CV | Press | Photos | Meet Rune

 

Meet Rune


A warm welcome to this informal and private part of my home page with my personal story in words and photos from my scrapbook. If you want to get in touch please do email me at rune@bechmedia.dk or text +4520289666.

Warmest, Rune

 

Me. Mostly into life changing experiences... Curiouser and curiouser. All we have is now.

Born: 26 June, 1966 (Island of Fyn, Denmark).
Height: 188 cm (6' 2").
Civil status: Married from 1988 until 2015.
Children: Two sons (born 1993 and 1995).
Smoking: No.
Education: Broadcast journalist.
Profession: Founder (health and jazz).
Living: Coastal hideaway on the Danish island of Fyn, and a flat in the Copenhagen canal district of Christianshavn. Frequently calling London home.
Passions: Jazz, the sea, the arts (and a foodie).

~

It all began one sunny Sunday morning at 8 a.m. on an idyllic cottage farm with thatched roof - a countryside paradise surrounded by rolling hills on Fyn. I arrived as the youngest of four. Loving teacher parents living the dream of a romantic upbringing for their children with nature and many animals - far away from inner city troubles and the cold war realities of the 60s and 70s. Bless them.

And then there was the family's Massey Ferguson tractor! Model 35. British built. And red. Oh boy, I spent many hours on that, while my sisters probably were more into our horses... In short; I enjoyed my childhood - spoilt as only a baby brother can be - and flooded in love.

 

Photo: 1974 (at the farm "Havstedbæk" dating back to 1794) - helping bringing the harvest home - and having clearly spotted a much larger tractor passing by...

 

After studying journalism in Aarhus (DK), international politics in Brighton (UK), and having been an intern with the UN in New York City (US), aged 23, I became a foreign correspondent for the national Danish newspaper Politiken for eight years. First posted to Eastern Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, and then later to London for four years. Loved every single day of those assignments.

I had the privilege of being in Moscow covering the Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev summit in 1988, with the famous emotional speech by Reagan declaring 'Gorbachev a personal friend'. Oh man, did we all get the shivers?! The healing of Europe (the world) had begun.

Photo: 1988 (Moscow) - A very young and eager reporter at the Red Square in Moscow during the historic Reagan/Gorbachev Summit.

 

Just one year later, The Berlin Wall came down... Traveling in the region and covering the transformation that followed was... not boring. Could a young journalist possibly had hoped for more?!

Among the victims who had to bear with my questioning were East European dissidents (turned heads of states) Vaclav Havel and Lech Walesa. Spectacular men; one a playwright, the other a dyslexic electrician.

In journalism I admire BBC and C4 hacks like John Simpson, Jon Snow, Kirsty Wark, Andrew Marr, Marc Urban, Cathy Newman and Jeremy Paxman - and then, of course, Ernest Hemingway for his writing style (and that house in Key West, oh dear).

I respect independent public service media institutions such as the BBC immensely for the role in keeping Britain (and indeed the world) a civilised and sane place (bar a few folks).

I'm a public service guy to the bone - applauding critical independent journalism. More important now then ever since SoMe took the lid off the sewer, and the growth of the spin army - in politics as inbusiness (now 10 to 1, and growing). Serious stuff with implications.

 

Photo: 1998 (London) - After eight years as a newspaper correspondent, I joined the main tv news in Denmark, TV 2 Nyhederne, as a foreign affairs hack; here seen reporting from London during the Danish EU referendum in May 1998 (aged 31) with Danish tv personalities Kaare R. Schou and Jes Dorph-Petersen as election night anchors. >

~

Later, I changed tracks in life and became an entrepreneur with a mission to change healthcare together with my best friend since high school, Carl, who is a medical doctor.

The potential power of the internet to democratise everything, including healthcare, was too tempting for us to ignore.

NetDoctor is an independent medical encyclopaedia with frequently updated health information sourced from the most respected doctors across Europe. Today, NetDoctor is owned by publishing houses such as Hearst Media and Bonniers. Not everything we did back then was entirely wrong it seems.

From 2001 until 2007 I re-joined the Danish public service broadcaster TV 2 as an executive and a member of the management team (aged 34), responsible for digital innovation. Loved the task and my fired-up colleagues.

In 2004 we launched one of the first European video-on-demand services with tv and film, TV 2 Sputnik (later renamed TV 2 Play) - long before anyone had heard of Netflix or Apple TV. Were we upbeat? You bet.

Rune Bech

~

In 2015, Carl and I (with our new partner, Kristoffer) initiated a new app-based healthtech venture, Liva Healthcare, with offices in Copenhagen and London.

Photo: 2016 (London) - Partners in crime in changing healthcare at Liva Healthcare, from left Kristoffer From, Alex Ballantyne and Carl J. Brandt.

 

Liva helps patients suffering from lifestyle diseases (such as diabetes, heart disease or obesity) to slow or even reverse the progression via a behaviour change app.

Patients get their own personal health coach via the app to help them manage their condition.

Patients also have access to a peer-to-peer support group of mentors, as well as digital tools to help them change lifestyle and turn back the clock on their disease.

 

Rune Bech

Photo: 2018 (London) - Liva Healthcare is sometimes invited to present clinical outcomes at conferences; here the Digital Health World Congress in Kensington, London.

 

The Liva platform has been selected by NHS England and other European health authorities to help stop the rapid growth in diabetes.

Liva was recently awarded "Healthcare IT Firm of The Year" in London by Health Investor Magazine. A lot to live up to... Watch out, IBM!

