Environuts

20Apr19

Here’s what happened when I had a chat with one of the eco-protesters in London.

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I’m looking forward to Thursday (18th April). The wonderful John Pearman, the editor of the Liverpool Fanzine ‘Red All Over The Land’, has invited me to host a great night at Longcliffe Golf Club in Loughborough.

John was heavily involved with local football teams in the East Midlands, including Thorpe Acre, in the 1960’s and 70’s and also the formation of the Charnwood league in 1966. John found out that two of his former players, Brian Jackson and Frank Blackshaw, are now tragically suffering with Dementia and John wants to highlight the issue and show support.

He’s put a great panel together for the night, including the BBC Radio 5-Live football commentator, Alan Green, former Forest, Liverpool, Manchester City and Sheffield Wednesday player and now manager of Burton Albion, Nigel Clough, Dawn Astle, daughter of the West Brom legend Jeff Astle and a leading campaigner in Dementia and Alzheimer’s in football following the death of her dad. Also Jeff Sewell, the first local referee to make it to the old First Division and Pete Jones, a referee from the local scene who went on to be a Premier League and FIFA referee.

The sporting memorabilia John has put together for the auction is first class and there’s top raffle prizes too.

There are a few tickets left at just £20 per person and that includes a Buffet. If you’d like to go, get in touch with John by email: redallovertheland@gmail.com – It would be great to see you there!

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Pete Jones

Is a referee from the local scene who will be known by a lot of people in this room. He went on to be a Premier League and FIFA referee. He’s refereed League Cup and FA Cup Finals.

 

Jeff Sewell

Jeff is another referee, you’ll know well from the local football scene in the 60s and early 70s. He was the first local referee from that time to make it to the old First Division and became a Fifa International Referee.  

 

Alan Green

Alan has been a BBC Radio sports commentator since 1981, mainly on football but also on golf, rowing and the Olympic Games. He’s one of BBC Radio 5 Live’s most senior football commentators and has won a Sony Radio Academy Award for Sports Broadcaster Of The Year. He’s also worked in the USA as Atlanta United’s play by play lead announcer for Fox Sports. Alan has an opinion on just about everything.

 


Bye Bye BOB

06Apr19

Sad news this week, Bob FM has been bought by Communicorp and will be rebranded as Heart Hertfordshire. I worked there for five years and had a great time, I left in July last year.

It means that every commercial radio station I’ve worked on in the UK has now disappeared. 2CRFM in Dorset and Century North East are now Heart, BRMB in Birmingham is now Free Radio, Century East Midlands is now GEM, TFM has no local programing and Jack on the South Coast is now Sam.

I’d like to think that after I leave a station, they go into such a sharp decline that they’re forced to re-brand, take network programming or are sold.

Could it be that, once you go Mack, you can’t go back?

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Greater Manchester Police are the first force in the UK to use GPS data on mobile phones to catch speeding drivers. Chief Constable Liam Watkins of GMP appeared on Fix Radio Manchester this morning and said, “If you don’t want to get caught, don’t speed”.

Furious motorists called into Fix Radio to complain about the police’s new tactics. Mark from Wythenshawe was one of many angry callers into the Breakfast Show. He called from the A538, Hale Road in Altrincham and said his van had been pulled over, a police officer confiscated his phone, plugged it into a device which scanned GPS data on the phone. When Mark was given his phone back he was also handed a fixed penalty notice with a £100 fine and three points on his licence for doing 37mph in a 30mph limit.  

You need to flick your phone off before you get behind the wheel. Flick it or ticket!

Fix Radio Manchester has set up on e-petition to Parliament to stop the police using data on mobile phones to catch speeding drivers. You can sign the petition here;
https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/253863/sponsors/new?token=gBwboqC3LcEH3SURl6c

Listen to angry motorists and what Greater Manchester Police had to say here;

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Mack Nuggets

30Mar19

Here’s what I’ve been on about with Gaz Drinkwater on Fix Radio Manchester lately, including;

The Indian blues singer.
Why being a radio presenter is like being a stripper.
Clint Eastwood movie or condom?
Show us your tips.
Inappropriate Mother’s Day cards.
The truth about caffeine shampoo.
Why cyclists is a dirty word.
Boob sizes explained.
Graham Mack on BBC Radio 5Live.
The truth about the IRN Awards.

