I joined Radio Tyneside in the spring of 2014. I had some personal motives for joining – after three years of student radio it was time to challenge myself by working to someone else’s music programming, for a start! Plus Radio Tyneside had a proper sound desk and used Myriad playout software, always handy skills to get under your belt. Add to that the incredible experience, knowledge and contacts possessed by Station Manager (now Chairman) Dave Nicholson MBE and you have a great environment to learn the ropes of the radio industry.
Another reason, though, was my desire to help people. When I DJ I don’t do it to make myself look cool, I get the greatest satisfaction from helping other people have a great night. The greatest feedback I could get on my specialist radio shows is someone telling me they’ve discovered their new favourite artist through me. And I thought with hospital radio I can use my own set of skills in a way that benefits other people.
The majority of Radio Tyneside’s listeners are over 50 and tune into the radio outside of visiting hours. Especially in the evening your listener could be in pain and lonely. As hospital radio presenters we provide that friendly voice to be a companion when no one else is around.
Over the years so many people have told me that my voice is calming and soothing. When I was a child my friends’ parents and older family members would love me because I was so polite and “well-spoken.” I’d probably be classed as a millennial but I can relate to people who have no clue about Tumblr and Instagram and Vine etc. Plus I have a massive trivia brain full of general knowledge nuggets that mean I can chat about pop music icons and historical events that the audience remember.
My first shows were 1am-3am. I liked knowing that I was providing companionship to the people who were awake at that time. Even if I couldn’t hear from them directly I knew they were out there (and hopefully falling asleep to the sound of my voice). Later on I would cover lunchtime and early morning slots, but there’s something special about the late nights/early mornings of hospital radio.