TEAM: It's only radio!


 

Foreword:

"While the BBC is fortified by a licence fee commercial radio has had to fight like a tiger just to get its next meal. At this point, I would like to introduce you to the biggest tiger in the jungle, John Myers. Reading this book has been a revelation and a joy. You will think I am exaggerating if I say that John Myers is probably the most important figure in British commercial radio since Marconi, but who else comes close?

He starts as a DJ in clubs. Then he gets on air, fuelled by sheer desperation, initially presenting a country music show for £25 a time; his hatred of the genre is not diluted when he is hilariously named Country Music Presenter of the Year. Other shows follow, each slot bigger than the last, each new adventure wilder and wackier, a haze of deranged competitions, barking mad callers and crazy promotional stunts. Then, with a head for business, John begins buying radio stations. When I reached the paragraph where John calmly mentions that his combined purchases for the Guardian Media Group totalled a hundred million pounds, I nearly dropped my Kindle in the bath.

Certainly, there is sage advice here for any radio person on the mike or on the make. But actually, this is primarily not a book about big business. It is about the intimate pleasure of working on the wireless. It's a love letter to that uncomplicated box by your toaster, an uproarious but also deeply touching account of what I fear may well have been radio's golden age. In broadcasting, precious few can host a show and run the show. The number who become both hugely successful presenters and then make millions as radio entrepreneurs well, even Marconi didn't do that."

– Jeremy Vine, Radio 2

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