How an air-conditioning mechanic in Sydney Australia became an award winning broadcaster in Britain; Part 119.

14Oct14

Sometimes you end up with egg on your face.

Birmingham is Britain’s biggest city outside London. The main sorting office for the Royal Mail is the Aston Delivery Office. It’s a purpose-built, quarter of million square foot sorting office. The main hall houses eight integrated mail processors and ten sorting machines which can deal with up to three hundred thousand letters per hour. The sorting office opened in 1998, less than a year later, I almost brought it to a complete standstill.

I was working as the presenter of the 9am till noon show on BRMB. For my birthday in June 1999, Julie ordered me a poster of the original 1969 movie, “The Italian Job”. She phoned around and a shop in London had one so she arranged to have it posted up to Brum. Unfortunately when it arrived it was damaged. It was ripped almost in half.

I came up with an idea to let the Royal Mail redeem themselves, get some publicity and give my listeners the chance to win some money. I told the boss my idea, he said he loved it and agreed to a cash prize of £4000.

The idea was simple, I went on the air and told the sad story of my birthday present being damaged in the post. I said this was unusual and that the Royal Mail normally take good care of packages. To prove it, I was prepared to offer £4000 in cash to the first person who could send me a raw egg in the mail in a regular, non-padded envelope. If it arrived intact, you got the money.

The result was carnage. Thousands of eggs were posted, none of them made it. Sacks of soggy envelopes arrived at BRMB, raw egg glued together other mail sent to the radio station and the mail of nearby businesses. Millions of pounds worth of state of the art sorting equipment was damaged and had to be shut down for extensive cleaning.

The contest was quickly withdrawn and an apology was issued.

Craic on!

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