Craic on!

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Wacko Jacko

09Mar19

That’s what it sounded like when I announcement that I’d banned all Michael Jackson songs from Fix Radio in London and Manchester.

I made the decision after watching, “Leaving Neverland”. We were the first radio station in Britain to do this and the only one that has openly admitted that there is a ban in place. The truth is, most UK radio stations have dropped Michael Jackson’s music but are too scared to admit the fact publicly because of the backlash it will cause from Jackson fans.

It’s caused such a fuss that the story has been picked up by The Times, The Daily Express and news site around the world. I was also asked to be a guest on The Emma Barnett Show on BBC Radio 5 Live…

 

As long as I’m the Programme Director, Michael Jackson songs will not be played on Fix Radio.

 

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Mack Nuggets

03Mar19

Here’s what I’ve been up to with Gaz Drinkwater on Fix Radio Manchester, including:

The truth about the Isis bride.
Another car on the tram tracks.
Missing seats at Old Trafford.
The pink chicken.
Lego porn.
Racism from Liam Neeson.
The dangers of drinking tea.
Classic Simpsons.
The lion and the goolies.
Valentines Day stories.
The front thong.
The naked beauty queen.
The real reason schools ban haircuts.

 

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Russ & Jono, the multi award-winning radio show hosts are back!

They appeared as guest stars on Fix Radio last month and the audience response was so big that now they’re back, permanently.

The Russ and Jono Fix Radio Experience will be heard weekdays 12-1pm and Saturdays 8-10am on Fix Radio London and Fix Radio Manchester on DAB, and around the world on the Fix Radio smartphone app and online at http://www.fixradio.co.uk!

The new show will feature classic bits like, ‘Sad But True’, ‘Dumb Crime of the Day’, ‘Probe the Globe’, ‘Lost in Showbiz’, the wayward newsreaders ‘Shanka & Edward’ and their new, film review feature, ‘Jono on the Commode’.

The Russ and Jono Fix Radio Experience, weekdays 12-1pm & a ‘best of’ show on Saturdays 8-10am! Listen live here from March 4th;

https://www.fixradio.co.uk/player/player-selection/

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Hot For Cleaner

17Feb19

Things didn’t go according to plan when one of my single workmates booked a hot cleaner.

He saw the image of a very attractive young girl advertising home cleaning services online. She was a lot more expensive than the other cleaners he’d got quotes from but he decided to book her to clean his flat anyway. He even took the afternoon off work.

In the days leading up to her visit, he got quite excited and showed everyone in the Fix Radio office her picture.

When the big day came, an hour before she was due, he got a phone call. The female voice on the other end of the phone said there was a problem and asked if it would be alright if they sent a different girl. Slightly disappointed, he agreed.

The “girl” who turned up was a large, middle aged woman.

Clearly this lady is a marketing genius. It was my friend who had been taken to the cleaners!

It reminds me of this scam from The Man Show with Jimmy Kimmel and Adam Carolla;

Craic on!

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Mack Nuggets

16Feb19

I went to a radio station reunion this weekend. It was BRMB’s 45th reunion at Bacchus Bar in Birmingham. I worked there from March 99 to January 02.

MeBlondeOllieI caught up with James Blonde and Ollie Hayes who’ve got hairier and balder respectively…

MeLesRossEveryone has got older except Les Ross who should be 70 now but doesn’t look a day older than when I first met him twenty years ago. The thing is, back then I thought he was really old, now I’m five years older than he was then!

Here’s what I sounded like on BRMB all those years ago…

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Starbucks

Why do we have to speak Italian for ONE WORD?

That’s what happens when you order a coffee. I drink black decaf, so I don’t need to know the difference between a cappuccino, frappuccino, cup-a-tea-no, macchiato, mocha soccer, happy shopper, snotty, spotty moriarty, Russell Harty, it’s-my-party or farty latte, but I do have to order a decaf, “Americano”.

