Steph has been writing for more than thirty years.
She started writing for newspapers as a local correspondent on the Pontypridd Observer aged just nineteen, then trained as a newspaper journalist in Cardiff. In the 1980s, she was a reporter on weekly papers in London and freelanced for national music magazines including Record Mirror. She’s written for the Western Mail and was one of the team who helped launch Trinity Mirror’s website icwales – now named Wales Online.
As a press officer in local government for seventeen years, she issued thousands of press releases, wrote and edited web content and managed social media channels on a huge variety of topics. Over the past year, Steph has branched out into radio news reading, presenting and voiceover work.
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There was this young guy from Treforest. Dark-haired fella who loved Elvis. Great singer. Had the moves, too. His name was Tom – Tommy Pitman. Oh yes – and there was another fella from Treforest who could sing, too – Tommy Woodward. Wonder whatever happened to him…
From early bands to Punk pioneers, Pontypridd has produced a wealth of talent – including two great singing Toms. WHEN PONTY ROCKED! shines a spotlight on Pontypridd’s Rock ‘n’ Roll past. In a tribute to her hometown, journalist Steph McNicholas tells the stories of musicians and music fans… Meet the beat groups who broke out before The Beatles became famous; the creator of Pontypridd’s first pop music column; the town’s youngest-ever disc jockey; the acts who entertained hundreds in clubland’s heyday and the school pals who formed a Punk Rock band and gigged together forty years on… These are the people who made Ponty rock!
“The old hometown certainly doesn’t look the same after reading this fascinating history of Pontypridd’s musical movers and shakers. A joy from start to finish!” – Kevin McGrath, author of Pop Hack
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Pop fan Steph McNicholas grew up in Pontypridd, dreaming of one day becoming a Music journalist. Landing in London in the late 1980s, she called Record Mirror from a red telephone box, offered to write a review and began her stint as a freelance writer for the national Music papers.
This is the story of how a small-town girl got to spend her nights at sizzling gigs and her days around a certain female prime minister…
Town and Country Girl features over a dozen original reviews, including gigs by Big Audio Dynamite and Madness, as well as the Porthcawl Elvis Festival, the 1990 Reading Festival and a show by Ponty’s very own Tom Jones.