Hi Mike , How are you doing?
Pretty good thanks. Playing tennis, writing songs, socializing and scrutinizing potential recipients for Blue Plaques.
Your set to go live with United DJ’s on 1st March, tell us more about how this came about.
Radio has changed enormously. I feel that the IBA (Independent Broadcasting Authority) should have divided the commercial stations in the country into, say, 12 or 15 workable areas. This would have enabled those stations to have become attractive propositions in terms of having been able to sustain a healthy income from advertisers and sponsors, large and powerful enough to be able to help break new music and to have been able to employ only the very best broadcasters and to pay them properly. With so many stations struggling to bring in as much money as they’d like, you hear many DJs complaining that they are working for less than they were many years ago and in some cases, for a pittance. To compound that, most have to adhere to a playlist, with little room for personal input. They say “I’m doing a job I love for very little and I can’t even get involved with the music.” United DJs is based on United Artists. Formed 100 years ago by Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford UA enabled them to have control over their own creative and artistic decisions without being dependent on the powers that be.
You created this with Tony Prince, how did working on this together come about?
Tony suggested the idea to a few of us last year and it has progressed from there. We now have 7 former Radio One DJs, 12 former Radio Luxembourg DJs and 8 former Capital Radio DJs as well as a few pirates! A lot of work has gone on behind the scenes to make this happen and there has been a collective belief in what we’re looking to achieve. Romantic ideas and ideals are all very well, but making them happen demands a tough work ethos.
What can we expect from United DJ’s shows?
Much has been said of everybody having ‘completely free choice,’ and while this will apply to some of the evening and specialist shows, the mainstream shows will need to have some sort of parameters, however wide. All the United DJs have enough experience and professionalism to know what is wanted. Someone asked me the other day what kind of music we’d be playing. I replied, “Good music.” We all know which songs from the 50s, 60s 70s and 80s still cut it and which don’t. We are across which music from the 90s, 2000s and new music will also appeal to the listeners. There is still a thrill in playing a great new song. Again, we are aware which songs really hold up being played once a week, once a month or once a year! You can expect passion, great music, personality and fun! And with Radio One’s Smiley Miley on board with the massive Radio One Roadshow vehicles, you can also expect roadshows!
You are also raising money for The Parkinson’s UK Charity by walking 125miles, what made you do this?
Our pal Kid Jensen has just revealed that he’s been suffering from Parkinson’s for a while, so I thought we could do something to help. Obviously the United DJs are supporting, as are several artists, and events like this unite the broadcasting family, as witnessed by the support of BBC local radio stations and BFBS.
How can people sponsor you?
There is a Just Giving page.
You are also be participating in the Back To The 80’s Cruise in May, what can we expect from you?
I’ll be chatting on stage with such artists as ABC, Tony Hadley, Kim Wilde, Belinda Carlisle, Go West etc .Great fun and a bit like an old school reunion….oh and there’ll be a Pop Quiz!
How did this opportunity come about?
Simply got a phone call asking if I’d like to do it….with all that fantastic music and a week with some chums….of course I would!
What are you most looking forwarding to?
Sun, food, music, food, sea air, food….did I mention food?
Where can readers follow you and more information for United DJ’s.
On Facebook or on twitter with the web site up soon….
I will link all websites as soon as they go live.