Brought up in London, then read psychology at Queen's University Belfast. (The Nobel-laureate Seamus Heaney was among his teachers and the youngest MP Bernadette Devlin was among his contemporaries.)
He became involved in student politics, won the largest popular vote in the student union's history, and became a member of the students' union executive at a time when tensions were building in the province and the student movement was at the centre of events. He was deputy president of the union when the troubles broke out in earnest, and remained in Northern Ireland for seven years. He was among the first to conduct academic research into the troubles in Northern Ireland, investigating prejudice among school children: "Identification of Religious Affiliation from Static Physiognomic Cues in a Sectarian Social Milieu" or "Can you tell Catholics from Protestants just by looking?" (He showed that for practical purposes - and contrary to a widely held assumption in the Province - people cannot discriminate accurately simply by appearance.)
He became involved in broadcasting more or less by chance, while still a student. His first appearance, like most of those that followed, was live. He reported regularly on the troubles for BBC Northern Ireland, with news and documentaries (as well as a chat show), and witnessed much of the bloodshed and political turmoil when the violence was at its height. He intended to return to academics until tempted by offers of broadcasting work in London. He has been a freelance ever since.
He has been a leading broadcaster across a wide range of issues, specialising at various times in news, current affairs, politics, and crime.
He has gained a reputation as one of the best conference moderators and chairs meetings for companies and government agencies around the world.
"Nick Ross chaired the event skilfully and sensitively" London First on Nick Ross who chaired a mayoral hustings