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Ideas and technique to help you promote and image radio

Generation next

old man grumbling …, originally uploaded by * hiro008.


Not feeling old enough? Then be at the Student Radio Awards ceremony on Thursday. I’m honoured to have been asked by radio’s Matt Deegan to judge one of the categories but I’d better not say which one.

The awards ceremony itself is no small affair. Held at the IndigO2 it’s blessed with Scott Mills, Fearne Cotton and a Panko crusted chicken breast, sweet roasted potato stack and minted split pea puree main course. You see – quite an occasion. At the Sony’s we have to make do with Paul Gambaccini and rice.

Best of all, I’m looking forward to meeting dozens of immensely talented and enthusiastic young people who are among the greatest broadcasters of their generation. The judges know that’s true because we’ve heard their stuff.

For some nominees, this will be the first national recognition of their abilities as they continue a personal quest to be the next Andrew Gilligan, Russell Brand or Jonathan Ross Eddie Mair, Jamie Theakstone or Comedy Dave. Others may long to produce the 5 Live breakfast show, market the Kiss brand or do what I do, whatever that is.

I fully expect, however, that many will have fallen into radio by accident at college, discovered they were rather good at it, enjoyed the experience but nonetheless plan to get a proper job. With the consolidation of commercial radio, the low pay prevalent across much of the industry, the BBC’s budgetry squeeze and the advertising downturn who can blame them?

Yet these people should matter to us in the radio industry. We should keep in touch with them and encourage them back onto the air as contributors, characters and performers whenever we can.

Vivacious, outgoing, clever and characterful individuals who are experienced in life make great broadcasters. And it’s far easier to teach radio skills to them than it is to make an anorak interesting: if your hobby becomes your job you risk becoming boring.

So that’s my mission for Thursday – to keep tabs on the new talent that we might otherwise lose. I’ll let you know how it goes. And whether the crusted chicken was any good.

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