My Radio Times /1
I have been broadcasting on UK and European radio since the early 70s. That's over 4 decades of music- and talk-radio presentation, production, programming and training, in both the commercial and public sectors. I am arguably also the longest-running continuous broadcaster of New Music on UK radio.

It all started with a very brief stint as a 'tape jockey' at Holland's Radio Veronica. Probably the most professional offshiore radio station of them all, the programmes were all pre-recorded in their studios at a grand house in Hilversum. Each DJ had his own studio on a top mezzanine floor, which looked down onto the main reception. I was a huge fan of DJs like Tom Collins, Tineke and Klaas Vaak, but there was no paid work for a non-Dutch speaker, and real 'pirate' activity by Veronica's owners, directed at the rival station, RNI, also meant that having an English guy at the station was too political! So, back in England, I went to ABC TV and tried convinced them to take a new look at offshore radio. Tom Collins recorded some programme material directly for me, which I passed to ABC, but I never knew if it got anywhere because within a short time I was back at the BBC!

When UK commercial radio was launched, Colin Walters offered me the lowly position of 'Broadcast Assistant' at Manchester's Piccadilly Radio in 1974. I took on Saturday's Breakfast Show and an album-rock show called 'Rokzac', and I met many long-term friends there, including Pete Reeves, Arthur Crofton, James Stannage and the original Programmer, Bob Snyder. But the money was terrible.

However, it was much better at the BBC! I spent a year as the youngest-ever Newsreader and Staff Announcer on BBC Radios 1 & 2, and also became an occasional DJ on Radio 2. I was 22, and I don't think this record been broken. My boss was Jimmy Kingsbury, a real gent who was my mentor as I coped with BBC English, reading the first news bulletin to report the IRA pub bombing in Guildford, and learning how to read both the Shipping Forecast and football results 'correctly'. Unfortunately, I found the music I had to play far too depressing.

It was 'no contest' then, that when Nottingham's Radio Trent went on the air in 1975 and committed itself to a late-night free-form album show, I accepted Bob Snyder's offer to produce and present it. In those 'pre-genre' days, I played everything from rock to jazz, folk and country, with guests as varied as Ian Gillan, Robert Palmer, Mike Oldfield and The Chieftains. Friends from those days include Guy Morris, John Peters, Chris Baird (all were later contributors to radio2XS), Tom Maddocks and the late (and greatly missed) Graham Knight.

I moved to Glasgow in 1978 and took over Radio Clyde's mid-morning show, where I am proud to say I achieved the station's highest half-hours outside Breakfast: no mean feat for the station's 'token sassenach'! Later, I also presented and produced 'Midnight Rock', becoming the first commercial radio DJ to broadcast local lads Simple Minds and a then-unknown Sheffield band called Heaven 17. The audience were incredibly friendly - and the best-educated in the UK - and the station was staffed by a hugely talented bunch of people, led by MD Jimmy Gordon.

> My Radio Times /2