By Nordia Henry, Staff Reporter
COMMONLY KNOWN as 'Bertis', the man who has the wit and lyrics to keep his fans mesmerised, he at the same time leaves most Jamaicans smiling, especially when he frolics around with co-host Simon Crosskill on TVJ's 'Smile Jamaica' programme on weekday mornings.
Contrary to the jovial host he is on 'Smile Jamaica', he hates talking about himself, "Mi nuh like talk 'bout mi self, only mi work," said media personality Neville Bell when he spoke to Flair recently.
Neville Bell grew up in Rollington Town, Kingston, where he attended St. George's College and took part in a lot of sporting events, such as lawn tennis, cricket and football. After his years at St. George's, he migrated to Toronto where he pursued a degree in Marketing, but has never held a job in the field of marketing.
As a professional coach, he has coached many schools. In fact, his first coaching job was at St. Jago High in St. Catherine. "I coached Jamaica (under-20 football team) for 11 years, from 1988-1999. Through the influence of my brother and a friend, Courtney Sergeant from RJR, I was invited to become an analyst in schoolboy football. Shortly after, I left that job and joined TVJ (formerly JBC)."
Besides being a freelancer at TVJ, Bell is also in charge of the youth programme at Harbour View and has done commentaries on Independence celebrations, Emancipation, carnival, football, cricket, hockey, basketball and netball. He attributes his success in media to Ed Barnes, who he said had a lot of confidence in him and thought he was able to handle the things he's doing now.
"It was really RJR that gave me the start but it was Ed Barnes who gave me the break. I read a lot, but I don't have much time to be involved in sports. I am a full-time coach but I do so much work here (at TVJ) as a freelancer, it's almost like I work here full-time. I spend a lot of time listening to music, almost every week I buy a CD, I have some 500 CDs. I don't have that many friends but the ones that I have, I cherish. I am very involved with my family, I spend a lot of time with them, especially my mother because she has been a great inspiration to me.
As the proud father of four children, my deepest regret is not being able to spend much time with my children because they are not here in Jamaica."
WHAT HE WOULD GRAB
My CDs ... "My family collected records because music was an integral part of our lives. In fact, I had a couple of sound systems when I was much younger. I grew up hearing rocksteady, reggae and other music. I love music, it is one of my greatest hobbies. I listen to classicals, dancehall all kinds of music."
My phone... "I would save my phone but then I always have my phone with me."
No doubt, the phone explains for itself why he wouldn't let it burn.