A day in the life of Radio Jackie – the Guardian

I sometimes hear Radio Jackie in the mornings at work. For some reason, my colleagues in the Royal Mail Delivery Office where we prepare tonnes of mail for delivery to the ever grateful great Britsh public don’t like the BBC. The radio is on but we have to put up with Magic, Heart, Kiss, Capital and occasionally Radio Jackie. Once in a blue moon,  we might get Absolute or Xfm, but that’s a very special occasion, someone’s birthday or maybe they’re celebrating 40 years in the job.

Radio Jackie is based in Tolworth, just up the road, so at least the traffic reports are potentially useful. I have sometimes called my wife at home to tell her she should drive to work a different way today, as Leatherhead Road is blocked.

The music played at breakfast time is OK, nothing too challenging but equally, nothing to get excited about either. The music mix is better and wider than Magic claims for itself. The boy (not as funny as he thinks he is) and girl (can’t possibly be as stupid as she acts) combination of presenters is fairly typical of these breakfast shows.

So what a surprise to read about it in yesterday’s Guardian:
A day in the life of Radio Jackie, with Peter Robinson.

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Weekend shuffle for BBC Radio 6 Music

First, I invite you to read this article.

Weekend shuffle for BBC Radio 6 Music : Radio Today.

I thought that was easier than me trying to regurgitate all that news!

But it all looks good to me. I remember listening to Gilles Peterson on the old, original Jazz FM, in the 1990s. When it played jazz, and when it was actually on FM! I think he and Jez Nelson had a late night show called Somethin’; Else – which is, of course, now the name of his production company. Taken form a Prince song, if I remember.

And it’s interesting that one of the commenters has mentioned that Gilles’s show is up against Peter Young playing the same kind of music on Jazz FM, which is no on DAB and online only.

And said Peter Young I remember listening to especially on the overnight show on mid to late 1970s Capital Radio, when I was a computer operator working nights. I think his must have been one of the first phone-ins. By heck, he got some strange people phoning up.

Later on, I caught up with Peter Young on my really local radio station, the one for Southwest London, radio Jackie – although come to think of it, it may have been called Thames Radio at the time.

But back to the schedule changes at 6 Music. I don’t listen to all of the shows mentioned, although I have heard them all from time to time. Obviously, I’d love to listen to 6 Music all day and all weekend, but there aren’t enough hours in the day. Plus, I don’t have DAB and internet installed everywhere I need to be!

I feel bad that Chris Hawkins is moving away from London after 15 years. I still owe him a pint from when we met several years ago, so the chances of me buying that pint are now even more remote. I first heard him on the old GLR early breakfast show, although he had previously worked as the DJ in the Capital Café in Leicester Square. This café no longer exists, although the radio station is still located in that building.

I hear some of ;’The Hawk’s’ 6 Music show in the mornings before work sometimes, so only about half an hour of it. Even though I can’t join in with his fun and games, I’m really pleased that so many other people do so.

But Saturday afternoons will be different. The humour of Jon Holmes has been a great accompaniment to messing about on the computer: emails, Facebook, Twitter, eBay, all the usual suspects, so it will be interesting to see how Gilles Peterson’s mix of music works at that time of day. Even though he’s been on Radio 1 for 13 years, I still have this mental image of him on the old Jazz FM, in a smoky room, playing some great jazz, late at night.

Listening to the radio at work

In case you missed it, I am a postman. I start work at 6 am and get home any time between about 12 noon and 2 pm, very rarely earlier, even more rarely later.

The first 3 hours (more or less) is spent indoors, in the office, preparing mail for delivery. The soundtrack to this activity is the office radio. There is some sort of precedence over who is allowed to touch this radio, and change the station that we listen to.

All I can say is that of the radio stations we tune in to on a regular basis, there are only a couple that I might tune into at home.

These two are Absolute FM (formerly Virgin) and Radio Jackie.

Permission to choose a radio station is a special treated, awarded on the occasion of someone’s birthday. They can choose a different one, or play a CD brought in from home. Woe betide anyone who brings in a CD which is in anyway unusual, that doesn’t preatty much represent what we have to endure most days anyway.

So, Absolute Radio, Absolute FM might be chosen two or three times each year. Genuinely, a birthday treat.

Radio Jackie is on more frequently. It is our local station for south-west London and north Surrey. The breakfast show presenters are nothing special (the fairly ubiquitous bloke with ditzy girl combo) and the travel news might be of local interest, but at least their choice of music is better than most.

The other stations often listened to are Heart FM, Magic FM and Smooth FM. Their playlists are all dire, displaying no imagination whatsoever. The adverts are repetitive and annoying.

A couple of people in the office listen to their own entertainment, putting on headphones and listening to their iPod, or whatever. I tried that, but it didn’t really work for.

More rarely (thank goodness), as mentioned before, we are subjected to Capital FM or Kiss FM. Not my cup of tea at all.

But, when I’m out on delivery, when I’m on a street where there’s not a lot of loud traffic, I listen to my MP3 player. I used to wear a headset and listen to the radio, but the cable gets caught on things, the plug gets yanked from my ear and, probably worse, I can’t hear members of the public when they address me.

So now, I download recorded radio programmes and listen to those as I walk around. These are mostly music programmes from BBC Radio 2 or 6 Music but sometimes shows from Radio 4. Ironically, some of the best music documentaries are on the speech station Radio 4, so I’ll take those too.

So (and I’ve commented on this before) in the last couple of weeks, I’ve been listening to Gideon Coe (6 Music), Bob Harris (Radio 2 Saturday/Sunday show and his Country programme), Desert Island Discs (Radio 4), Cerys Matthews (6 Music).

So far, I haven’t tried listening to recorded, serious talk shows, such as a drama or a political documentary: I suspect they would need deeper concentration that I can manage whilst walking around the streets, trying to avoid obstacles and to deliver at least most of the mail to the right place.