Where and when were you
born? - Leigh-on-Sea Essex on April 1st 1953. Despite
what other people say, my Mum and Dad insist I was born
after midday so I’m not an April Fool.
Where do you live now?
– In a small village halfway between Worcester and Stratford
upon Avon, but I’m still an Essex boy at heart, married
to an Essex girl. Yes she did wear white shoes and dance
around her handbag. She still does from time to time.
What is your favourite
part of the Country? –The Lake District is stunning
but you can’t beat a plate of cockles and a pint sitting
outside the Peter Boat in Old Leigh while looking across
How did you get into radio?
– My first experience of radio was at Eastwood High
School for Boys. One of the teachers cleared out a stock
room, put in a couple of record players and wired them up
to the schools PA system. Myself and another boy, Steve
Wright ( yes, him ) stepped forward. I had the 12.45 – 1.15
slot and Steve 1.15-1.45pm. We were both huge radio fans
but in different ways. I was the typical Radio Caroline
wanabee DJ with a pretend studio in my bedroom at home and
Steve was a collector of American jingles. Later I helped
out at the Free Radio Association in Rayleigh run by Geoff
and June Pearl and then drifted through the 70’s as a ‘song
plugger’ in London. My job was to get airplay for the records
I was promoting, so most days I was banging on the doors
of radio stations, especially Radio 1. I did of course try
to promote my own cause without much luck, but it was a
great learning experience hanging around the BBC and socialising
with jocks and producers.
When and why did you first
join Caroline? –February 5th 2009 was the first one.
I was much too young to apply in the mid 60’s and by the
early 70’s other events including the arrival of Mrs Ted
and a mortgage took priority. The years rolled on, children
arrived as did the bills, but I always remained a huge fan
of Caroline and promised myself that one day I would apply.
What other radio stations
have you been involved with? –Radio Basildon was the
first, a community radio station piped into local homes
and managed in the early 80’s by our dear departed Caroline
friend Clive Thomas. After that I had a short spell as Entertainments
Officer with The Chancellor Hall in Chelmsford where I met
Caroline’s Robb Eden. Robb was running the Caroline Roadshow
but was doing some part time work for Chiltern Radio in
Dunstable. One day and completely out of the blue he offered
me a job there writing and producing the commercials. So
I pretended I knew all about it and spent around 9 months
at Chiltern before upping sticks and moving to BRMB in Birmingham.
Then it was Mercia Sound in Coventry and back again up the
M6 to Xtra AM in Birmingham for the 10pm-1am show. I did
4 or 5 years as a Continuity Announcer with Central Television
then back on the radio with the morning show for the launch
of 100.7 Heart FM West Midlands. From there it was rock
station ‘The Arrow’ at the start of the DAB revolution –
and now best of all, Radio Caroline.
Incidentally, more money
was taken behind the Chancellor Hall bar on a Caroline Roadshow
night than for any other event. The cleaning up costs were
What are your earliest
memories of Caroline? – Coming home from school, listening
to Robbie Dale, having tea, a kick about in the street,
doing homework then off to bed with Johnnie Walker!
What's your favourite
station other than Caroline? – I don’t think that any
other radio station has ever appealed to me as much as Caroline
has throughout all its different era’s. Big L lacked the
warmth, Radio 1 lacks the spirit and commercial radio lacks
the vision. BBC Radio 2 had a golden period a couple of
years ago but that now seems to have faded. These days if
I am not listening to Caroline I listen to 5 Live. I quite
enjoy Jack FM though if I’m passing through Oxford.
Who is the most famous
person that you have met? – That’s quite difficult to
answer really as I have met and worked with a lot of famous
faces, particularly in my song plugging days. It was the
nature of the job and I just got on with it. Sometimes it
involved going on the road with them for long periods and
arranging interviews and sessions at local stations as we
passed through. Ones that spring to mind are George Benson,
David Soul, ELO, Carlos Santana, Barry Manilow….oh and I
did once meet the bloke who puts his hand up Basil Brush!
As for the nicest, that has to be Noddy Holder – top geezer
and all round good guy. I got to know Noddy when he joined
Xtra am as a DJ. It was his first experience of radio presentation
and he asked me to help produce his show.
