How an air-conditioning mechanic in Sydney Australia became an award winning broadcaster in Britain; Part 128.


In March 1999, I was three months into an eighteen month contract at BRMB in Birmingham. It wasn’t going well. My boss had been ignoring me for the last few weeks. Prior to that, he’d made it very clear that he didn’t like what I did on the air.

I’d heard that when he fired people he took them to lunch, told them they’d done their last show and they never returned to the building. Well here I was, sat across from him at Cafe Rouge.

What he said next took me completely by surprise. He said, “I’d like to offer you a three year contract”.

I can’t remember exactly what I said there and then, I’m pretty sure I was in shock. Had I stumbled though a portal into a parallel universe? I was now in a bizarro world where the bloke who had behaved as if I was the worst thing to ever happen to his radio station, was offering to double the length of my contract. I couldn’t believe it and drove home, laughing all the way.

When I told Julie, she was as shocked as I was. What was going on? I didn’t want to work for this bloke and up until now, I was pretty sure he didn’t want me to work for him either. Nothing made sense. What should I do?

The next day, I woke up with a plan. I didn’t want to just say no, so I decided I’d ask for a stupid amount of money then he’d be the one to say no and I’m out after I’ve worked the fifteen months left on my current deal which would give me plenty of time to find a new job.

I was going to ask them to pay me double what I was on. Then I decided that was too risky so in the end, I asked them to TRIPLE what they were paying me. I also asked for my working week to be reduced from six shows a week to five and on the off chance they still went for that, I asked for copyright ownership of everything I broadcast.

They were completely ridiculous terms, especially as I’d only worked for them for three months, didn’t have any ratings yet, had been working in British radio for less than three years and this was the biggest market I’d ever worked in. There was no way they were going to say yes, so I was out baby!

Incredibly, they agreed to everything.

Blinded by the amount of money on the table, I took the deal and signed up for three years. If only I’d known what was really going on and why this bloke was so desperate to keep me, things could have turned out very differently. Only twelve months later, things went very badly for me at BRMB.

Don’t get me wrong, during those twelve months, things were great on the air and at one point, the show was number one overall in the market. The problem was, off the air, I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t know how to play the game. I was also naive enough to believe that a deal is a deal.

More on that and the REAL reason they were so desperate for me to stay in another Craic. 

Craic on!

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