 

Rune Bech

 

Thanks to Liva, I'm in my beloved London frequently (offices in Marylebone). That's a truly lovely alibi for frequent visits to cultural watering holes like Sadlers Wells, Donmar Warehouse, National Theatre, Royal Court Theatre, and Almeida Theatre. At the same time I get to satisfy my love for writing by reviewing London theatre for the Danish performing arts magazine, ISCENE. A very dear passion. >

 

Rune Bech

~

Jazz is another great passion of mine. In 2010 - nearly by chance - I re-opened a once legendary jazz venue in Copenhagen, Jazzhus Montmartre, at Store Regnegade 19a - a lovely place with a history going back to 1959 that eventually closed in 1995. The old venue came up for grabs and that was too big a temptation to pass. >

MONTMARTRE

Photo: 2018 (Copenhagen) - At Montmartre we're staging live concerts 3-4 nights a week with artists from all over the world.

 

Back in the 60's and 70's, Jazzhus Montmartre used to be home to many of the American jazz giants, seeking refuge from especially the race war in the US. Artists like Dexter Gordon, Ben Webster, Kenny Drew, Stan Getz, and many others relocated to Copenhagen - not least because of the vibe of the place.

 

Photo: 2018 (Copenhagen) - The British newspaper The Guardian recently named Jazzhus Montmartre "one of the ten best jazz venues in Europe". Made us truly humble. >

 

So I find myself being one of 20 volunteers engaged in this lovely place as its unpaid head. I'm blessed with the world's best Artistic Director, my dear friend (and Swedish jazz pianist) Jan Lundgren.

Jazz inspirations? Well, I must thank my older brother whose records I stole, when he was at school. I salute jazz artists like Miles Davis, Keith Jarrett, Nina Simone, Weather Report, Jackie Terrasson, Palle Mikkelborg, Niels Henning Ørsted Pedersen, Esbjörn Svensson Trio, Jan Johansson, Jimmy Scott, Phronesis, Go Go Penguin, Girls In Airports, Morten Schantz, Entrance, Bo Stief, Oscar Peterson, Yusef Lateef, Gill Evans, Jakob Bro, Cæcilie Norby, Stan Getz, Sinne Eeg, Abdullah Ibrahim, Lars Danielsson, Lee Konitz, Melody Gardot, Jan Lundgren, Paolo Fresu, Jesper Bodilsen, Daniel Herskedal, John Surman, Josefine Cronholm, Arve Henriksen, Tord Gustavson, Trygve Seim, and Jan Gabarek, and many many more.

Photo: 1989 (Budapest) - A magic moment seeing Keith Jarrett live playing solo piano in a packed concert hall in Budapest, March 22, 1989 at the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music.

 

In classical music I listen to Arvo Pärt, Bach, Chopin, Rued Langgaard, Erik Satie, Carl Nielsen, Purcell, Albinoni. Also contemporary composers in the cross-over land like Max Richter, Philip Glass, Olafur Arnalds, and Nils Frahm.

Among the other important records I bought over the years you will find Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, David Bowie, The Doors, Leonard Cohen, EW&F, Coldplay, Led Zeppelin, Lou Reed, Beatles, Nick Cave, Savage Rose, Elbow, Mark Hollis, Stevie Wonder and Abba. Did I just write Abba?! I think I did.

Rune Bech

~

I still love my birth island Fyn dearly and have a tiny bolt hole there on the coast that I love to escape to - whenever possible.

Photo: 2019 (Svendborg) - In the garden of my secret hideaway on the coast of Fyn; a former orchard near the charming maritime town of Svendborg, dating back to 1253.

I generally love being in, on, or near water. There, I'm truly happy.

Photo: 2018 (Svendborg) - I'm one of the last men in Northern Europe not owning lycra... But I do sail a HobieCat (and play a bit of tennis for fun).

~

Otherwise, I'm inspired in life by artists and writers such as Asger Jorn, Egon Schielé, Samuel Beckett, Marlene Dumas, Haruki Murakami, Harold Pinter, Pina Bausch, Auguste Rodin, Paul Auster, Julian Barnes, Simone de Beauvoir, Chechov, Marina Abramovic, and Vilhelm Hammershøi (do check the latter out if you don't know him; exquisite). >

Photo: 2018 (Humlebæk) - A beloved painting by Asger Jorn (part of the Cobra movement) from the collection of Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, north of Copenhagen.

~

Photo: 2018 (Aarhus and London) - Two grand artistic experiences that made an impression recently were the installation at Aros Museum of Modern Art in Aarhus by Tony Matelli, "Fucked Couple" (left), and the contemporary ballet "Viktor" by Pina Bausch (right), staged at Sadlers Wells in London in February 2018. >

~

In short, I love life. Isn't it just a beautiful wonder?! So very fragile... and so little do we know. But then there's friendship and love. And dark chocolate, music, words, and the colour red.

As Woody Allen put it: "Life is full of misery, loneliness and suffering - and it's all over much too soon". >

I especially love the answer "don't know". Tend to like people who do not always have answers to everything... and remain somewhat humble in life.

~

Iceland and Italy are my two favourite destinations in life so far. Have been to Iceland countless times since I was a teenager when my sister lived there.

Rune Bech

Photo: 2017 - lovely Iceland.

Rune Bech

Photo: 2017 (Iceland) - Can't get enough of Iceland's fascinating combination of fire and ice - and its beautiful nature.

 

And what's not to like about Italy?! Food, wine, passion, and beauty.

~

Rune Bech

Photo: 2018 - A hedonist? Quite possibly.

~

 

Rune Bech

Thanks for visiting. See you in real life.

Warmest,

Rune

all_we_have


 

Contact

Rune Bech
Email: rune@bechmedia.dk
Tel. Int. +4520289666 / DK: 20 28 96 66
SVENDBORG | COPENHAGEN | LONDON

Photos Meet me - who is Rune?

Photos Press photos

Photos Media coverage / press clippings

Photos CV

 

Rune Bech