Monthly Archives: August 2009

Radio GaGa

When I was a boy, one of my favourite things to do was write and produce radio shows. I would essentially be copying music from CD to tape and talking over the gaps between the songs. I would do it for hours. In fact I did it so much that eventually I stopped bothering to record the shows.

Something about it was really reassuring. I like to find music for other people and I started getting quite lackadaisical about it – spending the time when the track was playing furiously trying to find the perfect next track. I had fewer and fewer written links and more and more ad-libed from-top-of-head-thoughts about what I was playing.

All the time I would be doing this, I would have the music coming out of headphones rather than the speakers so that I didn’t have feedback. I have no idea how mad I must have sounded to anyone walking past, just speaking to myself. But when I emerged with hot ears I would feel drained but satisfied.

All of that time I knew I would one day be a radio dj just in the way that other kids know they are going to be a professional footballer or whatever their dream is. But over the years that dream slightly fell away.

And now suddenly, rather unexpectedly, it has happened. How strange life is. I find myself co-presenting an hour long zoo radio show which has music, phone-ins, competitions and features and us (the team) desperately trying to keep up with reading a comment every 10 seconds. It’s also about Formula 1, but almost tangentally.

I have to publicly thank Christine Blachford and her mysterious partner in podcasting for fulfilling one of my life’s ambitions.

The charge I get from live broadcasting is unlike anything else in life. Perhaps it’s closest comparison is like exercise. It’s hard work, but worth it, sometimes you feel clumsy, sometimes things seem to connect and everything seems to work. And at the end of a show you’re exhausted.

I don’t know how those two talents at Sidepodcast do so much of it and hold down day jobs. But I’m really glad that they do. Working with such professionals made my intro quite a bit easier.

Here is a link to the shows in case you fancy a listen. It’s designed to be live and about formula one so it may make no sense, but I’m proud of them.


In the continuing series of articles highlighting my ineptitude it’s time to come clean about my ability to spill things. While growing up there was almost a compeition at the dinner table to be the first to announce who had managed to splash a spot of pasta sauce on themselves.

At work the main danger is, of course, the coffee spill. It is made especially bad because when you are most in need of the coffee is when you are at your most clumsy.

Anyway, on one particular morning a few years ago I managed to spill a cup of coffee completely down my shirt. No amount of washing at the sink was going to sort this problem. Luckily near our office there is a large Marks and Spencer so I walked over and picked up another shirt.

I decided to make some idle chit chat at the till as I often do. And so I pointed out the stain on my shirt and the new shirt, and looking for some kind of reassurance, I said, “I guess you get a lot of people buying shirts at times like this”.

She looked at me, looked down at the till, tapped some buttons, looked back up at me and said, “computer says no”.