I’m currently on-air at 8Radio.com till 2am.
That lovely heady vibe of a late night radio studio, lights down low, music up loud.
There really is nothing like it!
Some shots of the 252Khz Longwave transmission tower in Co. Meath, Republic of Ireland, currently broadcasting RTE but originally erected for Atlantic 252. Pictures taken Sunday 17th March 2013.
I don’t normally go out of my way to photograph broadcast sites – I usually prefer to think and talk about the content rather than the technology – but a friend in the UK asked me for some pictures, and as I was walking in a forest only about 20km away today I thought “why not?”.
So there you have it, 252 site on a typically misty St. Patricks Day.
2011 has mostly been a year of transition for me. It involved opening doors to a few new outlooks, and closing doors on other parts of my life where things weren’t working or it was time to move on. A few spots of difficulty, mostly self-inflicted and quickly recovered from, were outweighed by many cherished moments with friends and family, including a stint on the Ross Revenge at Easter and one at sea with Seagull in June, a novel and wonderful trip around London of which I will write more later, and my best Christmas in years.
Mostly though 2011 involved making changes and laying plans which will come to fruition in 2012, and I’m greatly looking forward to many of these things.
My second book, Running Away From The Circus, will be published in March (more details on that here in the weeks to come) but before that I will have another short story – Schrodinger’s Bus - in print in the third Seven Towers Census Anthology in February. After Running Away From The Circus, a further book is already half-finished, and I hope to complete it in 2012, so that in 2013 I can begin serious work on the 4th, which is structurally planned and a small part written.
I am happy with my shows on Radios Seagull and Caroline, but have something else planned which will increase my reach in the radio world, in fact more than one something. Details, as always, closer to the time . .
I’m planning a trip to Canada, and hopefully a return visit to the wonderful folk of the Ramsgate RNLI too.
I want to develop my mind in 2012, and reverse some of the neglect of my body – for the last month I’ve been walking every day, and I hope to have the drive to keep this up and push further back to youthful fitness in the year ahead.
Whatever 2012 brings, it will stand or fail on my own efforts – If I want it happy, I must make it so.
For you, can I wish you a peaceful New Year, and the opportunity to reach your goals in the next 12 months too.
All the best,
Phantom 105.2 – increased reach in latest figures
RTE steady nationally
Good first year for Nova
4fm struggles in Dublin but gains 2% in Cork
The latest JNLR figures reporting Irish radio audiences have been published today, covering the period October 2010 to September 2011.
As always, for the full result tables your should visit the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland website.
Figures produced & published by JNLR/Ipsos MRBI 2011/3
All changes are compared to 1 year ago.
*** THIS PART OF THE REPORT LOOKS AT “LISTENED YESTERDAY” REACH ***
National stations steady on “Listened Yesterday”
All RTE and Commercial stations held their % reach of “All Adults 15+” in the results, with overall reach down slightly by 1% spread across the total for these stations.
Listened at all 84% (down 1%)
No change on individual national stations:
Any RTE Radio was listened to by 35%
RTE Radio 1 by 25%
RTE 2FM 11%
RTE Lyric 3%
Today FM 13%
Any Local/Regional/Multi City 58%
DUBLIN – First results give Nova 5% and see Phantom overtake 4fm (in “listened yesterday” reach, though it’s the other way round in % share)
Listened at all 85% (-1%)
Any RTE 37% (no change)
RTE Radio 1 31% (no change)
RTE 2FM 8% (-1%)
RTE Lyric FM 6% (+1%)
Today FM 10% (+1%)
Newstalk 12% (no change)
Any non-national 53% (no change)
4fm 2% (no change)
Radio Nova 5% (first result)
98FM 13% (no change)
FM104 20% (-1%)
Q102 13% (no change)
Sunshine 106.8 3% (-1%)
Spin1038 14% (-1%)
Phantom 105.2 3% (+1%)
MULTI-CITY: 4fm score 3% overall, with an impressive 7% in Cork (up 2%) but is stuck on 2% in the Dublin market.
*** THIS PART OF THE REPORT LOOKS AT SHARE OF TOTAL LISTENING ***
Share of audience listening (% share of all the time listened) shows more movement that the simple reach (how many people listened to you).
