WARREN HAYDEN: Turn up the volume... I’m starting a new era

Pictured at the Palmerston Road lights switch-on are: (l-r) Isla Gray (4) with family friend Amy Baines (29) from Southsea, Asha Baines (2), Hannah Hodgson (28) with her daughter Willow Hodgson (2) from Drayton.

Picture: Sarah Standing (161547-1799) PPP-160911-202006001
Pictured at the Palmerston Road lights switch-on are: (l-r) Isla Gray (4) with family friend Amy Baines (29) from Southsea, Asha Baines (2), Hannah Hodgson (28) with her daughter Willow Hodgson (2) from Drayton. Picture: Sarah Standing (161547-1799) PPP-160911-202006001

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It’s the end of an era and the start of a new one.

At the weekend I did my final shows for the radio station I’ve been working at for the past 14 years.

During my teenage years my love for radio grew. Every day before school I’d listen to 103.2 Power FM when my fellow News columnist Rick Jackson, now at Wave 105, hosted the breakfast show.

I didn’t know it at the time but I was showing the signs of a future broadcaster as I’d turn the volume down when the music was on and turn it up when the presenters talked.

I was just fascinated at how Rick and other presenters on the station would connect with their listeners. I just knew I wanted to do what Rick did.

My first broadcast came from my bedroom in Copnor and had zero listeners. Well may be my mum when she’d pop in with my washing.

Later, I was given my own show on Portsmouth Hospital Radio and at the same time I was doing work experience at the short-lived Portsmouth TV. I even managed to convince BBC Radio Solent to give me a job, which they did, as a broadcast assistant, which mostly meant making the tea.

This is when I began to contact the bosses at my local radio stations Power FM and Ocean FM who were based at Segensworth, Fareham. This was my dream place to work.

Eventually they gave in and let me work for nothing around the station.

One of my first jobs was labelling the studio CDs, which soon got chucked in the bin when the CD players were replaced by computers. I’d also make the tea, answer the phones and do anything I was asked because I was just happy to be there among the radio presenters I’d listen to every day.

But when I had a spare moment I’d take myself into a studio and record my own radio show and leave the cassette on the boss’s desk.

To my surprise he asked me to cover a show on Power FM. It was at 2am on a Sunday, but for me this was huge and I was so nervous.

I must have done something right because he gave me the show permanently.

While presenting on Power FM, I was also asked to do shows in the studio next door for Ocean FM which in 2009 became Heart.

I’ve had the best time over the past 14 years and I’ve presented almost all the shows on the station.

I started working there when I was a teenager and I’m now in my 30s and many of life’s big events, including having children, have happened in that time.

It was a hard decision to leave but I’m so excited to be joining Spirit FM for Hometime with Warren Hayden from November 21 and I hope you’ll join me weekdays from 3pm-7pm on 96.6FM, on the App or online.

IT’S BEGINNING TO FEEL A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS

Last week Christmas came to Southsea. I hosted my sixth and final Christmas lights switch-on in Palmerston Road.

Sadly, because of high winds, the fireworks had to be cancelled, which was disappointing although I understand safety must come first.

But this didn’t affect the amazing atmosphere and community spirit that this event brings every November.

The Southsea market was in full flow and the large crowd wore their big coats and scarves while enjoying the incredible talent that I was privileged to introduce on stage. This included the Pop Academy students from SD studios who are based in Sultan Road, Buckland, and the incredibly skilled young ladies from the Timestep School of Dance.

I was joined on stage by Father Christmas, the deputy lord mayor and Kings Theatre panto star Marcus Patrick to press the big red plunger and turn on those lights.

It was a fantastic evening and with the show ending with Merry Christmas Everyone by Shakin Stevens, I am definitely feeling ready for Christmas.