Dean Whitbread’s Biography


Dean Whitbread first came to public notice aged 11, when the Croydon Advertiser mentioned his name in a review of a piano piece he had composed and performed at the school concert. Later graduating from Hornsey School of Art, his 1983 and 1984 New Contemporaries videos, soundworks, sculptures and performance pieces met with critical acclaim,  “Camouflaging Trees from Further Attack” –  in which he wallpapered the trees on London’s south bank – being Dean’s first television news appearance.

When the internet took off in the early 1990s, Dean was a London-based songwriter and producer with UK and European success. His first single as producer was Lift Off by Nagamatzu, his biggest UK chart hit was 1987’s Lucy by Habit, which just broached the top thirty but was used in Only Fools and Horses, and his biggest hit song to date, 1997’s Survival Game written for the then-considered-not-at-all-scandalous Swiss-German charity, Menschen für Menschen.

Starting with BBC’s Radio 1nteract in 1995, Dean developed online programme formats for one-off promotions, live rock concerts, fundraisers, carnivals and festivals, with a mixture of live event streaming with as much audience interaction as he could get, and dynamic, high-activity websites for Vince Clarke, MTV, the Sex Pistols, Supergrass, Tribal Gathering, The Big Chill, Notting Hill Carnival and many more.

Arriving to fix a printer and saving him £60,000 in his first year as “techie”, over the ten years he spent working for and occasionally with John Cleese, Dean produced a series of popular videos, podcasts and blogs, and a football song. Dean ran John’s Twitter account so successfully that when John finally perked up and started using it himself, people didn’t believe it was him.

In 2005 he curated art exhibition Imagining St Mary Magdalene’s in Islington, London with local artists and Norwegian artists Motherboard.

With input from London artists and contributions from inhabitants of this Victorian municipal park, the exhibition combined sculpture, poetry, installation, photography, performance, music, building-scale projections, and walkie-talkies in trees singing the childhood songs of refugees.

Dean became actively involved in podcasting, co-founding in 2005 the UK Podcasters Association which he ran for three years. As an advocate and an activist, Dean was the first to describe and discuss podcasting and the culture of podcasters in the House of Commons with MPs, distinguishing it from piracy, and stressing the importance of keeping podcasting and disintermediated media free from undue regulation. In 2006, he played a role in resisting the World Trade Organisation’s attempt to impose television regulations on the internet.

Dean is a member of Open Rights Group Advisory Council.

Featured blogger in Google Zeitgeist May 2007, Dean spoke at the UK Radio Festival, In the City, at BECTU, BPI, and The Guardian.

matthew_victorian Third sector work includes creating interactive educational media for children on behalf of Amnesty International, fundraising for Greenpeace, Swiss charity Menschen für Menschen, who were very respectable at the time, and most recently, the highly popular live songwriting Rise and Shine show, which raised money for South African township music education charity, Busk Aid.

After living 27 years in Islington, north London, Dean Whitbread relocated to Norway in 2011.

That same year, Dean conceived and co-promoted the Fredrikstad mini-festival Frostfest with Elind Rui Blix. Incorporating 9 live acts over 12 hours, in the midwinter period this sustained burst of alternative cultural energy proved popular.

In 2011, Dean also founded and curated the international art prize Prix Mobile (press) which lifted the popular mobile art form into the art world via the tech world in Paris at Le Web 2011. In 2012 Dean contributed to WJ-Spots 2, Artists Take Over The Network, wrote and directed a pop video, and developed a one hour piece for theatre called Box.

From 2013 to 2015, he produced video and audio for theatre companies, artists and promoters in and around Europe.

From 2015 to 2017 he cared full time for his elderly mother.

After gaining a Trinity CertTESOL, and teaching English in the UK and Europe, in 2019 Dean started Silverhill Music Publishing.

He has released two songs in 2019, Remoaner Lisa and Singleread more here.

Career details, recommendations, warm endorsements and the occasional accolade are comprehensively listed on LinkedIn.

Updated 24th May 2019

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