Well I’ve had enough of having to use these Italian passwords so yesterday, I just asked for a decaf “American”.

The girl behind the counter said, “Americano?”, and I said, “No, I’m Inglese!”.

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Blackfriars

Is it offensive to homeless people?

On my way to work the other morning, I saw two people sleeping rough at the South Bank entrance to Blackfriars station.

I say “rough”, they didn’t look like they were down and out. They had sleeping bags that looked brand new and nice backpacks that they were using as pillows. They looked more like tourists who’d decided to camp in the station instead of paying for an expensive London hotel.

I wonder what people who are homeless think of that? In fact, what do the homeless think of people who go camping?

I was talking about this in the office at Fix Radio. My friend Jon North summed it up best when he said, “To homeless people, camping must be the equivalent of blackface”.

Craic on!

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Mars Attacks

03Feb19

Alexa devil

Alexa doesn’t like me.

When we first got Amazon’s virtual assistant, about a year ago, she was fine. Now she’s gone off me. She prefers Julie’s voice to mine.

Alexa has started behaving like a moody teenager. Often when I ask her a question, she just ignores me. When Julie asks, she’s straight onto it. Now Julie has to repeat things I’ve just said!

I say, “Alexa, volume down” and nothing happens. Julie says, “Alexa, volume down” and down it goes. I ask her to play Fix Radio from Tunein and she plays ‘Hits Radio’. I’m sure Alexa knows that I’m the Programme Director at Fix Radio and enjoys frightening me. I’m expecting to hear Arctic Monkeys and on comes Bruno Mars. Fix Radio NEVER plays Bruno Mars!

If You think I’m reading too much into her behaviour, check this out. – We use Alexa to write our shopping list, it’s handy because the Amazon device sits on the kitchen bench and that’s where you are when you realise you’re running out of something. You just tell her what to add and then, when you’re in the supermarket, you open the Amazon Alexa app on your phone and there’s the full list. The other day I said, “Alexa, put orange juice on the shopping list”. Here’s what she put;

IMG_9708

As you can see, the second item on the list is “Echo juice”! First of all “Echo” sounds NOTHING like “orange”, in fact no other word rhymes with orange so the chances of her confusing it with ANYTHING else are slim. Where did she get the word echo from? Well, the name of the device she lives in is the Amazon ECHO!

Want more proof? How about this from today?

IMG_9562

BLOODY BRUNO MARS AGAIN!!!



 

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Mack Nuggets

02Feb19

Here’s what I’ve been up to on Fix Radio Manchester lately, including:

The start; Publicity Stunt ideas; The answer to the BIG question; Mission Impossible; Gaz climbs a crane; The UAE gender equality awards; A tribute to the inventor of Pot Noodle and The truth about The Manchester Evening News.

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Phonies

27Jan19

Why aren’t presenters on music radio stations putting callers on the air?

I read a tweet this week from @Aircheck, the social networking site for radio. They were asking if a person who calls in with traffic information should be referred to on the air as a “listener” or a “caller”.

I replied with,
“Why not just put the caller/listener on the air and address them by their first name?”

Radio is an intimate medium, in a world of hi-tech, it has the ability to be hi-touch.  Why not talk to people on the air?

I understand that it can be dangerous to put callers on live but it’s pretty easy to record a chat with them off the air while the songs are on and play them back a few minutes later. You can even coach them and edit the calls so they sound great.

Radio is sound, we should always be looking for great audio to play. Hearing a bloke drive a digger through the front of a Travelodge or the Little girl Calling 999 because her mother has collapsed or the latest crazy thing Donald Trump has said sounds better than me telling you what went on or what was said.

Having a caller at the scene of an accident describing what they can see, telling you how it’s affecting traffic and the best way to avoid it is far more compelling and real than hearing a presenter just give you the cold hard facts.

News people know this, that’s why their bulletins are full of clips of actuality. Why haven’t music presenters worked this out?  

