How an air-conditioning mechanic in Sydney Australia became an award winning broadcaster in Britain; Part 116.

01Oct14

Every radio station I’ve worked at has had at least one unique feature that I wish they all had. My favorite was at 5SE Mount Gambier in South Australia.

The last person you want in a commercial radio studio is someone from sales. I presented the Breakfast Show on 5SE between 1994 and 1995. Occasionally, a sales person would try to get into the studio while we were on the air and we had a great way of keeping them out.

The fader that operated the microphone also activated a solenoid switch which locked the studio door. When you opened the mike, not only did the red light come on but the door locked. You didn’t even have to turn the fader all the way up (yes “turn”, they were rotary pots), all you had to do was lift it off the backstop and the door would lock.

You had to go through two doors to get into the studio. The first door opened into an “airlock”, then you pushed the second door to enter. Sales people tend to be reactionary so they’d usually try to burst into the studio at full pelt. If you were on the air at the time, you could have a lot of fun by stopping them in their tracks.

By keeping your monitors low, you could hear them coming. The first door made a swish noise, when you heard that, timing was everything. You had to click the mike at just the right time as they pushed the heavy second door with the full weight of their body.

Then you’d hear them smack into the closed door and swear.

Craic on!

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