How an air-conditioning mechanic in Sydney Australia became an award winning broadcaster in Britain; Part 158.


I accidentally became involved in a big scam once.

When I returned to 2CRFM in Dorset as Program Director in January 2004, I was given the biggest office. On the walls were framed autographed photos of some of the artists we played. I can’t remember them all but there was definitely a Mariah Carey, a Celine Dion and a Madonna.

I’ve never been comfortable with the way music radio stations make out that they somehow represent the artists they play. It’s embarrassing enough that they use other people’s work to make money but really, does anyone believe that a radio station in Bournemouth has any actual connection to some of the biggest names in show business?

Besides that, anyone can play music made by anyone but music radio stations use the artists they play to differentiate themselves from other radio stations. Most listeners think all of the stations play the same songs anyway. The only real difference between radio stations is their on-air personalities. They’re the people who produce the only content on the station that is unique, why aren’t their pictures on the walls?

Anyway, one of the first things I did when I took over at 2CR was to take all of those framed photos down and hand them to Rosemary, the office manager. I told her to give them to the next charity organization that asks us for auction prizes.

A few of weeks later I was in the office talking to Martyn Lee who I’d appointed as my Assistant PD. He looked around and asked where all of the photos had gone. When I told him, the colour drained from his face.

Martyn explained that a previous promotions manager had downloaded the photos from the internet, signed forged signatures HIMSELF, put them in cheap frames and hung them on the walls of the reception. When the reception was renovated, the photos were moved up into the Program Director’s office.

I asked Rosemary if we still had the photos. She smiled broadly and told me that the signed photos had made thousands of pounds at a black tie auction run by Dorset Police to raise money for their benevolent fund.

Craic on!

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