Neil qualified as an archaeologist in 1988. His fieldwork experience has covered everything from the early Stone Age in Scotland to the examination of World War II coastal fortifications of Kent and Northern France.
Neil trained as a journalist working on The Scotsman, The Herald, The Guardian, The Edinburgh Evening News and The Daily Record, but it was in 2002 that his television career really started. BBC 2’s Two men in a Trench saw Neil and his friend Tony Pollard visit historic British battlefields and recreate the battle situation using state-of-the-art technology. Neil co-wrote two books to accompany the series. Two Men in a Trench: Battlefield Archaeology (Michael Joseph) and Two Men in a Trench II: Uncovering the Secrets of British Battlefields (Michael Joseph).
Following this Neil became the lead presenter on the highly acclaimed BBC2 series Coast in 2005. The programme, looks at both the natural and social history of the British coastline.
In 2006, as well as working on Coast Neil made two documentaries, one for Channel 4, The Face of Britain and another for BBC 2, Scotland’s History: The Top Ten.
He also took part in Channel 4's Time Team: Big Royal Dig digging up the gardens at the Palace of Holyrood house in Edinburgh.
Following this Neil was one of the presenters on The History Detectives for BBC 2 (2007) and he also contributed to The One Show, BBC1.
In 2008 Neil’s passion for his native Scotland really emerged in the landmark documentary series A History of Scotland, BBC Scotland. And his next book, Amazing Tales For Making Men Out Of Boys, (Michael Joseph) was published in the same year.
Neil lives in Scotland with his wife and three children.