Any national 46% (+0.6%)
Any RTE 33% (no change)
RTE Radio 1 23.3% (-0.2%)
RTE 2FM 7.4% (+0.1%)
RTE Lyric 1.8% (+0.2%)
Today FM 9.1% (+0.2%)
Newstalk 4.4% (+0.3%)
Any Non National 53.3% (-0.6%)
Any National 54.8 % (no change)
Any Non-National 45.2% (no change)
Any RTE 40.8% (-1.1%)
RTE Radio 1 31.4% (-1.2%)
RTE 2FM 5.8% (no change)
RTE Lyric 3.4% (+0.2%)
Today FM 6.8% (+0.6%)
Newstalk 7.1% (+0.3%)
4fm 1.1% (+0.3%)
Radio Nova 3.3% (first result)
98FM 9.5% (+0.5%)
FM104 11.4% (-1.0%)
Q102 10.3% (-0.4%)
Sunshine 106.8 2.3% (-0.1%)
Spin 1038 5.9% (no change)
Phantom 105.2 0.8% (no change)
As always, for the full result tables your should visit the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland website.
Figures produced & published by JNLR/Ipsos MRBI 2011/3
Steve digs out his photos of the construction of South Dublin’s fashionable (and flooded) mall, and remembers what it was they built on top of . .
The dramatic scenes of water bursting into the upmarket Dundrum Town Centre mall were some of the defining images of the Dublin floods of October 2011, and the front page picture from todays Irish Times shows how badly the centre has been affected. Since its opening six years ago it has been my favourite of the Dublin suburban shopping centres, but its devastation by floods does not surprise me as a local with intimate knowledge of the grography that it replaced.
It could be, in fact, a perfect example of of the boom years building frenzy taken to its logical consequences, as the building of hundreds of apartments close by in the following years helped seal its fate.
The village of Dundrum has always perched on a slope at the bottom end of a narrow valley, with a good-sized stream (or small river) running through it. Various complexes lined the high ground on one side of the valley – the old PYE Television factory, later industrial estate, the 1970s original Dundrum Shopping Centre, and the old H Williams store at the southern end (which became Super Crazy Prices, and then Tesco). But the bottom of the valley and the river was always left pretty much wild, and I used to roam along its length in my childhood years, fancying myself as a fearless explorer as I waded upstream and forced my way through undergrowth.
In more recent years, as I made my way to work on a sluggish 48A in 2000 and 2001, the glimpse of the stream surrounded by green land as we crossed over the valley on the Ballinteer Road bridge just before the crossroads always gave a little glimpse of forgotten rural idyll. Until the day the bulldozers moved in, and they started building.
Here is a shot I took sometime during 2001 or 2002 which shows both Dundrum Town Centre and the Dundrum Bypass under construction. The picture is taken from a temporary pedestrian bridge over the valley errected during the period when Ballinteer Road was closed to traffic as a new, wider road bridge was built complete with car-park ramp downwards into the centre.
On the left is where Dundrum Town Centre now stands, and you can see the spot where the underground car-parks and delivery section join the bypass.
The valley floor has been leveled, and the stream boxed in, ready to be buried underneath the new development in a culvert.
When this photo was taken, it had been dry for a good period, and the stream was low, however it often ran much higher in wet periods. Nevertheless, the culvert once roofed would seem more than proof against even a four or fivefold increase in flow during very rainy periods.
However, in the years following the completion of the centre, hundreds if not thousands of apartments in dozens of new developments were built upstream, with much of the run-off from all these acres of new concrete flowing into the stream or the local drainage system. The huge flow of water from the Ticknock Hill development alone can be seen during wet periods cascading down a series of steps beside the M50 junction, and into the watercourse of this stream. Plus, all of the green land that lay undisturbed in this little valley is now built over, no longer able to absorb rainfall and run-off.
In the exceptional rainfall of the last 24 hours, when a months rain fell in a day, once the culvert was at full capacity, where else could the water go?
I’m not saying the planners failed here, this is an exceptional event, but perhaps, when we have building booms in future, we should be looking at things like runoff in the context of what else will be built in the area later, and planning for “once in 80 year” events.
Yes it will cost. But as much as the damage that now needs to be made good?
A sequence of shots taken as I stood the overnight anchor watch on the Radio Seagull / Radio Waddenzee ship off the Dutch coast on Fri/Sat 3rd/4th June 2011.
Sunset over the Waddenze
Screenshot of us in location southwest of the uninhabited island of Griend.
The first pre-dawn lightening of the sky at 0336.
Fully light by 0500
Zoom shot of the low-lying island of Griend at Dawn
A privilege to be here to enjoy such nights and see these sights. Steve.
