Thirty years ago this week, a radio station began broadcasting that would change my life. That radio station was called Power FM. Until December 4, 1988, the only hit music station was Radio 1 on rubbish old medium wave. Power FM was in FM stereo and promised the latest chart hits 24 hours a day.
It didn’t disappoint with its catchy jingles and fun, youthful, vibrant presenters.
It was nothing like we had ever heard before and I was hooked.
If I had known back in 1988 that seven years later, I would become a DJ on that station and host its breakfast show for 12 years, I would have spontaneously combusted.
This was the radio station that hosted many a Power in the Park on Southampton Common and Power in Portsmouth at the Guildhall, bringing the latest chart stars to the south coast.
I can remember many a time linking up with Doctor Fox live and Pepsi Chart HQ to inform the band I had on stage in front of 100,000 people that they had the new Number 1 single!
I also had the honour of opening the Radio Cafe in Southampton and working with some wonderful people, many still broadcasting.
My former co-host Rachel Brookes is now one of Sky Sports leading Formula 1 presenters and my newsreader, James Haddock, is now the chief golf reporter on the same station.
Scott Mills will always have a special place in his heart for Power FM, as do former presenters Darren Parks, now on Smooth Radio in Manchester and Des Paul, running his own successful media company in London.
When I think of all the things we got up to on that breakfast show, like making my female travel girl walk naked on Southsea Common, Naked was the name of her dog!
Then there was Maximum Bob getting chucked off a bus with a loudhailer for trying to make people laugh at his jokes, or knocking on people’s doors in Titchfield in just a towel, trying to get a shower.
And as for me, thanks to Power FM, I’m still doing what I love!
Christmas comes but once a year and I can’t get enough of it
Yes, our decorations went up on December 1, no messing. Christmas is getting earlier but I’m OK with that.
November is too early though. Come December, it’s fair game. I know some feel the 12th night before is the right time, but Christmas goes too quickly these days and I want it to last as long as it can.
Lights everywhere, joyful music on the radio, the season of goodwill is one to be embraced. I’m even considering risking life and limb again by putting up the icicle lights on the guttering.
Christmas Day plans are sorted and my shopping almost complete. The season of goodwill ran out though, when the Michael Bublé CD appeared.
Will Santa Hotline ruse stop Freddie picking his nose?
Freddie has started picking his nose. I mean properly picking it, his finger almost all the way up. How do you stop a four-year-old from doing it?
I told him if he sticks his finger up his nose his eyes will pop out. His three-year-old sister is now telling him the same.
I found an old ’70s-style red dial telephone in the loft. As we hardly use the landline these days, it’s now the Santa Hotline. I call it from my mobile, it rings loudly. The kids answer and I’m Father Christmas, telling them Santa will only call if nose-picking stops. I tried it on my wife Sarah this week, telling her what her wonderful husband wanted for Christmas. ‘Naughty Santa,’she replied!