Random Memory #6 – I’m not going to tell them…

Written by Jonathan Pagden

August 21, 2023

Another random memory from my (much) younger days on radio stations around the UK.

I saw a post the other day with a recent picture in a radio studio featuring someone I worked with at a different radio station – gulp – forty years ago.

So I went searching, and found this picture* of Phil White (with our regular radio cook Miranda, mentioned in another of my Random Memories). Phil arrived there about a year after I did, but was obviously destined for a fast rise – look away for a moment and he’s presenting Drivetime, and doing it very well.

My job wasn’t nearly so exalted, I was a jack-of-all-radio-trades doing everything from reclaiming used tape (readers under about 45 might have to google ‘recording tape’, it was an utterly analogue age) to reading the racing results.

So, I arrived in Studio 1A at 5.40 to read the racing results and said to Phil “What time do you want me to finish?”

“Erm – ten to six?” he said. “And by the way, these people (gesturing to a couple of peeps in the corner) are from the Hospital Radio, to see how we do things”

So I said hi to the Hospital Radio people, the record (yes, record!) finished, Phil introduced me and off I went with the racing results. Not a thing you can skimp or sub-edit, the only variation is in the speed of reading. And you can’t take your eyes off the paper all that often to check on the time.

So I read the results at my own speed, handed back to Phil and looked up at the clock – tick. Ten to six on the dot.

And the Hospital Radio people are sitting there with wide eyes and open mouths.

I didn’t have the heart, as I scuttled off to Studio 1B to ‘drive’ the six o’clock news and following programme, to tell them it was a total fluke.

*Thanks to another colleague from those days Stan Laundon for collecting up all these pictures of – probably – very limited interest!