Al Dupres

 Interview by Roland Beaney.


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 services.    


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 days!    


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 chap.    


What's your favourite station other than Caroline? – BBC Radio 4. Honestly.      


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 – Columbo Competition…”      


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 potatoes!      


What do you dislike the most? - Spicy food does not agree with me. At all.      


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 fix.


What are your 5 most iconic tunes? -

In no order: “BART” by Ruby “Rock & Roll Dreams

 Come Through” by Jim Steinman.

“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 soon.  



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