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After a few years working around the world I found myself back on air on a new radio station in Scotland in late 2007. How things had changed.
A couple of friends warned me that commercial radio had changed and was now run on fear and paranoia. I was soon to find out what they meant.
A BIG surprise in the early days was the almost total lack of any kind of response from anyone. It felt as if no one was listening.... that turned out to be at least partly true....
Two important points here...... the direct audience response is not really much of an indication as to the number of people who actually listen. However, if those that ARE listening hear that the broadcast is getting a response then the thing simply sounds more credible. Many many times presenters simply made up names and comments to make it sound as if people were responding. I admit to doing this myself in the first few days but I stopped. My experience around the world taught me NEVER to lie to an audience.
Perhaps the most important point of all is that the station was aimed at a more up market and mature audience. Quantity was not really the object. As an adult oriented station it was planned to offer advertisers something that is normally very hard to get. Clever reasonably well off ABC1 listeners.
What it quickly became was something midway between a student media project a wedding disco and a mix tape made by a 14 year old for their grandad.
Just a few texts and emails follow...... Its easy to spot those who were the target audience….
Texts and Emails……. Some from the early days when I presented the weekday and weekend late shows for 50 pounds a programme and filled in on a few daytime programmes. Renumeration dropped to Zero when the station was sold…… and some from my last programme……….
I presented the Saturday night programme from 10pm til 1 am for - I think - two years. This was UNPAID and I had a 120 mile round trip to the station from my home in Cullen. I was - unusually - allowed to choose the music…… within defined limits and on most Saturday nights I was joined on air my my partner Natalie (Mavis)
In the end I got fed up with it. The whole thing was….. a waste of time with a tiny audience. it simply wasn’t worth continuing.
"Studio You\'re such an arrogant prick!"
"Studio u hav now converted me to your station,love the \'random\' but briliant chat,hav a good night, michaela(again)"
"Studio could you please play some pearl jam please brian. gordon from keith ps you should be back on during the day its shit without you"
Hi. Just read your page on the O106 website.. youre an amazing man.. i like your show a lot.. I only hear it now and again.. but i love what you say to people.. your manner and your energy.. you are a very dynamic bloke. I would like to thank you for sharing your passion of good music with the rest of us... have fun
Since discovering 106 a few weeks ago I have never had the radios on any other station it is Fab.That was until this morning, I got up early and caught Brian! He is the worst presenter I have ever heard, that so false nails on the blackboard voice was just too much for me I had to switch off.
I can't believe when talking to the plumber who phoned to report broken down lorry, he asked him what was wrong with it? It's broken down!! Please can we have a sensable voice as we get up on a Saturday morning? It is a time when We need to relax, not be iritated.
NOTE... I think i have a recording of this somewhere. sensable = sensible and there are 2 r’s in irritated
Hullo Brian your show on a Saturday morning is listened by our family and friends who cannot stop laughing at your fantastic humour which seems uncontrived and genuinely funny. Keep up the good work mate and we will continue to listen. Anyway you wondered after playing Marvin Gaye is anyone called Gay anymore.Well my good friend is one and she has a story. Her dad had a driving school in St Andrews which was called The Gay School of Motoring. Needless to say the pranksters at the nearby University had a field day and Ken was ribbed mercilessly but to be fair he did get most of the young gay community from Fife and even Edinburgh applying to him for lessons. But being of elder status he was uncomfortable with all this and changed the name of the business The name apparently is French and is a remnant from the Auld Alliance. Hope this is interesting enough for you Brian. I have the feeling you will make the most of this wee story. All the best
Brian-- Had to drop you a note and say that your introductory comments about feelings, women, and the Goo Goo Dolls tune currently playing were lovely. All women should hear such things. And thanks for playing good music tonight. On my way out the door. Just wanted to thank you for the "Awww" moment!
we have had enough of u so do everyone a favour and go home and never come back!! U really are the worst radio person ever ur voice is annoying, u should do a poll and see who agrees!
For the attention of the powers at be at Original 106.
I have been listening to Brian this morning and yesterday morning and he is quite possibly the most entertaining disc jockey i have ever heard. From his witty humour, stories and choice of music. I have found him a pleasure to listen to. I understand he is covering this week for another dj. I also understand he used to work at this station until he was fired. I can only ask that you see sense in asking him if he will do YOU the honour of working more in the future on your airwaves as he is a great asset to your station.
An entertained listener.
Dear Brian, I've considered sending you a message for a while now, but never quite plucked up the courage to do so. As my girlfriend and I said on Saturday night, we will really miss hearing the radio show you do with Mavis/Natalie. What really appealed to me was that you fulfilled the rhetoric of Original 106 - you were original.
Hearing your enthusiasm for broadcasting has really inspired me, and I am quite jealous of all the places you have been, people you have met, and events that you have experienced during your life! I hope that I too can lead such a full and interesting life. Thank you for being an inspiration to me.
I hope that whatever you go on to do, you have both success and fun.
Good Evening Brian and Mavis. Very sad to hear you say this is your last Saturday night show. You have done an amazing job keeping the show going for the last two years! Your Saturday night shows have been a real bright spot and have become one of the few must listen to shows.
Thanks for all your music recommendations and for playing a good mix of music on Saturday nights. Saturday nights won't be the same that's for sure..........I guess the 80s weekend will be extended for an extra couple of hours......
Maybe one day creative, live radio shows will make a re-appearance. Hopefully we might hear you back on the airwaves in the future.
Happy to meet, sorry to part, happy to meet again
Wishing You All the Very Best.
Dear Brian and Mavis, This is indeed a sad night! It's not just the end of a great radio programme but, worse still, it's the end of an era. I only hope that your retirement is more of a short holiday and that you'll be back before too long. I'm listening to you on my computer on a hot, steamy night in Brazil - send us a bit of that snow!
I hope it won't be too long before you're back on the airwaves - why don't you print out all the e-mails you'ver received tonight and stick them under the nose of the Original106 manager. Not only should they renew your contract but they could even go as far as paying your petrol for the round trip along the A96. Please let us know if you start a new show somewhere - I wouldn't want to miss it!
Success and happiness to you both!
Hi Brian & Mavis, We can’t believe we’re listening to your last show. We’ll miss your great mix of talk and music on a Saturday night. The machine just won’t be the same. Make sure you leave with a song in your heart and your heads held high. WE DID! Thanks for everything.
Fiona & Archie
I just happened to stumble across a web page about Radio Caroline and saw you mentioned. I googled you and came upon your website which i enjoyed reading through. I listened to you all the time on Original and thought I would drop you a line to say how much I miss your unique brand of broadcasting. You had me in hysterics a lot of the time with your rants etc and certainly said what you thought in no uncertain terms :)
Anyway, I'm not too much in the habit of sending fan mail, but I always felt you were not into the 'fame' thing, you were just one of us with a microphone being honest and genuine with no added bullshit.
I hope things are going well for you and you are still doing the things you kick ass at.
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