Meet The Team

Graham Benge is a motoring and motor sport journalist, author and broadcaster. Books include “Get Home Safely”, “Buying a Used Car” and “Buy and Run a Banger”. He has been a newspaper columnist for 20 years, 15 years as a contributor to BBC radio and 10 years as dual presenter of a syndicated motoring show on commercial radio. He is a former lecturer on road safety and President of the Chichester branch of the IAM.

Graham Benge talks to Nico Rosberg

He has road tested almost every car on the road, career highlights being a Jaguar C Type, a Porsche 962 Le Mans car, the Mustang from the movie Bullit and Lady Penelope’s FAB1 from the recent Thunderbirds movie. He has completed numerous high performance driving courses including 2 days with Sir Jackie Stewart at Oulton Park, racing or performance road car courses at most racing circuits in the UK and several skid control courses.

Mike Gates is fanatical about cars.

Having been car mad since before he could walk, his interests include a broad range of cars from the 60s through to the present day; but his favourite drives are cars from the 80s and 00s, and in particular hot hatches, although he is very partial to an Aston Martin.

Mike is a serial car buyer and reckons he’s owned just over 40 cars to date, (we suspect it’s more), not including company or press cars; driving hundreds of cars over thousands of miles throughout the course of his career. Such is his addiction to cars that he has taken to purchasing a Hotwheels car every time he has the urge to buy a new car. The shelf above his desk is now full.

Mike owes a good amount of his mechanical knowledge to skills he developed by buying what can only be described as a ‘dog’ of an Escort XR3 whilst he was studying for his first degree in Media in the late 2000s. As an impoverished student he had no other choice but to fix it himself, making mistakes along the way but ultimately enjoying getting his hands dirty. It was only natural that his interests would influence his professional life, ultimately leading him to work in various roles within the Automotive industry, and picking up a further degree in Automotive Management along the way alongside fellow team member Jim Baxter. His experience has seen him consult on a number of projects in addition to providing personal and professional insight as a regular voice of our UKMotortalk podcast.

You can often find Mike covering live events such as the Geneva Motor Show, Goodwood’s Festival of Speed and Revival, and the Mike Hawthorn Grand Prix of Farnham, interviewing drivers, owners and enthusiasts alike. He is also a keen reviewer when it comes to testing cars, old and new. In his spare time he enjoys attending car shows and rallies or hammering around a race track in the Fiesta ST [FiST] that he co-owns with Jim.


Mike is a fanatical “Petrol Head” suffering from the three C’s syndrome, i.e. mad about Cameras, Computers & cars in the same order. He adores all things of a deep technical nature relating to these three C’s  in so far as achieving optimum image quality from today’s high end professional cameras and computers.

Mike Jones – The Pixel Painter

Mike is responsible for capturing all still images at “First Take Media” events, and he as a wealth of knowledge concerning high-end digital image capture for press publication and for print or web.

Mike’s own website, The Pixel Painter, is now online, and it is through this that he organises practical photographic workshops and seminars for photographers, both fellow professionals and keen amateurs.

First Take Media Ltd is a multi-media company active in a variety of media genres from print journalism to publishing, film to television.

In our specialist area – radio broadcasting – we present live programmes for a large number of stations, produce radio programmes and have become experts in radio presentation of motor sport events, specialising for over a decade in outside broadcasts to multiple radio clients.

First Take Media team at Goodwood Revival

Our world-wide list of radio contacts includes strong concentrations in the UK across both BBC and commercial networks. We also have extensive contacts with English speaking stations all over the globe, particularly in the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.


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