Patrick Stoddart was born and bred in Watford. He went to Watford Boys' Grammar School before joining the Watford Observer where he worked as a reporter by day and the paper's drama critic by night, which is how his lifelong association with the Palace Theatre began.

He later became a reporter on the old London Evening News and eventually became media editor and television critic of The Sunday Times. He also wrote and presented a variety of programmes for Radio 4, C4 and a number of regional ITV companies.

He later founded his own media consultancy, advising BBC News, Reuters and Virgin, and working with Rory Bremner at the height of the satirist's C4 fame. He was also co-founder of News World, a major annual conference for the international broadcast news industry, and creator of The Drama Forum, a conference for the world's most influential television drama producers, writers and directors.

He is currently senior lecturer in journalism at the University of Westminster, and also adjunct professor of journalism at Richmond University.

Patrick played rugby for Fullerians RFC in Watford for more than 40 years, captained a team for 25 and was chair for another four, during which he launched mini and junior rugby sections which now provide sport for more than 250 young people from all over Watford. England players Josh Lewsey and Will Frazer both came through Fullerians' junior ranks.

Patrick is a member of the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House), the Royal Television Society, the Media Society and the Broadcasting Press Guild.

He lives in Watford Heath with his wife Nicki, a leading theatre agent whose clients include Alan Bennett, Michael Frayn and Mike Leigh.