyday and not producing anything because of that.. crazy.

I need a new strategy here - how to breakthrough being STUCK... and I'm stubborn so I keep reading learning and I'll get it done/ Must be an easier way...

Any suggestions?



Friday, August 14, 2009


Revision of nicky slater website uploaded. simple and new logo. See the sarajevo bobsleigh ride. I found it online the other day and remember it well!


Tuesday, August 11, 2009


I was working away yesterday and I suddenly realised how privileged I am. To be able to work on the area that lights you up - to be pursuing a dream supported by family and friends and to have nothing in the way - apart from the technical mountains - and then the performance mountains - and then my own stuff - in creating entertainment magic.... Wow...

I'm learning how to make films... and the integration of servers and codecs and frames per second interlaced or progressive and the relationship of film to tv, NTSC or PAL.... Seems like stepping into the professional world causes a shift in what you have to know, "Media Management is complex..." Final Cut Pro manual. It is though becoming less scary and slowly I am taking things onboard.

As a relief I've been on the Ventura recently - pictures to come soon. I used my tiny camera to catch my new presentation that I wrote on board - it was great fun. Oh yes other news - I was cut in half on Sunday in a field - a s you do. I'll post that soon too.

I spoke to my friend Neil about the project I am developing a long while back and said I thought it would inform and add depth to my 'How to get where you want to go' project. I was right... The challenge is bringing to mind much from my sporting and business life and in what I have learned over the years. All good.

Right now the cork stuck in the bottle concerns the last third of studio creation. Then... well once foundations are in place development will be next and then production. I have been writing lyrics again so the creative juices haven't stopped entirely. An idea for a web series also came up on Sunday on a boat.

Back to putting the nuts and bolts together now about rendering in different codecs? and the eyelet size for the curtains and the.....



Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I'm wishing Kyran Bracken and the team all the best for his shows - 24 shows I counted in Jersey and Bournemouth - go and buy a ticket Robin (Cousins) is directing so it is guaranteed to be well presented. From rugby player to impresario and skater - go for it Bracken...

Me - off to Cannes, Corsica, Rome and home with some chats about skating on the way on the Ventura... then Brightons calling... hope it's sunny when I get back.



Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Ahhh... Vision to Reality

Having a vision is one thing, realising it another. For many years I did not have a vision of what I wanted to do and, as I believe you can achieve what you can conceive - or see it be it - I was a lost soul - shame! It was a pretty rubbish time and I was finding self worth in the project of the moment. I can show you a CV of projects achieved... but it wasn't really me...

Now I have a clear vision of what I'm trying to achieve. It's all around creating entertainment products  - music, film, dance, shows and reaching people who would like this worldwide via the web. To do this the metaphor I am taking on is in the creation of  an entertainment factory. I love the systems and processes, raw materials in to finished goods out imagery. I grew up in north Manchester so the mills as they were are in my mind... 

So I have a vision, in comparison to the past, it is a great place to be. But it can be overwhelming as the vision is big... The challenge now is to make what I see reality in a timely manner. We each have only so many energy hours, how best to use mine?

I'm seeing the need for team - Together Everyone Achieves More - duh!!! But they can also cost a fortune and be inefficient. I am seeing what type of roles need to be filled if my vision is to be reality. Setting in place issues of vision, goals, strategy and culture - all stuff I've known in the past and used in various situations but it is clearer now. People want to know what is expected of them, what they are signing up to and whether it's just a job or a flag to follow, a cause to believe in. I think I'm on the development path to having a company with an exciting vision that people can be a part of and get excited about - rather than it being just a job. Now that would be brilliant.... 

That reminds me I do have some of the team in place already - oh yes - need to share the vision with them more...

Do you have something you want to achieve but haven't gone for yet? What not give it a shot... Will it be easy, maybe, maybe not, but you only live once and it would be a shame to miss having given it a go...


Saturday, July 18, 2009


I am in the process of building my studio. It grows in complexity as I seek to join up the dots between film, editing and distribution. Fascinating to learn more about the areas I have been involved in regarding television and entertainment production but a real job of work to get it all to work smoothly.

