and when were you born? - I was born in Crawley, West
Sussex on 26th May 1961
What have you been doing since
your last shows for Caroline? I set up the website RivieraLife.tv providing news & video reports in English
for the French Riviera. I will be adding a web radio
soon. I have also been working freelance on various TV
programmes including for Discovery Channel and producing
corporate videos. I also DJ at events on the Cote d'Azur
and am called on very occasionally to do some cover for
Riviera Radio in Monaco.
What is radio like in your
area? - I get Italian and French stations on the FM
band. I generally prefer the Italian stations although
the best for music locally is on Radio Monaco.
you get into Radio? - DIY. I was a land-based pirate. I
got some mates at school to chip in a fiver each to buy
our first short wave transmitter. We migrated to medium
wave and then FM in Crawley before hitting the big time,
tower block FM radio in London. One of my pirate
colleagues Kevin Turner got a job on Radio Nova
International in Italy and one day they needed to
replace a DJ and Kevin recommended me. It was a life
changer. I came for a one month trial and am still in Seborga, Italy 31 years later.
When did you first join
Caroline? - I think it was around 2000. I arranged to
meet Peter Moore at a Radio Caroline day somewhere near
Rochester. I nearly didn't make it. I wrote off my Mum's
car earlier that day. I actually paid as a sponsor for
the first month but when I passed the audition and
bought Tom Anderson back for a spell, I got to do it for
free. Loving Awareness in action.
What Radio stations
are you involved with now? - Just Radio Caroline. I did
a few days cover on Riviera Radio earlier this year. As
mentioned I am planning to launch a web radio, Riviera
Life Radio for the Cote d'Azur in 2014.
What are your
earliest memories of Caroline? - I have a very distinct
memory of sitting on my baby sitters knee in the kitchen
with our big old Bush valve radio on the fridge and
hearing Can't Buy Me Love by The Beatles. I was only
almost three years old when Caroline started, but I like
to fantasise that I heard one of the first broadcasts.
My first verifiable encounter must have been around
1966. The Bush radio had long gone in the cupboard under
the stairs and we had had no radio in the house until I
begged a brilliant old radio set from my Nonna (Gran) in
Brighton. It was a Ferguson with an illuminated bubble
like dial along the top. It was night time when I got it
home, stuck a bit of wire in for an antennae, plugged it
in and spun the dial. I found Big L Radio London, it had
a hetrodyne whistle on the signal so I tuned further
down the dial and found Caroline. I recall that in 1967
Excerpt From A Teenage Opera by Kieth West was a
favourite of mine and seemed to herald the impending end
of the golden age of offshore radio. I was thrilled that
Radio Caroline continued for a while and was devastated
when it disappeared. That's when I discovered Radio
Veronica (I thought at first that they were speaking
Welsh) and would hear pirates like Radio Jackie &
Jennifer from South West London. When RNI came along in
1970 I was in seventh heaven.
What's your favourite station other than
Caroline? - BBC 6 Music and BBC Radio 4. Radio
Monaco is cool to stay in touch with trendy dance &
indie music. I also quite like Grant Benson's Music
100.9 that broadcasts to Monaco from Italy. It is like a
gold station with a Caroline touch.
Who is the most famous person that you have met?
- In my line of work I have met many from Silvio
Berlusconi and Prince Albert to Puff Daddy. The list
would be too long and boring to go into. I am not
impressed by fame itself although I am very happy to
meet those that I admire such as Justin Hayward and to
find them genuinely nice and unaffected by fame. I had a
great time with Alvin Lee (Ten Years After) and Douglas
Adams was as cool and funny as you would expect him to
Who influenced you the most? - Radio
wise as a young listener I loved Roger Twiggy Day. He
was always fun, opinionated and irreverent, and still is
to this day. I always appreciated Andy Archer, Johnny
Walker, Tom Anderson and John Peel, but the most
influential has to be Tony Allen. All of them love their
profession and took risks for what they believed in.
What is the best and worst thing about radio
today? - The best thing is the anarchy of
Internet radio, which enables limitless choice and
encourages the punk ethic that anyone can have a go. The
worst thing is most music radio found on the FM band,
especially the commercial borg stations. The talent that
have not been laid off by automation and national
networking, are balled and chained with pure audience
research and the bottom line. The community stations
that aren't just amateur copies of commercial radio are
giving a voice to their communities. I am embarrassed to
think that I lobbied for this. In fact I didn't lobby
for a controlled commercial virtual monopoly but for a
real free market with 10% of frequencies reserved for
What's the most embarrassing or funny thing
that's happened to you? - I won't go into
detail on this, but it must have been my first visit to
Holland and a Coffee Shop. My host offered me a 'party'
joint. It is a mix of hashish and super strong skunk and
I didn't realise how strong it was, so I smoked it like
a normal homemade joint. I passed out and was revived by
someone waving a Mars Bar under my nose.
What do you do for your day job? -
Principally these days I am a TV freelancer and video
producer and lots of DJ work at events, but that is a
What's your favourite food? - I love
food like I love music, so it is really difficult to
name just one dish. As I am British with an Italian
background I will choose a British and Italian dish.
Brit dish: Roast lamb with roast spuds, sprouts. I also
love liver and onion with mash and broccoli. Italian
dish: Homemade ravioli in brodo (broth) as my mum makes
What do you dislike doing the most? -
Whatever I am told to do. Ask me nicely and I'll think
about it. Otherwise it has to be doing the accounts.
Who would you like to get stuck with on a desert
island?- Keira Knightly seems cool and intelligent.
What's the most important thing that you have
learnt about radio?- Be yourself, don't talk
down or patronise and always take risks.
What was the first record you bought?-
45: Golden Earring - Radar Love 33: Deep Purple -
Machine Head and Emerson, Lake & Palmer - Trilogy. I
bought them at the same time.
What are your favourite bands and who is your
hero? - The Cure. I went to school with them.
St. Wilfred's RC Comprehensive in Crawley. They were two
years above me and started out as Easy Cure. I love
everything that they have done. Of course there are too
many bands to mention. Regarding heroes, in popular
culture it has to be John Lennon, George Harrison and
Paul Simon. In real life, it has to be my Mum who has
been a totally selfless carer.
What are your 5 most iconic tunes? -
This is getting to be too many questions, so on the spur
of the moment they are: The Cure - Inbetween Days Aztec
Camera - Oblivious Stevie Wonder - Living For The City
Bob Marley - Redemption Song Any version of George
What are your plans for the future? -
To survive and to aspire to be for the
anti-establishment what David Dimbleby does for the
establishment so brilliantly.