Phil Meek

 Interview by Roland Beaney.

Where were you born? – A small Village in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, called Drybrook

Where do you live now? – Just outside the City of Gloucester, a small place called Hardwicke

What is your favourite part of the Country? – Very difficult to answer, I like the West Country, and parts of Wales, both due to the ruggedness of the landscape. I have been lucky enough to sample most parts of the country including Scotland and Ireland. I would like to go to The Scilly isles and The Orkneys. 

How did you get into radio? – I have asked myself that question; it should be what are you doing in Radio!! I suppose the answer is when my local BBC station was looking for assistants I went along t help with Sports Commentary, with my friend Peter Wilson, who has a weekly program now on BBC Radio Gloucestershire. I have reported from Henley Regatta, and the National Rowing Championships in Nottingham, doing a race commentary while riding a bicycle along the tow path. And then along came Caroline, as a young lad I always wished I could have been involved, and now I am very lucky to be.

When and why did you first join Caroline? – Oh these are interesting Questions, I have been a listener since 1964, yes really that long, I started listening after reading an article in the Coventry Evening Gazette while on holiday at my cousins. To fully answer the question, after I visited the Ross in Rochester & Tilbury. I thought this Ship needs a make over and a clear out, I have some free time, offer your self..The rest is a very tiring history

What other radio stations have you been involved with? – All local to Gloucestershire, BBC Radio Gloucester, Stroud FM and Triangle FM 

What are your earliest memories of Caroline? – Now what should I say here, I listened as often as possible, and when we could receive the signal in the Forest of Dean, this meant erecting a very long wire aerial in the garden. The 1967 Marine Offenses Broadcast was possibly the one I remember with Sadness and Happiness; I was in Butlins in Bognor that night

What's your favourite station other than Caroline? – Over the years many stations have come and gone but some still hold in my memory, Beacon Radio & BRMB in the Midlands, the original JAzz FM on DAB. I like RNI as it was on shortwave, and I used to repair Radio equipment, so could give then a long soak test. I currently listen to MVY Radio on the internet, as it plays a lot of new interesting music. The problem is there are too many outlets to listen to, plus buying your own music. 

Famous people that you have met? – What a question, how long a list do you want!!, Seriously though Sir Stephen Redgrave, Tim Foster, Matthew Pinsent, James Cracknell, as my son was involved the GB Junior Rowing squad, it was easy to meet and talk to these people. Various Broadcasters from the Pirate radio era, to many to mention, sorry guys

What is the best and worst thing about radio today? – 100% of the Radio Stations in the UK all sound the same, and play what I consider Dull music, I don’t know who the Program Controllers are but they should be shot. The best thing about Radio, is still Caroline with its Presenters all having a different take on music, hence the vast selection heard.

How much music freedom do you have on Caroline compared with other stations? –  Being a fill in presenter I have a total freedom to play what I feel is good quality album music, and I like to bring to the table new bands and artists.

What's the most embarrassing or funny thing that's happened to you? – Not too funny at the time, but when used to Row in Ross-on-Wye I was always the one to fall out of the boat, as I was always last getting out

What do you do for your day job and relaxation? – My Day job is a Network Analysist, not certain what it entails, but it things go wrong I get the blame. Relaxation what is that?, unless you class listening to music, going to gigs and sporting events, I am a season ticket holder for Gloucester Rugby, and enjoy the Horse Racing at Cheltenham. A nice pint of Real Ale always helps. 

What's your favourite food? –  Food and me get along very well, I suppose one of my favourites was my late Mothers steam treacle pudding, my sons were always happy when Nan was in a baking mood as well. I will try all types of food, so I hope that answers the question

What do you dislike doing the most? -  Needle gunning on the Ross Revenge, and paying Bills, house work.

Who would you like to get stuck with on a desert Island?- . I have never really planned to get stuck on a desert island, but if I did it would have to be some one practical, so that we could get back to civilisation, and survive while planning the escape, I think the answer is my Dad.

What's the most important thing that you have learnt about radio?- Its all about communication, the way you talk to the listener and involve him or her, to be focused on that possible one person who maybe listening. Never take your next program for granted

What was the first record you bought?-  Tom Dooley by The Kingston Trio, the B side was Ruby Red

What are your favourite bands and who is your hero? – Being as old as I am, I have had many favourite bands and artists, and still have many of their Albums in my collection. A long time favorite is Kenny Loggins whose music and lyrics I enjoy, currently high on the list is folk singer Jenna. Never really had a Hero, but possibly my Father should be, as he taught me a lot in my younger days.

What are your favourite tunes? –  There is not enough room here to select them all, I really like Celebrate Me Home by Kenny Loggins, and Music by John Miles, both of which I usually play when on Caroline, there is so much new music which is making me forget the older stuff, as I found out on the Ross recently

When did you last go on board the Ross Revenge? –  I was on the Ross for the Easter & May Bank Holiday Broadcasts. It was a great experience; meeting people I have previously meet on the Ross, and this time adding Steve Conway & Nick Richards and Ray Copeland to the list. The atmosphere was tremendous, the stories told about life on-board were very interesting, it’s a bit like when you go on tour with your rugby club, what’s talked about on tour stays on tour, so enough said. You could sense on board that all the presenters were on their top game, hence the cracking programs that were delivered, All helped prepare the food, and kept the place clean and tidy

What are your plans for the future?  - Well to carry on going to Concerts and Sporting events, do some more broadcasting when the opportunity arises, and just be happy and helpful to other people. More weekends on The Ross Revenge helping the restoration work

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