I’ve now arrived safely in board the Lv Jenni Baynton, anchored in The Waddenzee.
I’ll be on air with Radio Seagull this evening from 7-10 Dutch time (6-9 UK and Irish time).
Catch Seagull in 1602AM in Holland, it via www.radioseagull.com
I’m looking forward to an interesting 10 days afloat.
Pictured here are the radioship Jenni Baynton as I arrived today, and a lively historic sailing ship that has just passed close by.
I wonder sometimes, how bright we are as a society, when we have to have signs like this to remind us . .
Full data available from Broadcasting Authority of Ireland www.bai.ie
JNLR FIGURES FOR JANUARY 2010 – DECEMBER 2010 RELEASED
The latest results from the Ipsos MRBI JNLR survey covering the period January 2010 – December 2010 were released today (Thursday 17th February 2011).
The survey results indicate that 85% (same) of the adult population was listening daily to a mix of national, regional, multi-city and local radio throughout the country.
For the purposes of comparison, figures for this survey period are compared with the October 2009- September 2010 figures. The main changes and highlights are as follows:
National Reach and Market Share
Listenership of 57% (-1) was recorded to any multi-city/regional/local radio service.
The weekday reach figures for RTÉ Radio 1 increased to 25% (+1) while figures remained unchanged for Today FM (13%), Newstalk (8%) and RTÉ Lyric FM (3%). RTÉ 2FM recorded a figure of 13% (-1).
With regard to market share, a figure of 53.6% (-0.2) was recorded for any multi-city/regional/local station in the 7a.m.-7p.m. period.
RTÉ Radio 1 and RTÉ Lyric FM recorded slight increases in market share at 22.7% (+0.6) and 1.7% (+0.1) respectively. Today FM retained a market share figure of 9.3%. Decreases were recorded for RTÉ 2FM at 8.2% (-0.5) and Newstalk at 4.0% (-0.1).
National (excluding Dublin and Cork)-local stations
Changes in both reach and market share were recorded for almost all local stations in the current survey period. The top five local radio stations for the survey period were as follows:
Local Station Listenership (Reach) Local Station Market Share
Highland Radio 67% (-2)
Highland Radio 62.3% (-1.1)
Radio Kerry 57% (+0.7)
Radio Kerry 51% (same)
Tipp FM 55.7% (+1.4)
Limerick’s Live95FM 50% (-1)
Midwest Radio 49% (-1)
Midwest Radio 48.9% (-0.7)
Multi-City and Regional stations
4FM, the multi-city service, maintained a weekday reach figure of 3% (same) and recorded a market share figure of 1.8% (-0.1).
In terms of regional services, in the north-east/midlands region, i105-107FM increased its weekday reach figure to 9% (+2) and recorded a market share figure of 7% (-1.9). In the south-west region, Spin South West maintained its weekday reach figure of 21% and increased its market share figure to 11% (+0.1). In the north-west region, i102-104FM maintained its weekday reach figure of 20% and recored a market share figure of 14% (-0.7). Beat 102-103FM, serving the south-east region, recorded a weekday reach figure of 19% (-1.0) and recorded an increase in market share to 13.1% (+0.8).
In Dublin, FM104 increased its weekday reach figure to 20% (+1.0). The remaining Dublin stations all retained weekday reach figures with: 98FM at 14%, Spin 1038 at 14% and Dublin’s Q102 at 13%, Country Mix/ Sunshine 106.8 FM at 3% and Phantom 105.2 at 2%.
In terms of market share figures, increases were recorded for a number of stations; 98FM at 11.6% (+0.3), Spin 1038 at 6.6% (+0.1) and Country Mix/Sunshine 106.8FM at 3.2% (+0.1). The remaining stations recorded figures of: FM104 11.2% (-0.3), Q102 at 11.1% (-0.1%) and Phantom 105.2 0.8% (-0.1).
Cork’s Red FM achieved a reach figure of 19% (-2) and recorded a market share figure of 10.6% (-0.7).
The combined reach of Cork’s 96FM/C103 was 46% (-2.0) while a share figure of 41.6% (-1.9) was recorded. Separate figures for both services are detailed in the tables provided.
Full details of the reach and market share figures together with the weekly reach figures for all stations can be found at www.bai.ie
OK, so I’ve been very remiss on blogging over the summer. Life has been running at such a breakneck pace it has been difficult to fit everything in. Though I do manage to stop occasionally to enjoy the sunrise.
