I was just old enough at the time to be aware of the last year of the offshore pirates, Radios Caroline and London. That was when I became a radio man. Mobile discos followed from when I was 15 and hospital radio.
My first real job was with the United Biscuits Network. A 24 hour a day, tightly formatted radio station broadcasting to UB factories all over England and Scotland that was set up before the first commercial stations opened. UBN was the only place to get a foot on the ladder and we all knew that if we got a job there that we would end up with a radio career. Tony Gillham had left shortly before I arrived to go to Radio Tees and before him other presenters had left to form the backbone of almost all the commercial stations throughout the country. Capital radio in London took the great Roger Scott, Adrian Love, Graham Dene, Nicky Horne and Peter Young. Giles Squire had gone to Metro Radio in Newcastle and Dale Winton had gone to Radio Trent in Nottingham.
After UBN I had a brief stint at BBC Radio Oxford followed by Mercia Sound in Coventry, with Tony Gillham, BBC Radio Bedfordshire (again with Tony), BBC Three Counties Radio (with Ernie Almond and Barrie Hyde), Jazz FM and loads of short-term freelance stints.
There were two ‘prayers’ on the studio wall at UBN; ‘Dear Lord, please help me to keep my big mouth shut if I do not know what I’m talking about’ and ‘Engage your brain before you open your mouth’.
Now I have the privilege of being part of the Black Cat Radio team, am delighted to be here and will try very hard to keep my brain engaged and you entertained.