After Bristol University, where he dodged lectures by writing, directing and performing in revues, Jo trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. His acting career included the Bristol Old Vic Company, Hammer Films, TV and Radio. Then – in need of it – he discovered psychotherapy and group-work. Returning to university, he read psychology and philosophy and received a research grant to pursue his own project, after which he was offered a place on a Masters in Clinical Psychology concurrent with a lectureship.
Wisely, he turned all this down to grow vegetables and keep goats, chickens and bees in Cornwall – where, as a group facilitator, facilitator-trainer and supervisor, he started a residential centre for personal and professional development. CAER ran for twenty five years, near Land’s End on the site of an Iron Age fortified settlement – the subject of Jo’s first published book ‘Fogou’ and a Channel Four TV ‘Time Team Classic’. His second book – ‘Big Trouble’ – is about his mother, Margaret Elliott, who was intimately involved in the Cadco Affair, the 1960s biggest financial scandal. Jo is married with grandchildren and, in contrast to his mother’s attraction for sharks, he prefers trolling for mackerel.