My first degree is in English Literature & Film & Television Studies from the University of Glasgow. I graduated with an MA in 1992. After working in TEFL for a few years, I enrolled at Glasgow Caledonian to undertake a PhD. I've always had an interest in film locations so my thesis explored the use and function of on-screen locations in film and television drama. My research also looked at the increasing trend for film & television related tourism: I wanted to understand why people visit favourite movie/tv locations and what they get out of that type of tourism. I successfully completed my thesis in 2001.
In 1998 I took up a post in Media Theory at the University of Paisley which would soon become the University of the West of Scotland. My role was to oversee the development of radio and television modules for the new degree programme in Media Theory with Production. I wrote a number of modules that tapped in to my own interest in television drama and I'm still very much interested in television. Recent publications have focused on new developments in British television drama; I have written about Downton Abbey, Mr Selfridge and The Paradise. I have an interest in celebrity culture and contributed to a special issue on Northern stardom on Paul Hollywood and The Great British Bake Off for the journal of Popular Television. In 2019 I presented a paper on I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here' at the Persona Studies conference at the University of Newcastle.
My other research interests revolve around crime thrillers. I am a member of the international Crime Fiction Association and my most recent publication is on the crime drama Happy Valley. I have also written about Hollywood crime films The Friends of Eddie Coyle and The Killer Inside Me.