How an air-conditioning mechanic in Sydney Australia became an award winning broadcaster in Britain; Part 111.


“Stop saying ‘minutes’ when you tell the time on the air!”

That was the first thing I was told off for when I started working on the radio in Australia in 1993. My Program Director grabbed me and said, “When you say it’s twenty-one MINUTES past, we KNOW it’s MINUTES! No one thinks it could be hours, days, weeks, months or Elephants! Just say, “twenty-one past!”.

From that day on, I stopped saying “minutes” when I gave time calls on the radio. It makes sense when you think about it because apart from halves and quarters, when we tell the time, we don’t divide hours up by any other units. It’s not like the temperature, where you should say if the number you gave out is in Fahrenheit or Celsius. Measurements may be in metric or imperial, currency in dollars, pounds, Euro etc, so you should give out the units there but when you tell the time, the word “minutes” is redundant.

In 1998, I got a job as the afternoon show host on Century Radio, the regional station for the North East of England. After my first show, the Program Director said to me, “There’s a problem with the way you tell the time on the air”, I thought, oh no I must have accidentally said, “minutes”.

He said, “When you tell the time, you’re not saying minutes!”

Craic on!

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