And it’s the biggest names on the biggest stations that are the worst offenders, “Hi to Dave in Salisbury who’s listening while he washes his car, Sam in Edinburgh is decorating today and Jo in Poole is ironing”. There’s nothing wrong with that but if that’s all you’re doing, you’re short changing the rest of the people listening. Most of the content on some shows is just presenters reading out texts. Surely in an over-communicated multimedia world, radio needs to be more than that.

The big shows on national stations have producers and screeners whose job is to pre-read texts and take phone calls, then pass that information on to the presenter. A team of people are actually paid to take something that could be compelling radio and turn it into a cold, lifeless script.

I remember the day when everything changed. I was at BRMB in Birmingham in the late 90s when the engineer showed us this new screen that displayed texts that listeners had sent. Some of the presenters got really excited by this new way for our audience to interact with us. I remember thinking, why would anyone want to hear me just read from a screen instead of actually talking to the listeners on the phone?

Maybe some presenters don’t actually have anything to say. They read out listeners comments and opinions instead.

Do they keep listeners off the air because they’re so insecure, they don’t want to be upstaged by a caller who is more entertaining than they are?

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Mystery solved but it shouldn’t have take this long!

For weeks now, we’ve had this annoying noise in the hallway of our new build flat. It sounds like it’s coming from the wall that separate us from our next door neighbour. The builders have been, turned off all of the power in our flat and the neighbours flat but the noise continues. Last night, Julie went downstairs to ask the people in the flat below us if they’ve noticed anything.

As soon as they opened their door, she heard it. It was our noise, only much louder. The bloke who lives there said it was a bathroom exhaust fan and he’d reported it to the builders. He flipped the isolating switch and, silence!

It was them all along, the noise is in their ceiling which is our floor. It vibrated the wall and the vibrations made it sound like it was in the wall between us and our neighbours next door.

The thing I don’t understand is this; they’d reported it to the builders, when the builders got a report from us about a noise, why didn’t they just look for other reports of noise in the same building, work out that one of them was from the flat DIRECTLY BELOW US and check that out first?

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Mack Nuggets

24Jan19

Listen to what happened when Gaz climbed 150 feet to the top of a tower crane.  We broadcast from a building site in Salford. “Downtown” which is being built by McGoff Construction.

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In the 90s, the biggest commercial radio Breakfast Show in the UK was Russ & Jono on Virgin. They had millions of listeners and won just about every major award going.

Now they’re back and they’re on Fix Radio. All of their classic features have returned including, ‘House Of Crap’, ‘Sad But True’, ‘Dumb Crime Of The Day’, ‘Probe the Globe’, ‘Lost In Showbiz’, the wayward newsreaders ‘Shanka & Edward’ and new features including, a film review, ‘Jono on the Kermode’ – film reviews from the toilet (commode), and Mike the Australian radio consultant – who calls up to tell the boys if they’re ‘nailing it’ or if the show needs to be Fix-ed. Australian listeners may recognise Mike as the TV and radio presenter, Mike Hammond.

Jono recently opened up about his year-long battle with prostate cancer. In case you missed it this week on Fix Radio, here’s what it sounded like;

I hope you can listen to Russ & Jono every weekday between noon & 1pm, and Saturday morning between 8am and 10pm, on Fix Radio on DAB in London and Manchester, on the Fix Radio phone app and online here;
http://www.fixradio.co.uk/player/london/

Craic on!

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Jumping to conclusions can get you into a lot of trouble.

The weird noise in the hallway of our new build apartment has become even more mysterious. When the builders came to investigate, they switched off all of the power in our place and the noise continued, so it must be the people in the flat next door, right? Well they finally visited our neighbours yesterday.

They turned off all of the power in there and the noise didn’t go away, It’s not them!

Now I feel bad about giving them the stink eye every time I’ve seen them in the car park. How do you take back a scowl?

Craic on!

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This is what it sounded like when we launched a brand new radio station for Manchester this week.

If you like it, you can listen live here;
http://www.fixradio.co.uk/player/manchester/

I present the Breakfast show with the brilliant Gaz Drinkwater, weekdays 7am to 9am.

Craic on!

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