The best radio presenters engage with their audience

COMMENT: All agencies must to held to account for Anne Savidge’s tragic death

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How would you feel if you’d just been sacked, even though you had excelled in your job, had a proven track record and had always delivered great results?

Then, after receiving your cards, you were asked to carry on with the job you were really good at until your replacement was ready to start.

This is exactly what happened to Danny Baker last week, losing his regular show on BBC London, as mentioned in Sarah Foster’s column in Monday’s News.

For her, it was wrong that the presenter should use the airwaves to rant about his treatment. Sarah believed that listeners are not interested and presenters should keep their mouths shut.

As you can imagine, I’m of a different opinion regarding what broadcasters should and shouldn’t say!

Danny Baker’s rants were some of the most entertaining bits of radio I have heard in a long time. And how stupid of his ex-boss putting him back on air!

I have known many bullying programme controllers who have told presenters to ‘shut up and play the hits’.

Flick around the dial – how many presenters’ names do you know and when do they actually tell you something interesting or say something that makes you laugh?

I knew a presenter who was taken to a packed restaurant, where he thought he was having his contract renewed, only to be given his cards at the table. The controller knew he would not react due to their location.

Classic pieces of radio include Tony Blackburn’s wife leaving him, prompting him to play their record Honey by Bobby Goldsboro over and over. Then there was Chris Evans’ sacking at Radio 1 when he wanted Fridays off. All memorable moments.

A presenter’s job is to connect with their listeners in whatever way suits their character. We know their personality, we know about their lives and we miss them when they are gone as they become our friends.

It’s been proven time and time again, the most successful stations and TV shows have presenters who engage with their audience. For those who believe it should be just about the music, I suggest they buy an iPod.