Getting up at 4.30am has been a shock to the system

It’s important the parade continues – but safely

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I’m back on breakfast radio! Only for this week though as Steve Power takes a well-deserved week off.

I thought I was a seasoned veteran of early starts, after hosting breakfast shows in this area between 1994 and 2008. But this week has been a massive shock to the system.

There’s something very special about being the person on the radio to wake people up first thing and you either love it or hate it. I’ve rediscovered my love for it, but it comes at a cost.

It’s 4.30am when my alarm sounds. This gives me enough time to get dressed and take my breakfast into work as the show starts at 5.30am.

There’s no other show like it. The first hour you take it easy. No-one wants to be shouted at when they first wake up, or get asked to answer difficult questions, so I generally set the scene with some of the more interesting stories of the day.

Then the show moves up a gear, as it’s time to get everyone’s grey matter working.

A quiz, some banter and by 8am hopefully everybody’s ready to get into top gear!

Then after the show, it’s time to go through items for the next day and the week ahead. Then you are done and you can go and collapse in a corner.

I’ve found that with breakfast shows, all your mental energy is used up in such a short space of time.

To get through it, I’d sought advice from many well-known former breakfast presenters.

Some stay awake all day and hit the hay early. Some have a sleep in the afternoon. It’s whatever suits.

I know that broadcasting legend Terry Wogan was a great believer in power naps during his breakfast show days – Chris Tarrant the same.

For me, I want a life so I sleep in the afternoon when everyone is at work. Then I can have an evening.

It just means I wake up twice a day, but it’s better than suffering all day jet-lag.

Still, it can get confusing. Back in 1997 I can remember waking one day at 6.05 in a state of blind panic.

I leapt up, rushed into my car and made haste for the Power FM studios.

Then it slowly dawned on me it was pm, not am!