I joined Radio Hillingdon at (what would now seemingly be) the very young age of 16, back in 1986. Do you also vividly remember tunes from Wet Wet Wet, Wham!, Rick Astley and Five Star? Listening to Steve Wright in the afternoon? John Sachs on Capital??
It all started with school and local community discos when I was just 13, then my first radio experience launching a school radio station in Hayes Manor in 1985, followed shortly after by some youth promotional material voice-overs for the BBC.
That sparked my already ardent enthusiasm for radio. I then made my merry way down to the 'Bedrock' of broadcasting that was Radio Hillingdon (we didn't even have a CD player in those days and now it's nearly all on computer! How times have changed…).
I learnt a lot about radio back then, some from presenters who are now broadcasting on some of the UK's premier radio stations. It seems an awfully long time to be in hospital broadcasting but having tasted a bit of the 'professional' alternative (2-Ten FM, Radio Top Shop, amongst others), I've come to appreciate that in actual fact, hospital radio is still one of the most satisfying of broadcasting pastimes.
As you may already know from listening, the format of what we do comprises more variety of personality and music than you would hear on any other radio station. Furthermore, hospital radio is a much more personal service, its primary purpose being to provide entertainment to patients and staff of the hospital.
Radio has changed very much over the years and if you are the same age as me (!!) and have been a committed radio listener for some time, you probably would have noticed for yourself that aside from the major BBC stations, many independent/local radio stations have become very 'formatted', often leaving little room for creativity. Now, Radio Hillingdon is by no means Radio 1 or 2, but you'll certainly discover for yourself that hospital radio gives presenters the flexibility to let their personality shine and the music, well that speaks for itself, after all, YOU choose it (well, most of it anyway)! Which reminds me, we'd love to hear from you, any time of day with your favourite choice of song. You can either call us free from your Bedside Terminal on *800, or email us by clicking here. We look forward to your request!
And if you're thinking about a career in radio, you should give it a try. We're always in need of presenters and there is no better platform to find and develop your own style than on hospital radio. Don't worry though, whilst we'll do our very best not to let you go, we'll never stop you from making that lucky break! You might even find you want to stay (he said, 20+ years on…).
Thanks for reading and please spare me some time for the Lateshow, Tuesday night at 10 o'clock, on Patientline channel 45. It would be nice to have your company…