Richard Jobson (television presenter)

Richard Jobson
D.A., h.c.
Born (1960-10-06) 6 October 1960
Kirkcaldy, Scotland
Nationality Scottish
Occupation filmmaker, television host, musician
Notable work 16 Years of Alcohol (2003 film)
"The Saints are Coming", "Into the Valley" (1979) by The Skids

Richard Jobson (born October 6, 1960) is a Scottish filmmaker (director, writer, producer) who also works as a television presenter. He is also known as the singer-songwriter of Skids.

Early life

Jobson was born in Kirkcaldy, and grew up in Ballingry, Fife,[1][2][3] the son of a miner and a worker at Rosyth Dockyard,[1] attending St. Columba's R.C. High School, Dunfermline.[2]


He was formerly lead singer with the art-punk rock group Skids. Jobson's singing style with Skids was highly distinctive, and he wrote the lyrics, while Stuart Adamson wrote most of the music.

Scared to Dance, the first Skids album, featured the hit 1979 single "Into the Valley", the group's most successful single. Jobson appeared on BBC Television's Top of the Pops singing it. The album also featured "The Saints are Coming" whose lyrics about storms and drowning came back to light after the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina. In September 2006 it was announced that Green Day and U2 were to record a cover version of the song for charitable purposes. Jobson said that he had written the song about the death of a friend in the British Army. Much of Scared to Dance features local references, and also Jobson's fascination with the two world wars.

The fourth and final album by Skids, Joy, was almost entirely written by Jobson and Russell Webb, as the other two band members left, one of whom was Jobson's long-time songwriting partner Stuart Adamson who moved on to form his new band Big Country.


Though he later formed another rock band with Russell Webb and John McGeoch called The Armoury Show—named after a 1913 New York modernist art exhibition—Jobson and Webb also became a vital part of the career of Virginia Astley, which began in 1980. Webb co-produced her first album From Gardens Where We Feel Secure.

Both Astley and Jobson were recording sessions for Les Disques Du Crépuscule, a Belgian record label, and Jobson made several LPs for the label, usually of poetry readings with Astley as his accompanist. At the same time the final Skids album Joy was released, Astley and Nicky Holland appeared as backing vocalists with Astley also playing flute on the single "Fields".

Both artists had shared a common interest in the War Poets, a theme which was in evidence for Jobson's first album Ballad Of Etiquette and which bore a credit for "Virginia & Josephine" (Wells). This album was released in November 1981, and peaked on the UK indie charts at number 24. At the same time Astley, Nicky Holland and Kate St. John auditioned for Bill Drummond at the Zoo Club in Liverpool where they made their live debut.

Jobson was doing poetry readings at the Cabaret Futura Club, who issued an album on the Martyrwell label and which was engineered by Astley's brother Jon Astley. Amongst a lot of strange-sounding and difficult music was the first ever recording by Kissing the Pink, where the "Josephine" from "Ballad Of Etiquette" came from, and who had been a music student in Manchester along with Virginia Astley.

For Crépuscule's LP Fruits Of The Original Sin, Jobson performed a poem called "Homage To Marguerite Duras" with music by Astley.

He was married to Mariella Frostrup from 1979 to 1984.

In the mid-1980s Astley and Jobson toured Japan to promote his album An Afternoon In Company. Much of Jobson's spoken-word material for the Cocteau and Crépuscule labels has been reissued on CD by the LTM label.

He has a daughter, Edieline, and a son, Archie.

Television and film career

In the 1980s Jobson became a familiar face on television as a presenter on 01 for London and as film reviewer for Sky Television. In June 2013, Jobson was awarded an honorary degree (Doctor of Arts) from Edinburgh Napier University. [4]


Skids discography
Year Title Label
1979 Scared to Dance Virgin
Days in Europa
1980 The Absolute Game
1981 Joy
The Armoury Show discography
Year Title Label
1985 Waiting for the Floods EMI America
Solo discography
Year Title Label
1988 Badman Parlophone



He also presented a late-night series in some ITV regions called Hollywood Report. Katie Wagner worked as a reporter on the show. At some time, he presented an arts magazine programme called 01-For London.

See also


  1. 1 2 "Once more into the valley". Scotland on Sunday. 8 April 2007. Retrieved 22 November 2011.
  2. 1 2 English, Paul (9 June 2011). "Scots star Michael Nardone: I'm gutted that my success is a secret in my own country". Daily Record. Retrieved 22 November 2011.
  3. Clarkson, John. "Richard Jobson : Interview". pennyblackmusic. Retrieved 22 November 2011.
  4. Edinburgh Napier University: Richard Jobson - Doctor of Arts
  5. Herald Scotland: Richard Jobson keeps his head in the cloud with Wayland's Song

External links

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