To commemorate World Radio Day (Feb 13th) I thought I’d write a few words about the radio I listened to growing up and the unconscious effect radio has had in my life. I’d say in my house during the 70’s and 80’s the radio was on more than the television especially throughout the day. The two stations that featured most were Radio 2 and Radio Orwell. Orwell was mainly for the football and Nigel Rennie’s country show.
Radio Orwell was my go to for the football. With no internet and not having a CEEFAX telly until the mid 80’s if I wanted to see how Ipswich were doing then it would be the radio. On a Saturday I’d be glued to GRANDSTAND only flicking over to WORLD OF SPORT when there was wrestling or bowls (strange kid). But for midweek games it was Nigel Rennie’s Country Show with bursts of GOAL ACTION and off to Portman Road and other grounds to hear from Pete Barraclough.
For the Saturday’s I couldn’t sit in front of the telly then I’d listen to Peter Robinson host the Saturday Sports Special before flicking over to Radio 2 for James Alexander Gordon reading the classifieds. I’d then spend Saturday evening sorting out my football league ladders whilst watching Doctor Who and Wonder Woman.
One Saturday Radio Orwell hosted a roadshow live from the car park of the cinema in Felixstowe. Off I went to get involved. I signed up for the “Boomerang Club” which was the station’s club for youngsters. They told me my membership card would be posted and I was to expect it within 28 days. Imagine my horror when it did turn up and instead of NAME:- Jamie Versey it said NAME:- Janice Versey. My eldest sister Tracie still reminds me of this near on 45 years later!
As well as the aforementioned Barraclough and Robinson the other names floating around in my brain are:- Andy Archer, Greg Bance, Tim Gough and Anthea Clarke. Oh and there’s a distant memory of Delia Smith appearing on the radio before she got on the telly.
With Orwell being used mainly for football and kids clubs that the admin can’t read names, our go to station was Radio 2. Some of what I write next may not be in chronological order and timings may be a bit off. But you’ll get the gist of it.
Terry Wogan was on in the mornings as we got ready for school. Every day we’d listen to him as sister Paula hogged the fire and Tracie and me would try and get her out of the way so we could get warm! I think the only time we didn’t have the radio on was the first week of the new Breakfast telly. Selina and Frank didn’t quite cut it so we soon returned to Terry.
I loved him talking about Dallas as it was something I watched with my mum and another feature I remember, although it may not have been part of Wogan’s show, was the daily soap, Waggoners Walk.
Gloria Hunniford, Jimmy Young and David Hamilton were also firm favourites but I loved Ed Stewart.
Junior Choice was a Radio 1 show but it was simulcast on Radio 2 every Saturday morning. HELLO DARLING was the call as Ed would play among others My Brother by Terry Scott, Ernie (The Fastest Milkman In The West) by Benny Hill, Nellie the Elephant by Mandy Miller, You’re a Pink Toothbrush by Max Bygraves and Jake the Peg by Rolf Harris.
My favourites though were Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah by Allan Sherman and Three Wheels on my Wagon by New Christie Minstrels. If I remember rightly as the 70’s became the 80’s Ed was replaced by Tony Blackburn. I must have started watching TISWAS and SWAP SHOP by then.
I never listened to many other stations really. The occasional listen of John Peel on Radio 1 and Caroline was a semi regular of an evening as they played more of the music I knew. Well stuff that had been on Top of the Pops. As I got older the broadcasters I enjoyed were Simon Bates (especially his Our Tune), Dave Lee Travis, Gary Davis and Jaki Brambles as work places tended to have Radio 1 as the station of choice. As I moved up the career ladder and could tell others what station would be on, the dial soon found radio 2 again!
As we move to more modern times, for me, the best in the business are Chris Evans and Ken Bruce. Chris runs Terry Wogan close as being my number one broadcaster of all time whilst Ken is nothing short of brilliant. Although once Chris went to Virgin and his show became a three hour long advert for SKY TV I stopped listening to him.
I suppose that’s it really. Nothing groundbreaking just a few memories of shows and presenters as I grew up.