In September 2018 after a phone chat / interview, I had an on-air broadcasting trial with Don. He’s a manager at Fylde Coast Radio a local community radio station. I joined the station as an unpaid music presenter. Although it’s taken up a lot of my creative energy, after the 20 plus shows* I’ve done so far, I wish I’d started years ago.
It’s a rush, a high wire you can’t fall off, without letting people down. The radio station needs you to get safely to the other side by the end of your slot. So you have to talk into the mic. Sometimes you reach out grasping (or do I mean, gasping?) for words. Quite often, technically, things don’t quite work as you expected because we’re not working with state-of-the-art technology.
You can’t just sit there and only play the songs. You owe it to your listeners to do a bit more.
I write a script for each radio show. It’s my aim to include topical and local news, sport and entertainment items to discuss on air. Keeping the listener in touch with the music by finding interesting info about the artist or tune is important too.
Every week, in the days before the show, I choose the music I’ll play. I choose rock, pop, jazz, blues tunes and even the odd song from a musical, from my own collection. Mostly I choose what I want to listen to, and what I hope the audience might like. I hope the songs will “hang together” in my programme. Then on my laptop I download the tracks in MP3 format to a USB “stick”.
On show day I take that stick to the studio and plug it into the broadcast computer. Then I upload my choices into the SAM playlist. When the previous presenter’s closing tune finishes, suddenly I’m on the wire, balancing carefully, not daring to look down …
(Updated 1st Sept 2019 – My next show will be my 60th!)
If you enjoyed this, listen to my latest radio show and see how I’m doing.