There’ll Always Be An EnglandPosted: February 2, 2010
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.