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Darryl Morris – How to get into radio

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

The all important second blog. Thanks for coming back. Over the next few weeks, as well as give you an insight into the industry today, I want to tell you a bit more about where I come from and what it was that made me decide on a career in radio. I remember that defining time, the moments I realised I actually quite like radio.


I was a TV junkie as a young boy. My Granddad would try and persuade me into listening to Radio 4, but I was having none of it. I was totally disinterested and sat for hours and hours on end in front of the TV, sometimes whole days. Imagine my dismay when my beloved box decided to pack up on me. With a loud thump and a puff of smoke, it was dead. I cried for hours. I was left with little option but to turn on the radio, a boy of the 21st Century can’t be expected to make his own entertainment! I can’t remember how conscious I was of the radio, who was on it and how I could listen. Being head over heels in love with TV, it was something I had rarely visited. I do remember full well what I first listened to. A guy called Tony Wrighton on 105.4 Century FM (now Real Radio). A total pro. I just loved how slick he was, talking perfectly up to the lyrics on every go. That was it, I was hooked! I would rush home from School everyday to listen to him; I never bothered to replace that broken telly.


I was becoming more of a radio anorak by the day. I knew who every Century FM DJ was, what they did and exactly when they would do their links. I wanted a piece of the action and would call up on every chance. But it wasn’t enough. I wanted to do this for myself! Now, bedroom radio is an odd one. Some people are quite open about having done it, others less so. But you can almost guarantee that 90% of presenters have at some point sat in their bedroom pretending to be on the radio. I will hold my hands up and say I’m one of those people. I used Windows Media Player for songs and plugged a microphone into my computer. I recorded some jingles saying my name and Century FM into my phone and would play them at the right times; timing it so the jingle ran smoothly into the lyrics, eventually becoming quite slick. I’d record it into a voice recorder and listen back. Once, on a dull Sunday afternoon, I decided to take it a step further and do a bit of audience interaction! I grabbed the phone book and called the first name I saw. A woman answered the phone as my heart skipped a beat:


“Hello” she said, “Hi” I began, totally unrehearsed, “This is Darryl Morris calling from Radio Bolton” she must have known there was no such thing as Radio Bolton, just gloss over it, carry on and it will all be ok. “Have you ever heard of us?” I found myself saying. Balls! I must have blown it now. “Erm… No I’m not sure I have, I don’t listen to much radio” Yes, winner, I was in. “Well not to worry. We are having a few problems taking calls this afternoon and don’t have anybody to play our new game, would be interested in taking part?” I went straight into my sales pitch. She thought for a moment, “Yeah OK, why not” Oh my god! I’d done it, I’d manage to convince a member of the public that I was a real radio presenter and that I was about to go live on air with her. Ha! This was fantastic! I asked her to hold as I put the phone up against the speaker! I did a countdown and then launched into it. She played along as I asked her a few questions, each question winning her £1000. She even gave a little exited cheer at the end of the conversation when I told her she’d won. I signed off and ended the conversation by taking her name and address. I couldn’t believe it, I’d actually just convinced somebody that I was a real radio presenter and that they had just been on my show. This was fantastic! I was hooked. Who needed Century FM when I could be ‘live’ on air myself? I wanted more of this, so my chance to host a show on an actual radio station couldn’t have come at a better time…


To be continued…


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