Tony Augarde

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.


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