Where do you live now?
- I’m in East Yorkshire at the moment. I moved here
almost 25 years ago to be part of the launch team of
Viking Gold, the AM service that resulted from the split
of Hull-based station Viking Radio into AM & FM
What is your favourite
part of the Country? - Much as I love my
hometown, I’ll have to say the Lake District. I’d love
to return there.
How did you get into
Radio? - Well, after years and years of
listening, and recording a few things for Short Wave
Free Radio stations in the late 70s, in 1981 I rang the
presenter of my local station’s (CBC) late show, a chap
called Mark Williams (who had been the station’s launch
breakfast presenter). After a chat he invited me to be
his phone-answerer on a Friday night. After he left I
joined a hospital station for a few years while
attending college and working in a record shop. After I
left college I was working in the shop when the radio
station rang and asked if I’d like to review new
releases for them. One thing led to another, and I
eventually landed a full-time gig. Those were such fun
When did you first join
Caroline? - I’m the new boy – I only joined
late last year.
What other Radio
stations have you been involved with? – Well,
CBC becaome Red Dragon, then I landed in Hull for Viking
Gold, but after a few months moved to the studio next
door to host breakfast on Viking FM. I later had a stint
on Hallam FM and Great Yorkshire Gold in Sheffield. I
left to become a full-time voiceover, but in 2007 I
helped launch Hull’s KCFM. I also helped out for a bit
at a local community station. These days Caroline is my
main broadcasting home.
What are your earliest
memories of Caroline? - In 1977 I was given
radio that had 5 Short Wave bands. It opened up a whole
new world for me, and I discovered the joy of the
land-based pirates on the 48m band. It was then that I
discovered the history of pirate radio, and tape-trading
led to me hearing recordings of Caroline. CBC’s Cheief
Engineer, the late Martin Newton, also used to tell me
tales of his time at sea with Caroline in the 60s.
Who is the most famous
person that you have met? - There was a time
that I was a film reviewer, and I got to interview lots
of actors, and in my local radio days there were
countless interviews with musicians, but of all the
people I’ve met (and worked with), I guess the most
famous (and nicest) is Tony Blackburn. He actually rang
me to ask me to help fix his wireless printer once. Top
What's your favourite
station other than Caroline? – BBC Radio 4.
Who influenced you the
most? – I used to stay up on a school night
listening to Rob Jones and Benny Brown on Radio
Luxembourg, so as well as those two, Mark Williams from
the CBC days.
Who are your favourite
Caroline Djs?- I don’t really want to pick! The
shows I listen to most (due to time available) are Bob
Lawrence on a Friday, and I’m really enjoying the
weekend breakfast shows.
What is the best and
worst thing about radio today? - Best – the
internet has allowed us to combat the worst –
programmers barely out of short trousers who are scared
to play anything that isn’t plugged by Simon Cowell.
How much freedom do you
get on Caroline? - N/A – Graham Coull produces
the Countdown. He always chooses great tracks, anyway!
What's the most
embarrassing or funny thing that's happened to you?
- There are so many, but on my first day at Viking Gold
I ran a competition to win a video (remember them?) of
The Princess Bride, which starred Peter Falk. In those
days you had to write in to win (good grief!), and I
asked: “Which scruffy detective did Peter Falk play?” I
managed to follow that by saying: “Send your answer to –
What do you do for your
day job? – I’m mainly a voiceover, but I do
some audio production as well.
What's your favourite
food? - I’m on a really boring low-potassium
diet these days, but my Mum used to make brilliant
home-made parsley sauce. That with cooked ham and mashed
What do you dislike the
most? - Spicy food does not agree with me. At
What's the most
important thing that you learnt about Radio?-
There’s always someone else who wants your job!
Importantly, though, you never stop learning.
What was the first
record you bought?- I have a horrible feeling
it was an Alvin Stardust single.
What are your favourite
bands? - Impossible to say, so I’ll mention my
most recent favourite! It’s Rubyhorse (they were Irish
but based in Seattle. Alas, no more, they were active in
the last decade, and were the first group I “discovered”
on the Internet).
Who is your hero?
- My Dad (and Mum, obviously). Dad’s record collection,
ranging from jazz to pop led me to never stick to just
one genre of music. He’s also got me out of many a DIY
What are your 5 most
iconic tunes? -
In no order: “BART” by Ruby
“Rock & Roll Dreams
Come Through” by Jim
“South America Take It Away” by
Ted Heath & Edmundo Ros
“World” by Five For Fighting
“Bringing On Back The Good
Times” by The Love Affair
Have you been on
board the Ross Revenge? – No.
What plans have you for
the future? - To keep going. I’ve muddled
through the past few years, so hopefully can continue!
Best wishes, Al
Thank you for your interview
Al, I look forward to hearing you do a show of your own