Colin is an author of historical non-fiction. He has written three books about twentieth-century history. "Secret Wartime Britain", published in 2018, investigates hidden places in Second World War Britain which contributed to the war effort and examines how secret they really were. "Relics of the Reich", published in 2016, tells the story of the architecture left by the Nazis and how modern Germany has dealt with this difficult legacy. "A Place in History", published in 2012, highlights around a hundred places all over Britain which were the locations of news events and looks at the impact of those events on the places in question.  Colin co-wrote and produced a short play "The Last Match" about the story of the final first-class cricket match in England in September 1939 as war was about to break out, which was performed around the country in 2015, including at Headingley and Hove cricket grounds. 
Colin spent twenty-five years in the BBC as a reporter, producer and editor on news, current affairs and documentary programmes on both TV and radio. He reported on, and produced news coverage of, major news stories including the Manchester IRA bomb, the Selby Train Crash and the search for victims of the Moors murderers. He made documentaries on a range of subjects including the safety of the Channel Tunnel, sexism in the police and an acclaimed series of walks along the Cumbria Way. He won a number of RTS and Sony Awards. In his last role at the BBC, as Head of BBC Yorkshire, he led the process of creating more localised TV services and making the BBC the clear market leader over ITV in the region. Colin was Director of the National Media Museum in Bradford for eight years leading several major projects including establishing the world's first museum gallery about the history of the internet. Later, he ran the advocacy group, Bradford Breakthrough.
Colin has extensive experience as a speaker, interviewer and chair at literary festivals, on radio and television and to a range of societies, academic institutions and local groups. He regularly appears in the media commenting on the subjects on which he has written. Over the past decade he has interviewed many leading authors and celebrities on stage at the Ilkley, Bradford and Harrogate Literature Festivals as well as the York Festival of Ideas. Colin has served as a Trustee or non-executive director for a number of organisations including the Advertising Standards Authority, the Yorkshire Film Archive, of which he was Chair for ten years, and Arts and Business Yorkshire. He is currently a Trustee of the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation, the community and charity arm of Yorkshire County Cricket Club, and a member of the Court of the University of York.