The other day I was in my local coffee shop and Assoush, the owner asked me how I was. In a country called Overwhelm in a place called Running Away was my answer. Hence my trip for a coffee. We are both small business owners and we chat - he reasoned I need to know how it works to grow the facility in the future. I think he's right.

I would like to have one of those 'Matrix' plug ins. In the film he just had a download of 'How to do this" If someone has a copy of Final Cut Pro in that format I'd be grateful for it.

Off for a week on the Ventura next Thursday - Rome, Corsica - the plan is to get some footage I can use... So if you're on the ship don't be surprised if I rope you in as a camera assistant.

Back to editing then... I have the fastest Mac computer possible and its chugging away on a render - need to learn more about offline stuff... which makes it faster - apparently. Media storage strategy!!!

I am seeing some cool visuals though - I am skating in a field and then in the clouds... No I have not been drinking... the possibilities for creating stuff are great. Hopefully they will be seen before Christmas 2010!!!



Thursday, June 11, 2009

Ice Galas, da-da and first steps...

I am up to my ears in the project of building my studio. Audio and visual and linking up all the bits - one moment audio engineering next minute into the detail of chromakeying and staging. If ever there was a University course in how to make audio / visuals that was 24/7 this is it... and I love it. From codec's to jib's falling over to being gobsmacked at pictures that are being created and innovating all over the place this is a super challenge. My goal is to have the studio operational by the end of this month, next quarter will be joing the dots and making it work and quarter after that - well output... by Christmas. Nothing like being occupied.

Galas have been on the agenda - A charity one for breast cancer in guildford inspired and skated in by Charlotte Hawkins and then two for Arena Group last weekend. All very intense in terms of scripting on the day as I expected but went really well and were fun. Kevin Van De Perrin and Jenna McCorkell starring in the Arena Group ones led a strong cast.

Da da - my son says this first thing in the morning. He is 16 months old and a joy. He walked four steps on Monday after holding onto my leg for a moment. I gleefully told his grandmother's on both sides of the family who were singularly unimpressed as apparently that's what little one's do... as in walk. Well it was an exciting moment for Christiane and I! Tiger himself didn't seem that impressed but then he had ben inspired by seeing a young fellow of his height running around on the Sunday in church - maybe that got him going...

Friday, April 24, 2009


Nearing the end of the shortened, more compact DOI Tour. The team - or rather I should say the DOI Army - from talent to tv to tech to catering is running smoothly. It's all very impressive, a big show. Crowds have been full houses and appreciative Chris and Jayne doing Bolero every night a joy as the focus of this year. Celebs doing better than ever - all good.

Took Tiger swimming this morning - he loved it. He's almost walking and almost talking... He held court in the hotel this morning to an audience of diners from adjoining tables - great fun.

No Jason on the panel - a different dynamic. Seems to work, we are all having fun with the odd disagreement that is part of the show - normally caused by yours truly!

Back soon to set up studio - exciting and challenging times ahead. Can't wait... well actually I could wait and have a holiday in the Bahamas before I get down to business but that's not on the cards right now...



Saturday, March 14, 2009

March Already

Who's the judge?

My sister in law berated me the other day for not having been blogging. Why have I been quiet... Well.... it's about TV, a studio and life...

DANCING ON ICE 4 - The series is now at semi final stage. As I expected we've seen celebs and pro skaters combine to deliver drama, fun and surprises that make the DOI format so brilliant. 

Ray - on sheer talent should win - if he can relax and not get focused on not being perfect, and the British public vote for him and not just expect him to win. Jessica, if she gets driving numbers and not slow ones can challenge him. Donal - doing better and better still needs to get ' Marriage Gear Forward' to improve his posture. Colleen - goodness, the John Sargent factor kicked in last week. She skated with the most guts and attack and anything is possible on DOI. Flying this week. A must see. 

Chris and Jayne have been great - she has lost weight and is so toned.. must be the fitness video! He's got bigger muscles... the result is some new flick lifts that are very clever alongside their easy mirror style. 

