Monday, 18 April 2011

The next steps...

As much as I love doing my radio shows, I'm always looking forwards to see where the next stage is. The last few days has got me thinking that perhaps this may be the time to see about moving into mainstream radio, or at least trying to.

Now what that entails is a lot of demos being sent out, and a lot of luck! The reason I say this is that it's a market that seems to have everyone wanting to be in it.

Let me give you an example - a couple of days ago, I saw advertised, a radio presenter position at a commercial radio station in Hampshire. It had been on the website for a day when I saw it and I was the 445th person to read it. Now this is on a trade website, so everyone looking at it are involved in radio in one form or another, or wanting to be. I looked at the same ad ten minutes ago and 945 people have looked at it. The closing date for the ad is 29th April, so I wonder how many will have looked at it by then. The question is, how many will actually apply. Your guess is as good as mine, but I can tell you this, I've sent off a demo and a CV. Will I even get an answer? Who knows.

One thing's for sure, it's not an easy world to break into, especially when it seems like there are more people presenting radio shows than ever. So how much time do you get to project yourself to the programme director? Well the demo needed to be 2 minutes. I've been told that in actual fact, many a decision is made within the first 10 seconds of the demo.

Whether I've got a chance of taking this to the next level I don't know, but unless you try you'll never know. What I do know is this, ever since I was a young kid listening to the likes of Alan Freeman, Tony Blackburn and Dave Lee Travis were Radio 1, it's something I've always wanted to do.

The opportunity to do Radio drifted into my life around 1992 when I joined Hospital Radio in Weymouth, but the time wasn't really right and although I ended up being Chairman of the Hospital Radio, the shows I did were pretty poor, and wouldn't get me a job anywhere! I ended up doing more fundraising than anything else, and if you've ever been a part of a voluntary organization, you'll find that there are only a few that actually want to do anything other than brag that they're part of the organization.

I was lucky enough to interview Bradley Walsh, Brian Conley and Tom Baker during that time, and I've even seen the Nolans in their undies whilst doing a jingle for me in their dressing room at Weymouth Pavilion! Fortunately they were a lot younger then than they are now.

I lost interest in Radio in general around the same time as I found it bland and uninteresting, and it wasn't until a couple of years ago when I found an oldies show on the net whilst browsing the web, that I again got the bug for Radio. It took around 3 months for me to decide to have a go, and since then, I can honestly say I've loved every second of it.

Now it does mean that I'm in reality, a late entrant into the arena, so that may hold me back. However, I'm not one to let that stop me, and so here I am 2 years down the road, doing 3 shows a week. Now, whilst this is a good add-on to my DJ work, it actually takes up more of my time than that does, and so I think I should really try and make a go of getting as far with it as I can. After all, I would hate to look back in years to come and regret not at least having a go.

Even now I look back to when I was 15 and 16 and wonder why I didn't have a go at seeing how I could break into radio. I suppose it was probably more to do with not having the confidence than anything else.

I'm not saying I'm the most over confident person now, and I won't earn loads of money from it, but in my heart of hearts, it's what I always wanted to do, so I should have a go don't you think?

After all, I may not be the best DJ in the world, but I've heard worse than me already on air. That's not an idle boast either. If you know me personally, you'll probably realise I am my own worst critic, and listen to all my shows to see where I've made mistakes so that I can see where I can improve.

If I can't get into mainstream radio, it won't be the end of the world. I'll just change my goal, and I'll most probably want the be the net DJ with the most listeners in the world. I like to set my goals high!

But if you know any Programme Directors who are willing to let someone like me have a shot, then give them a call! Failing that, get all of your friends listening to my shows, maybe one of them may know someone. After all, it's not what you know but who you know that counts...

1 comment:

  1. I definately think you should have a go. I dont know what radio was like in Dorset in the mid 70's but here in Norfolk we didnt get BBC local radio until 1980 and ILR didnt arrive until 1984.

    I suspect the Late 80's/90's was the best time to get into radio as there were loads of stations starting up. Now all the ILR stations are closing local studios and mostly doing networked shows so far fewer jobs around sadly.

    Your style of DJing is what radio needs, someone who is passionate about the music rather than the crap that is currently all over the dial.

    Good luck James :)