Radio 210’s Golden Days January 16th 1983

It’s taken me a while to get round to putting this up.

Apart from a broken cassette, it is the only record I have of part-time working at Radio 210 in Reading in the late 70s/early 80s.

I am very grateful to the folks at Radio 210 for letting me have a lot of fun and get the radio “bug” out of my system. The experience left me with a love of radio, an enhanced knowledge and appreciation of music (which I enjoy to this day) and, believe it or not, a very acute sense of timing. When hitting the news on the dot of the hour is the very highest priority, you tend to develop a skill for precise backward-calculation of timings!

This is a very good example of my programmes at 210. I loved doing “Golden Days” which was a great show for four hours on Sunday evenings, 9pm – 1pm.

I particularly loved doing competitions about music facts. There are plenty of those here. These days most of them would be impossible, because people would easily google the answers in a couple of seconds. In those days, if you didn’t know the answer, you had to schedule a visit to your local library to look it up.

I cannot believe that colour photo, which is the one I used to send out to listeners who asked for a photo of me. It displayed considerable brass neck on two fronts: a) for opening up my shirt like that and b) having my photo taken in front of that large house and grounds with the implication that it was my house, when in fact I simply rented a room in it!

Of course, in those days being a radio dee-jay was quite a physical task – I had a mini-van to carry boxes of records to and from the studio – then there was the job of sorting them out and playing them, putting themback in their sleeves etc. Then there was the task of getting out the adverts/jingles on big DAB cartridges.

Nowadays you more or less sit at a screen and click.

What was wonderful about the job then was being able to choose the records, including chopping and changing during the programme.

I did do one programme playing mostly 78 rpm records on shellac!

But at the other end of the scale, we did have the start of the digital revolution through a digital delay system which allowed phone-ins to be conducted seven seconds prior to broadcast. Then if someone swore or said something potentially defamatory, you just flicked a switch to ditch the most recent seconds of speech and go back to “live”.

I had to do this once when some silly fool swore on a phone-in. He apologised afterwards, thinking the offending word had been broadcast, but I took great pleasure in deflating his balloon by telling him that it didn’t go out on air!