Judges - Jason has been on form. He is Mr Predictable - Mr Nasty to start, Mr Nicer now. He berates and clobbers verbally early on moves into giving challenges and advice and then claims success with the survivors as we near the end of the journey. Not always easy to be on the receiving end of jibes but the pantomime of it has been embraced by our celebs this year more than ever. Robin - has often spoken so eloquently what I was thinking. Ruthie has her heart on her sleeve and has the courage to stand her ground in this. Karen has won the glamour stakes with a new look and maintains an encouraging stance for celebs when speaking. All in all the panel has been more involved as a group in debate at times this year, I do like that more. It would be great to have more air time though - I do commentary for Eurosport - been doing a lot this year - and can speak of the performances afterwards. Pain to not be able to share this and get it out of the system!!!! Must find a way of doing this therapy....

So for me as a judge on DOI - I do have a mix of emotions. I love being involved with the show of it all. It's always a challenging time some weeks to separate some of the couples as they may be good technically and bad artistically or vice versa. But.. what I have to say is more than a sound bite, my style works more in discussion format but there is no air time for this so I find it very frustrating at times to (1) not be asked and (2) to have a sound bite segment to answer in. However, that's the job, so no point moaning. Ha I hear you say  - I should have been blogging more... I've tried to encourage the celebs and the pros more this year and not be concerned about sound bites. To do what they do is brave, crazy and - whether paid well or not - crazily entertaining!

So DOI Tour next - faster than last year with less dates. Will be fun to meet the team on tour again. Looking forward to breakfast at the Lowry in Manchester.

Thanks for the people who have said hello via the blog and messages and have asked for pics and signatures. I'll get back to you soon. Always great to hear from you and sorry for my delays in replying.

I've been doing a lot more commentary for Eurosport this autumn and new year. Junior Worlds the other week was an eye opener as expected with some fabulous skating the other week. This has taken up time, in an entertaining way. Must work out a way of covering World's though - I miss doing this every year as Simon and Chris do it.

So why haven't I been online more. What's going on? What's my focus? Studio building.... To create music and film. Sounds easy, but it's like building a house. I'm loving the challenge and learning loads but in danger of becoming and anorack at times. I understand about codecs! I was at the Broadcast Expo the other week and met some of the techies from Dancing On Ice... The cost of the kit we use on DOI and how great are technical team across the board are. I appreciate it more and more.

So busy in this studio creation - the output due to be starting from the end of June this year. Not a lot of time... No pressure then.

Christiane's coming to DOI on Sunday, her first visit this year due to Tiger needing to be looked after. It will be his first 'part evening' on his own. He'll be at my brother's and we'll be back after the show so he'll be fine - we hope. He's almost walking and is adorable...

See you Sunday.



Thursday, January 8, 2009

Crazy rules

I haven't been blogging for a while. I read on a developers website that no news means that work was being done.... I suppose that's true of me. Time flies, family visits, covering the Grand Prix Series for Eurosport last quarter of last year and digging foundations for our new business.

This week Dancing On Ice 4 starts - the ITV reality series featuring celebrities learning to Ice Dance. I will be judging again. This will be fun and lasts for eleven weeks with the tour running after that.

In the midst of that is Eurosport commentary on Europeans from Helsinki with Chris Howarth - we'll have a blast.

My son was ill with his first cold over Christmas - bless him. As he's 10 months this was and is a big deal for him poor chap. I've been doing 3.45 am shifts with him resting on my shoulder. He's given me his cough now - hope I can speak by Sunday for live TV!

Research and development to set up my studio is progressing well. Just takes a long time to trawl through the myriad of options on each area and fit to a developing business plan. I'm excited about the capability we will have when it's done. A production factory for music and audio visuals being the goal.

I read an Obituary in the Times that Christiane had sent to her. The death was recorded of Common Sense.... having had lunch with some Brits who have moved to New Zealand and hearing how life is there I think we seem to live in a place that is sadly loosing perspective in many areas of administration. NZ sounds great by comparison - you fall over on the street and you can't sue people. It's your job to stand up... makes sense to me. Encouraging though how the British humour and the decency of people can still shine through, I'm meeting loads of great folk at the moment. Who makes the crazy rules we hear about? Did I hear it right we are not going to call schools schools because the term is not positive? At least it gives Terry Wogan something to talk about on an ongoing basis....

Here's to a great 2009 and a rebellion against the faceless administrators that introduce crazy rules....