But I promise to catch up over the weekend with some fresh pieces.
I’ve done the third of my “10 things” and am about to do the fourth tomorrow.
I’ll try to catch up on all of this, plus what is happening in my writing and radio worlds.
As for today, in my other guise as IT Management Guru, I’m about to attend a class on “Paradox Management”.
Sounds like fun.
This weekend, and the week that follows is going to be one of the high points of my year, as I go back offshore and broadcast from a ship again, surrounded by fellow crewmembers from the offshore stations of years gone by.
“Radio Seagull” is a rock music station which broadcasts the overnight service on the Dutch station Radio Waddenzee, which is based on a former lightship, the Jenni Baynton, normally moored safely alongside the pier in the town of Harlingen.
But for the month of May the Jenni Baynton is putting out to sea again, and will be anchored some 8 miles off the Dutch coast, bringing radio back to the North Sea and providing a great opportunity for former pirates to relive the old days while bringing quality rock music, old and new, to an audience on AM and online.
I’m thrilled to have been invited to spend some time out at sea onboard the Jenni Baynton, and I will be on air each night on Radio Seagull from 10pm-1am CET (9pm-midnight BST) from Sunday 2nd to Thursday 6th May.
Over the month of May a whole host of people from the former Dutch and British offshore stations will be joining Seagull, and indeed I will be on board with my brother, Chris Kennedy, just as we were on Caroline back in the eighties.
Depending on mobile reception, I may be able to share pictures and update this blog while on board, if not, I will certainly do so on my return.
So watch this space, and tune in to Radio Seagull each night for some great classic and progressive rock from the last several decades.
I have two shows on Phantom this Easter weekend.
On Sunday you can hear me from 1200-1500.
On Easter Monday I have the morning show, 0900-1200.
As always, I’ll be bringing you a great mixture of alternative rock, old and new, with a good dose of new, upcoming Irish bands.
Hope you can join me, if not, have a Happy Easter.
The reading at Ramsgate on Saturday went very well, with a moderate crowd turning up to support the RNLI Lifeboat cause.
Reading from Shiprocked to an attentive audience is always a pleasure of course, but being able to do so to the crew of the lifeboat who came to our aid in the big storm was both satisfying and humbling. If I had any worries that the lifebot crew would regard us as “the idiots on the pirate ship” I needen’t have worried – the welcome I got in Ramsgate, and the warmth of feeling expressed towards Radio Caroline was overwhelming, and obviously genuine.
Apparently that particular callout, to aid the Ross Revenge stranded on the Goodwin Sands in a Force 11 North Easterly is still talked of as “the rescue from hell” amongst the RNLI crew. The fact that one of their own crewmembers – Ian Cannon – was washed overboard during the rescue attempt while we stayed dry on the ship is very sobering for me – while this storm was a once in a lifetime ordeal for us, it is something that the lifeboat crew face again and again and again. Ian is still with the lifeboats after all these years – and is now the coxswain! Sadly he couldn’t join us as he was aborad on the day, but hopefully I will get to meet him soon, as a second reading for the Ramsgate Lifeboat is currently being discussed.
Thanks again to everyone who turned up, especially the lifeboat crew, and watch out for details of our return visit later in the year!
Well, the “Winter Storm Tour” with readings at Ramsgate, London, and a visit to Caroline herself at Tilbury went very well, and I am now making my way back up to catch the ferry at Holyhead.
I’ve a great deal to report, and many pictures of the events and Ramsgate and London, and of the Ross Revenge and how she looks today.
Watch this space in about 24 hours.
Today’s (Sun 28th March 2010) special reading marks my return to The Hammersmith Ram, where the London launch of Shiprocked – Life On The Waves With Radio Caroline was held last year.
This is the first Seven Towers event in London, and with free admission, easy access by tube (Hammersmith Underground and Bus Station is 1 minute walk away) plus great food and drink on offer at The Ram it promises to be a good evening. The reading at 6.30 is followed by live traditional Irish music at 8pm.
EVENT DETAILS BELOW:
Seven Towers Writers – Steve Conway, Eamonn Lynskey and Donal Moloney will be joining Liverpool artist and writer Alice Lenkiewicz at the Hammersmith Ram Pub in Hammersmith, London for a spectacular reading.
The reading will be followed by an open mic and the whole event will be followed by the Ram’s weekly Session!
A great night out
Artist and writer Alice Lenkiewicz lives and works in Liverpool.
