Tom Morton's broadcasting career on both radio and TV spans 30 years. He is also a critically acclaimed novelist, non-fiction writer and award-winning journalist. He lives and works mainly in the Shetland Islands.
He has written several books, including a best-selling biography of the Gaelic rock band Runrig, a whisky travelogue called Spirit of Adventure, and several other publications, all critically acclaimed . These include Red Guitars in Heaven, Hell's Golfer, Internal Combustion, Guttered, The Further North You Go, Black Gold Tide (with Tom Kidd) and Journey's Blend (with Rob Allanson and Ken Hamilton).
A spy novel called Serpentine was published in the UK in 2009 and in the US and Canada the following year, by the Edinburgh publisher Mainstream.
For many years, he worked as a print journalist, as a columnist with the Daily and Sunday Express, Scotland on Sunday, The Big Issue in Scotland, The Shetland Times, and as a staff reporter with national newspaper The Scotsman. He was the first non-DC Thomson employee to script the legendary Sunday Post cartoon strips The Broons and Oor Wullie - something he did for 12 months in 2005-2006.
Born in Carlisle, Cumberland, England, but brought up by his Scottish family in Glasgow and Troon, Ayrshire, Morton's early years were characterised by committed evangelical Christianity which he alluded to in the novel Red Guitars in Heaven. Heavily involved in religious music during the 1970s and early 80s, he released several albums and toured as a full-time evangelical singer. The evangelical period of Morton's life ended in 1984: a change referenced in several of his books.
His subsequent career included writing reviews and features for the defunct rock weekly Melody Maker, and working as a producer and presenter in religious TV. A move to the Shetland Islands in 1987 saw his appointment as news editor of The Shetland Times, and the subsequent formation of the islands' first freelance news agency. Appointment as Highlands and Islands Reporter with The Scotsman led to four years with the paper before a return to Shetland and more freelance work.
He has continued to work sporadically in television, with the Discovery Home and Leisure series Village Green, about ecological housing, and three series of the STV motoring programme Wheelnuts. He wrote and presented the ITV network productions The Rock that Doesn't Roll and The Rock That Rolled Away, and the international golf feature, available on DVD, The Old Course. He has written scripts for some TV and many radio programmes.
His radio work began in 1992 on BBC Radio Scotland.
In 2006, he released a CD of original musical material, mainly self-conscious meditations on the perils of being an ageing rock'n'roll fan. He blogs regularly at The Beatcroft, Drinking for Scotland, Fairly.Committed and Thrillfilter.
Morton has returned to live musical performance with the Malt and Barley Revue, a musical show about whisky.
Several of his books are available on Amazon either as Kindle downloads or in print. The novel, A Whisky in Monsterville, was published in August 2013. In June 2017 he published the lightly fictionalised memoir In Shetland: Tales from the Last Bookshop.
Find out more at thebeatcroft.co.uk