Thursday, 26 May 2011

Checking out what the 'great and the good' did...

As you will have gathered, I love the role of Radio presenter, and as such, I've read not only a lot of books on how to present a show properly, but have been reading by radio presenters.
Way back in 1976, the man I wanted to be was Emporer Rosko, and he wrote a book called Emporer Rosko's DJ book which told me how to set up a mobile disco and move on to becoming involved with radio. I still have the book, and it's very much a book written for a world that is no longer the same.
One of my heroes as a Radio Presenter is Tony Blackburn - he's been successful on radio since the Early 60s and even today he's till out there doing it - and working very hard at the same time - I've got a lot of respect for the amount of work he's still putting in.

I read Chris Evan's first book a while back, Entitled 'It's Not What You Think', it tells his story from a child right the way through to getting on his first Radio station (Radio Picadilly) and his consequent rise to the point where he lost the plot. It's hard to believe, but he worked in Radio for three and a half years without getting any wages! His story was inspiring to say the least.
I know many people think he's just a loud mouthed fool, but I've studied him and in particular, his Breakfast show, and having taken his show to pieces on a regular basis, I can only say that in my opinion, he's a brilliant broadcaster. He's quick-witted, articulate and funny, and his show is a masterclass on how to present radio. I have nothing but respect for his work.
Yes, I know many will point to when he went off the rails and became up himself, and I'd agree, but more about that soon.

Ken Bruce's book, 'The Tracks Of My Years' is also a cracking read. The book follows his rise to radio fame from his days in accountancy and working for a car hire firm to jobbing for BBC Scotland and then on to Radio 2. Its not the most exciting of lives to write about, particularly early on, but there are some amusing anecdotes. The most interesting part for me was the behind the scenes politics and sometimes pettiness at the BBC.

But back to Chris Evans and his second book 'Memoirs Of A Fruitcake'. I could not put the book down. It chronicles his fall from grace and it's written very matter of factly (is that a real word?). For me, the fact that Chris was brutally honest about not only what happened, but his own actions, made it a fascinating read. When I read his account of the story, I wondered how he's still alive, let alone doing the quality of work he is on the Radio 2 Breakfast Show.
He talks very candidly about what went on, about his relationships and how he slowly clawed his way back to where he is now. Even if you don't like Chris Evans, you really should read this book. I have even more respect for him that I did before. His is a true rags to riches story, but also how to lose it all, especially professionally and rebuild a career. Inspiring is the only word for it.
An excellent book and certainly one that I'd recommend to anyone...

Well, I'm of to Requestfest tonight, so I'll tell you about it next time....

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