Who influenced you the
most? – I would say a combination of Robbie Dale and
Johnnie Walker. At 13 and 14 years old, fascinated and intrigued
by a bunch of blokes playing records and having fun on a
boat, I guess they became role models. Robbie’s confidence
and wit made a lasting impression on me, as did Johnnie’s
enthusiasm for music, plus of course his rebellious streak.
What is the best and worst
thing about radio today? – The best thing from a personal
point of view is that it continues to give me a living,
so I am grateful for that. The worst thing is that much
of it sounds stale, repetitive and robotic. It’s stuck in
a rut. Get rid of the shareholders looking for a quick profit
and the enthusiasm and creativity will return.
How much music freedom
do you have on Caroline? – We all have an amazing freedom
of choice– but I think I’d be strung up if I played Susan
Boyle for example! Listening to music, selecting tracks
and being allowed to share them on the radio is what I always
believed being a DJ was all about. Caroline has always embraced
that philosophy and that’s what sets it apart from the rest.
What's the most embarrassing
or funny thing that's happened to you? – I’ve had quite
a few moments that are best forgotten, including the time
( name dropping time again I’m afraid ) that I got dropped
off at Fenchurch Street Station by Cilla Black in her Rolls
Royce during the rush hour – and proceeded to fall flat
on my face as I got out of the car. I didn’t hang around
to notice peoples reactions as Cilla got out of the car
and yelled ‘ are you alright lovey?’. I ran straight up
the steps and into the gents to hide for a while. The one
that makes me cringe though is when I said the ‘?..’ word
on Central Television. One morning after a programme called
The Time The Place, I was given 12 seconds to tell the viewers
that Coronation Street was on later at 7.30 but coming up
next on Central, after the break - a Country Practice. The
timing had to be precise because the control room at Thames
TV in London were playing in the national ad break but they
forgot to tell me that my 12 seconds had been cut to 10
seconds. The upshot was that my I was cut off as I was halfway
through the word ‘Country’.
What do you do for your
day job? – I call myself a ‘gob on a stick’! Voicing
radio and TV ads, on hold messages, documentaries etc
What's your favourite
food? - Greek
What do you dislike doing
the most? – DIY. I’m absolutely useless, a real bodger.
Who would you like to
get stuck with on a desert Island?- Mrs Ted of course
but I wouldn’t be looking for a boat if Meg Ryan happened
to be there.
What's the most important
thing that you learnt about radio?- That you don’t have
to look good to be on it.
What was the first record
you bought?- This is going to make me appear very ancient
but it was Follow a Star/Give a Night in June by Norman
Wisdom. My Mum and Dad took me to see the film Follow a
Star when I was very small and I asked if I could have the
record as we left the cinema. Come to think of it, I didn’t
actually pay for it so I’m not sure that counts. The first
record I bought with my own money was Walk Away Renee by
The Four Tops.
What are your favourite
bands and who is your hero? – Led Zeppelin are way,
way, way at the top.
Then its AC/DC, Tom Petty
and the Heartbreakers, Doobie Brothers, Porcupine Tree.
It could be a long list so I’ll stop there. Real hero would
be the footballer Jimmy Greaves. I have so many musical
heroes but if pushed to pick one out I’d probably say Robert
What are your 5 most iconic
tunes? – Again difficult, but off the top of my head -
The Ronettes – Baby I Love
Marvin Gaye – I Heard It
Through The Grapevine
Led Zeppelin – Rock n Roll
Porcupine Tree – Trains
The Eagles – Take it Easy
Have you been on board
the Ross Revenge? – Yes once, so far. I was on board
Easter 2009 and it was fantastic. Having said that, my bed
was uncomfortable, I couldn’t sleep and the toilet facilities
are well, err, kind of difficult. But it didn’t matter.
I would have been quite happy if the ropes were cut and
we’d gone floating up the Thames and out into the North
Sea. That’s probably because I regret missing out on the
offshore years, even though I get sea sick at the thought
of a glass bottom boat. I would have been a right nightmare!
Mega respect though to those that did it and also to the
Ross restoration crew. Regardless of whether Radio Caroline
is offshore or onshore, it always sounds magic when its
from the Ross.
What plans have you for
the future? To carry on doing what I’m doing until I
Thank you Ted for answering