'Vintage' newscasts from Beacon Radio (ILR, West Midlands) Nov '79

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Here's some more 'classics from the attic' - cassettes I've found from my young days in broadcasting. The audio equivalent of 'The Picture of Dorian Gray'. When these finally give up I shall use my youthful bloom!

These are 2300 and Midnight newscasts back in the autumn of '79, when I was a 22 year-old 'Newscaster/Reporter' on the Wolverhampton-based station (using my names 'Richard Duncan').

Note these extensive newscasts so late in the day on what was then public service radio - it was 15 minutes at 2300 and 8/9 minutes at midnight. (Unfortunately, the newscast on the first tape had become mangled; I did my best to 'rescue' it but the latter part of the programme with the sport and weather is unusable). The second recording is much better audio quality. Apologies for the 'drop-out' in various section and the RF pick-up from my mobile phone as I was dubbing onto the MacBook!

This is posted for interest for radio anoraks and others who are interested in the style and content of Independent Local radio, including Independent Radio News (IRN), which supplied the national and international content. Good range of material - talks on the future of the (then) Rhodesia, Edward Kennedy announcing he was going to run against President Carter; the ITV strike (we were a two-channel TV country at that time, which boosted late-night audience figures for local radio!), and some cracking local stories - wives of two local police officers brawling, and a tailor's dummy catching fire in a Birmingham department store!

I loved this station and was thrilled beyond words to be working for it. The intro to the 2300 News is from the now sadly the Late Mike Baker - one of the greatest radio DJs in this country ever, IMHO. <<http://radiotoday.co.uk/2013/12/midlands-radio-presenter-mike-baker-dies/ >>

I'd been a fan for several years before I joined the station, so of course it was a great joy to find myself working the late shift with him. In November '79 he made his first trip to his beloved USA, so the show had a 'holiday relief' and, as it happens, the second newscast is intro'd by John Warwick, who became one of the best friends of my life. Tragically, HE died before he reached 50. I think abut him almost every day. An absolutely top bloke.

Sep 28, 2014, 06:44 AM
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