Her books include a poetry collection, Men Hate Blondes (origional plus, 2009) and a novella, Maxine (Bluechrome Publishing, 2005).
Alice Lenkiewicz also publishes and edits Neon Highway, a poetry magazine that supports emerging and established poets.
Below, she talks about the series of events that led to Neon Highway:
Men Hate Blondes
Steve Conway is a journalist, writer and radio DJ,. he is a former programme controller on the legendary Radio Caroline. Steve has written a best selling memoir – Shiprocked, Life on the Waves with Radio Caroline – about the years he spent at sea with Radio Caroline on the Ross Revenge, and the dramatic end to this time.
Éamonn Lynskey has had poems published in many magazines. He was nominated for the Sunday Tribune/Hennessy Literary Award for New Irish Poetry in 2006 and one of his poems featured on the 2009 OXFAM calendar. His first collection Dispatches and Recollections was published in 1998 and 1.His second collection And Suddenly the Sun Again will be published in 2010. Éamonn, who holds a Diploma in Italian Language and Culture has also translated the works of modern Italian poets into English. He is also a long time contributor to the open mic scene in Dublin.
Dónal Moloney is a writer and translator from Waterford. The excerpt published here is a version of Chapter 4 of a novella called In The Balance, which he is currently completing. An alternate short story version of Chapter 1 of the novella received a commendation in the 2009 Seán Ó Faoláin Short Story Competition. An excerpt from his short story The Mask appeared in Census: The First Seven Towers Anthology. He is a regular featured reader at both the Chapters and Verse Reading Series and the Last Wednesday Reading and Open Mic Series.
Seven Towers Agency is an independent, Not for profit literary agency, publishing company and eevnt organiser based in Dublin Ireland.
The Hammersmith Ram is a Youngs Pub at 81 King St in Hammersmith. Like all pubs hosting Seven Towers’ events – it has a great bar menu. it also has a great wine lists nad hosts many wonderful events fully supported by its innovative and enthusiastic manager Rory Murphy, and the great staff. it’s our favourite pub in London! more details about the Hammersmith Ram are available fon http://www.thehammersmithram.com
Today, Saturday 27th March 2010
Reading in aid of the RNLI Ramsgate Lifeboat
from “SHIPROCKED – Life On The Waves With Radio Caroline”
3pm, Ramsgate Library.
Tel: 01843 593532
Admission FREE, donations to RNLI welcomed
I’m sailing off to the UK tonight to head down to Kent for my special Ramsgate book-reading on Saturday.
I’ve crossed the Irish sea so many times over the past 40 years, often via Irish Ferries or my old employer Stena Line to Holyhead, but I like the Liverpool route much better. It used to be the province of the old B&I Line, then Merchant Ferries in the early noughties, and is now run by Norfolk Line (and goes to Birkenhead rather than Liverpool – cutting off an hour of harbour lock delays).
It’s so much nicer to take the longer crossing, have a cabin all the way, and arrive refreshed, and about 100 miles closer to London.
And I still miss the sea, so a few extra hours afloat doesn’t do me any harm.
I won’t be in Ireland myself this weekend (I’ll be doing my Ramsgate reading) but if I was around, I’d be heading down to PortLaoise for Ireland’s second annual Status Quo Day at Cloisters Bar.
Last year’s was a brilliant event, with something for every classic rock fan, and this year’s promises to be even bigger.
I was somewhat baffled to receive the following link from the Google Alert that tracks online mentions of Shiprocked – Life On The Waves with Radio Caroline around the world.
For one fleeting moment I wondered if I had wandered into a strange alternate universe in which I was cool enough for people to base clothing lines on, before remembering that one online retailer in Ireland had by accident listed the book as a T-shirt. This has obviously resulted in other associated sites using this supplier taking it on as part of their rock and roll clothing lines . .
Still, nice to know that you can now buy the book in small, medium, and extra large!
It’s just 5 days now till the reading I have been most looking forward to for the last year, when I return to Ramsgate in Kent to read and thank the RNLI Lifeboat crew for their efforts on our behalf when the Radio Caroline ship Ross Revenge ran aground on the Goodwin Sands almost 19 years ago.
Below is a clip from TVS (the former ITV station of the area) news on the day of the grounding on the Goodwin Sands, 20th November 1991. By the time the film crew flew out to shoot the footage, the ship, although still aground, was upright again, as it was high tide.
