Paddy Hughes joined the RAF in the footsteps of his Battle of Britain father and became a fast jet fighter pilot. He flew Hunters with the famous No. 1 Squadron and the 1000 mph Lightning. Illness, though, caused an obscure form of disorientation and, after several close shaves, he was forced to change careers. Being an Alpine ski racing champion and holder of an unofficial world record for canoeing the 800 mile Rhine from Switzerland to its mouth on the North Sea helped him into BBC TV Outside Broadcasts. He then went freelance as a documentary film writer. A couple of lucky breaks and he became a director.
An early film of Paddy's, about the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal, won awards all over the world and was selected by the National Film Archive for historical preservation. Since then he has travelled the world ranging through documentaries, TV commercials, blue chip corporate programmes and Business Television. In all he has made over 500 films and video programmes many of which have won major British or international awards.
Paddy moved to London after he left the RAF. He eventually settled with his family in East Sheen where he has lived for the last 30 years. He is a neighbour and lover of Richmond Park where he walks his dog and cycles daily.
He began writing poetry in 1971. Since then he has secretly created a collection of several hundred poems. They span from life at prep school to the excitement of front-line flying, from film work to rugby (he is a Vice President of the London Irish Rugby Club), and from travel to concern for the environment. They include many saga narratives. Over seventy are about the moods, weather, seasons, flora, fauna and characters of Richmond Park. It is a subject dear to his heart.
Only recently has Paddy exposed his collection publicly. Since then his live readings have become very popular and requests for publication mushroomed.