Tony Augarde learnt to play the drums from
the age of 11 and has been a semi-professional
musician for several decades, playing with
jazz groups, dance bands and numerous other
kinds of ensemble. For some years he played
the drums for Vile Bodies, the band created
by Humphrey Carpenter which was resident at
London's Ritz Hotel. He has played at various
times with such prestigious British musicians
as Alan Barnes, George Chisholm, Mark Nightingale,
Tommy Whittle, Malcolm Creese and Jim Tomlinson.
Tony has a wide and deep knowledge of all
kinds of jazz. He writes for Jazz Rag and
Crescendo magazines, and he has given talks
on such subjects as Lionel Hampton and "The
Drums in Jazz".
After gaining a B.A. degree in English at
Oxford University, he worked at the Oxford
University Press compiling dictionaries, including
the Oxford Intermediate Dictionary (1981),
Oxford School Dictionary (ed. 4, 1981) and
Oxford Dictionary of Modern Quotations (1991).
He also worked on the Supplement to the Oxford
English Dictionary and the Pocket Oxford Dictionary.
As a freelance writer he produced three books
about word games: The Oxford Guide to Word
Games (1984; new edition: 2003), The Oxford
A to Z of Word Games (1994) and Oxford Word
Challenge (1998) - all published by OUP. For
ten years he was freelance Arts Editor for
the Oxford Times, organising and writing previews
and reviews of concerts, plays and art exhibitions.
He now writes television reviews as well as
a regular wordplay column for the Oxford Times.
He has appeared frequently on radio and TV.
For nine years he broadcast a weekly jazz
programme to BBC local radio stations in the
south-east. On BBC Radio 4, he has appeared
in Wordly Wise, Word of Mouth, and Bill Bryson's
series Mother Tongue. He has given talks at
literary festivals in Cheltenham, Swindon,
Poole and Kent. He has broadcast word quizzes
on Talk Radio UK, LBC, and other radio stations,
and currently compiles a weekly brainteaser
for an internet website.