Barden went to school in Brighton. He studied Management and Chemical Sciences at University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology and graduated with a BSc 2.1.
Barden started his television career at MTV Europe, first working as a writer at MTV News. He later became a senior miner of the Creative team created and designed their primetime comedy and gossip show MTV Hot. The show's attitude and style were later used as the basis of Channel 4's Popworld.
In 1999 he was series producer of the BBC2 music series Acetate.
In 2000 he produced and directed Hellraisers, a documentary on notable bad boys Oliver Reed, Keith Moon and Richard Harris. When broadcast on Channel 4 on a Saturday night it attracted over 2 million viewers.
In the same year, he formed the independent production company Vashca. Their output includes Bravo series I Predict a Riot and Virgin One's Rageh Omaar's Crime Invasion as well as the documentary The Real Dirk Diggler about the seventies porn star John Holmes.
In 2008 Barden left Vashca to return to freelance television work.
In 2010 he was the series producer of Celebrity Masterchef 2010. The show was nominated as Best Factual Programme at the National TV Awards.
In 2014 he produced and directed two episodes of The Brain with David Eagleman.
In 2016 he began work on One Strange Rock as Series Producer. He worked on the series for almost 3 years. The series won three Wildscreen Awards and was nominated for Best Science Documentary at the Grierson Awards 2018.
Barden is the author of the novel My Little Soldiers, a romantic comedy about a man with infertility issues. It was published by Piranha Press in 2014.
- "Keystaff". Bigger Pictures. Archived from the original on 2010-03-14. Retrieved 2010-04-04.
- Robins, Jane (2001-01-12). "Can show's contestants stay awake? Can the viewers? - Media, News". London: The Independent. Retrieved 2010-04-04.
- Matt Wells (2001-01-12). "Hands-on way to win a truck". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2010-04-04.
- "TwentyTwenty Television - Hellraisers". Twentytwenty.tv. Archived from the original on 2008-10-06. Retrieved 2010-04-04.
- "Vashca.com". Vashca.com. Archived from the original on 2010-05-16. Retrieved 2010-04-04.
- "BBC One Programmes - Celebrity Masterchef Series 5". Retrieved 2010-06-08.