Nick Abbot was born on 22 August 1960, and was educated at George Heriot's School, an independent school for boys in Edinburgh, and at Brunel University in Uxbridge in West London, where he gained an upper-second class degree in psychology. His professional career began as a Virgin Megastore DJ. He had previously presented student radio at Brunel University's radio station, Radio Brunel.
In early 1987, he joined Radio Luxembourg to present an overnight music show. After hearing American talk show presenter Neil Rogers Abbot was inspired and the show instead became a phone in. Eventually a 'straight to air' format was settled upon, where calls would be taken unscreened. This format quickly became a hit with listeners. The absence of a delay system to 'dump' offensive language resulted in callers saying swear words just before they were cut off. It is believed that Abbot was one of the first (if not the first) to take calls straight to air, and later LBC colleague Iain Lee has often confessed that he stole some of his act from Nick (as well as Clive Bull and Tommy Boyd), perhaps hinting he got the inspiration for his "Triple M" show from Nick Abbot in addition to Boyd's "Human Zoo" show.
In October 1988, Abbot launched the new BBC radio station for London, BBC GLR (Greater London Radio). He presented the breakfast show for a year, but his contract was not renewed. He then returned to VMR, where he stayed until 1993.
Abbot was part of the original line-up on Virgin Radio in April 1993. There he presented the weekday late night phone-in show Sundays-Thursdays from 10pm–2am. The programme was a mixture of music and phone-in. Not afraid to speak his mind, he often voiced his opinions about other stations and presenters, and it was this that eventually led him into trouble.
Following a negative newspaper review by writer Robin Katz, Abbot's outbursts on air eventually led to censure from the Broadcasting Complaints Commission and the Radio Authority. He also called phone-in shows on other radio stations, speaking to the phone operators, and commenting on the usually elderly callers while listening to the programmes while on hold. Usually he failed to make it on air, but occasionally he did, including a memorable call to the Scottie McClue show. In June 1994 he was moved to the weekday 7-10pm show where he had to tone down his act, mainly taking music requests.
In January 1995, he moved back to the weekday late night show (this time from 11pm–2am) where he remained until April that year, when he was moved to the drivetime show from 4–7pm. He was dismissed from the station in September that year, leaving Virgin Radio with a fine of £5,000 for a sexual reference about a fellow DJ, and a further £20,000 for allowing a caller graphically to describe a sexual practice.
In the summer of 1996, Abbot was heard on Talk Radio UK acting as holiday cover. He was subsequently offered a regular show during the summer of 1997 on Saturday afternoons, alongside Carol McGiffin, later moving to Saturday evenings from 7.30–10 pm.
Thursday 12 November 1998 was known as Black Thursday. Talk Radio UK had been taken over by new management, and many presenters and staff were fired. Abbot was one of the many casualties. He continued with his weekday show on Virgin Radio, which was now extended to six days a week from 1–4 pm Sundays–Fridays.
It was during this period that Virgin Radio's new management re-hired Abbot to cover various shows on the station. He took over the evening show for six weeks during the summer of 1997, as well as providing holiday cover. In early 1998, he took over the weekday afternoon show on Virgin Radio from 1–4 pm, while continuing with his Saturday evening show on Talk Radio. In May 1998 (while still presenting his daily show on Virgin Radio) he took over the weekday evening show on Talk Radio UK from 7–9 pm.
Between March and September 1999, long-established London station LBC hired Abbot & McGiffin for a Saturday evening phone-in, similar in format to the duo's earlier Talk Radio show. During this time, he continued working for Virgin Radio as a DJ. Throughout the summer of 2000, he presented a Sunday morning phone-in show on Virgin, also hosting the weekday afternoon show. Later that year he moved to the drivetime slot, until leaving Virgin once again, in May 2001. He also provided holiday cover for Chris Evans.
In late 1999, Abbot joined Real Radio (Wales) to host its late-night phone-in show for a week as holiday cover for regular presenter Adrian Allen. October 2001 saw the beginning of a five-day stint at Manchester's Key 103, during which he presented the 10pm-2am programme.
In January 2002, he moved to Real Radio (Scotland) where he again presented the late night phone-in. Later in 2002, his show was networked across all three Real Radio stations (Scotland, Wales & Yorkshire).
He presented his last Real Radio show on 19 December 2002, subsequently deciding to take a break from radio for over two years.
On 3 September 2005 Abbot was heard on London's 102.2 Smooth FM, presenting the Saturday morning show. He stood in for various presenters, including on 'Weekend Breakfast', and covered shows on digital station Planet Rock. This became a regular gig from 17 December 2005 onwards, airing on Saturdays and Sundays from 2–6 pm.
In 2006, he had brief stint standing in on Caroline Feraday's weekend show (10 pm–1 am, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights) on LBC 97.3, from 10–19 February. However, he lost his voice during his second show, cutting the show short and being replaced by a recording of his friend and former Virgin and Talk colleague/sparring partner Wendy Lloyd. He was also unable to present the following evening's show, but returned on 17 February for the final three shows of this stint. He subsequently took over a regular slot on LBC on Saturday nights from 10pm-1am.
Abbot's show had a distinctive style among LBC presenters. It became normal for a summary of the week's news to take place at the start of the show over his opening jingle, "Boogie Woogie" by Liberace (replacing the theme tune he had previously used: "The Beautiful People" by Marilyn Manson). During the show, he played various sound clips including quotes from films such as The Terminator, and clips from his former co-presenter Carol McGiffin.
In late 2007, he took over LBC's weekday evening show from 7-10pm, while continuing with the Planet Rock weekend show (the latter ending in September 2008).
Nick now presents a Friday and Saturday night show on LBC from 10pm-1am, which retains his distinctive style. Featuring commentary and lively discussion on politics, current affairs, music and show-business, the show has a strong emphasis on humour. His links and sometimes acerbic commentaries are punctuated by short, skilfully-timed dialogue clips drawn from film soundtracks. Calls to the programme are often on serious topics, but the tone is generally lightened, with callers being encouraged to engage in humorous banter (often simultaneously being teased by the presenter) while getting their points across.
Nick also covers for other LBC presenters on an occasional basis.