Tuesday, July 06, 2004

northern soul

Bristol Parkway is a crap station. There are no bins so it's covered in expired meal deals. Also there are no staff or timetables. So I'll sit here until a train shows up which is headed vaguely in the right direction and then I'll get on it.

I've noticed that the recorded voice which does station announcements belongs to a bloke who used to present Look North West. Phil something or other. I wonder how he got the train announcer gig and how mind numbing it must have been to record all those separate phrases, times and soundbites. I wonder if he gets royalties and repeat fees. Maybe that's why you don't see him on stuff now. He's retired to Doncaster, Crewe or the Kyle of Lochalsh.

He also used to do the Saturday afternoon sports show on what used to be Red Rose Radio in Preston. That's where I got my big break in showbiz, filling in for a friend of a friend as the runner on the show for a couple of weeks. This mainly involved shuttling between the studio and the office with cups of tea and swathes of IZAL out of the teleprinter with up to date county cricket scores and news on.

For local cricket scores, every twenty minutes or so I had to ring round the various grounds for an update on the score. I was young and not that well up on my Wisden at the time, so scores which would have been incomprehensible anyway were made even more of a challenge when the phones at grounds like Oswaldtwistle and Barnoldswick, when eventually picked up, were answered by 83 year old blokes on their fifth pint of mild with the most incomprehensible East Lancs accents. I was sacked when Phil announced on air that Clitheroe were '108 for 4 all out' followed, fader down, with 'who wrote this shite'. My Mum and Dad were so proud.

My career as a hospital radio DJ was similarly short-lived when I was frog-marched of the premises by an elderly porter for playing what I considered to be an inspired segue of Sheer Heart Attack and I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight.