Chris Deacy (interviewed by Craig Braddick)

Episode 175,   Aug 16, 2023, 04:45 PM

In a special edition of my podcast this week, Craig Braddick has interviewed me to talk about growing up in the 1980s with Radio 1 and then with Radio 2 into the 90s and beyond, and how being a contestant on Blockbusters guided me towards my own broadcasting career.

I talk about the significance of 1981 – the year I started listening to Radio 1 – and Bucks Fizz winning Eurovision and how, during my schooldays, the charts on a Sunday mattered in the school playground. We also talk about whether the presenters of the day really represented what was going on in the wider world and whether there was a patriarchal streak to broadcasting in that era.

I talk about who my favourite presenters were in those days, including the impact of Adrian John who was a presenter in the 1980s who really understood his audience.

We talk about my childhood diary entries and what it contains about my radio interests, and how I used to include information about the DJ and the artists who were on Top of the Pops each week. We also talk about DJ handovers both on radio and on TOTP, and of the presenters who perhaps didn’t always get on (famously Tony Blackburn and John Peel).

We reflect on whether for listeners there is a particular ‘golden era’ and whether some of the Radio 1 DJs in the 80s thought that they were more important than the music, and we refer to the way some presenters were delegated. We talk about the way they were caricatured in the Smashie and Nicey mode.

We then move on to discuss what happened with Radio 2’s evolution in the 1980s and how different the station was in those days from today, and how David Hamilton’s perceptions of the station in the 80s and now are diametrically opposite. 

I talk about how much I enjoyed the guests on Gloria Hunniford’s show on Radio 2 in the afternoons in the early 90s when I was at university. I refer to the line between education and entertainment as being blurred and how those in-depth conversations were an inspiration for my Nostalgia podcast.

We talk about Jimmy Young’s news and current affairs career and how the iconic JY was perhaps in some ways evoking a different era.

We then speak about my experience of appearing as a contestant on Blockbusters and of meeting Bob Holness, and how it came as a surprise to my school peers that I got on the show in the first place.

Craig askes me about my radio heroes, and I talk about Ed Stewart and how he died before he had a chance to read what I had written about him in a book I wrote about Christmas. We refer to Stewpot’s radio personality and whether he would have fitted a different sort of genre of broadcasting.

I reflect, too, on the female presenters who have influenced me, including Sarah Kennedy, and the contrast in broadcasting style with Chris Evans. I tell Craig about how I tend to gravitate to more introverted presenters and how radio and university teaching cross over in unexpected ways.

Then, at the end of the interview Craig asks me what in ten years’ time I think I am going to be listening to on the radio.