My book, Shiprocked – Life On The Waves With Radio Caroline tells many stories of my time at sea with the station, but it is the final chapter, with the shipwreck which always drawns the most comments, and the most rapt attention, at public readings. Whenever I read from this, I always talk about how, although it was a helicopter which eventually rescued us, the dedicated crew of the Ramsgate Lifeboat stood by us for three hours, and braved treacherous seas on the Goodwins to try to come alongside in a rescue attempt.
I’m therefore really pleased that this time, I will be reading in Ramsgate itself, and the local RNLI crew, including at least one of those who was on board that morning in 1991, will be there to receive my thanks.
The event takes place this Saturday, 27th March, at 3pm in Ramsgate Library.
Admission is free, and all donations to the RNLI are welcomed. I’ll be donating my royalties from any books sold at the event to the RNLI of course.
Sadly the RAF base at Manston, where the TV footage was shot, and from where the rescue helicopter came, is now long since closed, although a museum remains on the site.
The lifeboat though continues, and I hope that this reading will be able to contribute something useful to them by way of publicity and funds.
The interview and reading on Liffey Sound 96.4 went very well today – Niamh, a writer herself, knows how to get the best out of her literary interviewees, and encouraged me to think and talk about lots of ideas behind my writing.
I read a couple of extracts from Shiprocked, and two of my short stories “Of Little Consequence” and “Schrodinger’s Bus“.
The full show (an hours long) is available on an archive at http://www.mediafire.com/?3zyhykmndzj
I intended to get a shot of myself and Niamh in the station, but was enjoying myself so much that I forgot!
This Sunday I’ll be interviewed on a radio show with a difference – the very interesting “Sunday Scrapbook” on Liffey Sound FM hosted by Niamh Bagnell.
Niamh is interesting in her own right (see her blog, ‘Various Cushions‘) and I’ve bumped into her at a couple of readings around Dublin. Her radio show is great for anyone who likes writing or reading, as each week she devotes an hour to really getting under the skin of a Dublin based writer, be they poets, novellists, or mixed bags like myself.
On the show I’ll be reading a couple of short stories, including my first ever piece of fiction, as well as some extracts from Shiprocked, and Niamh will be giving me a thorough grilling.
That’s 4-5pm on Sunday 21st March 2010, Liffey Sound, 96.4fm in West Dublin, or online at www.liffeysoundfm.ie
Have just come back from a great evening at Baldoyle Library, where I read from Shiprocked in aid of the RNLI.
A lovely building, right on the seafront, and they gave us a 1st floor room with a dramatic backdrop view of the sea, ideal for an offshore radio reading!
Next reading is Thursday 11th March, 6.30pm at Chapters Bookstore in Parnell St Dublin, where I’ll be reading from Shiprocked, as well as some new work.
I was more than a little surprised this morning to follow the trail of a sudden influx of inbound traffic to this blog from christopherengland.com to discover this very flattering piece written by the man who I admire as one of the unsung titans of speech radio.
While the facts of our friendship in the 90s are truthfully described, Chris paints a far more interesting picture of me than I recognise myself.
I describe Chris as an unsung titan of speech radio, and this he is. Involved in pirate radio in London from the early 80s, and with a stint on Radio Caroline in 1989 (which is how we came to meet) Chris then went into speech radio with careers behind the scenes at TalkSport and elsewhere, as well as being involved in a host of satellite ventures not least of which was his own creation, Euronet, which failed only because it was 10 years ahead of its time. His career in the media bsiness continues to this day, though I have to shamefacedly admit that I’m not sure exactly what he is doing these days, other than that it has relocated him to Liverpool.
The thing that drew me to Chris, apart from our occasional business connections, was his sense of humour. At a time when everyone involved seemed to regard the pirate radio business with a very ernest seriousness, Chris was not above poking fun at anything or anyone, and he was a breath of fresh air in the gloomy 90s, if sometimes a little infuriating.
Although rarely heard behind the microphone, Chris is a genius at speech radio, and I still remember his series of monologues and phone windups from the Euronet days, to which he brought wry humour and formidable intelligence, rather than the slapstick more commonly heard on radio. His piece about “wasps on buses” remains my all time favourite – phoning the enquiry office of the then London Transport to enquire about the man who puts the wasps on buses (because there is always a wasp on every bus in the summer – they are so well distributed it cannot possibly be by chance).
Chris blogs regularly at christopherengland.com and his updates make though-provoking, if not always comfortable reading.
I still think though, that he’s a talk radio hit just waiting to happen.