It’s always been the case….

…that presenters switch between BBC and commercial radio stations.

I recall Tony Butler in Birmingham switching between BRMB and BBC Radio WM in the 1980s. And then back again it the 1990s. And then back to the Beeb. And then back on commercial radio in the 2000s.

And, of course, Ed Doolan, who also shone bright in the West Midlands – at both stations.

Then in Liverpool there’s Billy Butler – going between Radio City and BBC Radio Merseyside – with Hold Your Plums in the 80s and 90s.

So, the news in the summer of 2018 that two national BBC radio presenters – Chris Evans and Eddie Mair – had decided to move from Radio 2 to Virgin Radio and from Radio 4 to LBC respectively, is perhaps not as surprising as headlines at the time might have suggested.

However, The Economist was upbeat in an article on the 8th of September.

Economist quote

…Which is pretty good news after all these years. Whilst the BBC’s Media Editor, Amol Rajan, wrote an interesting piece – published the day before – which added thoughtful context.

In the summer of ’93 a major name in commercial radio spent a season presenting a series of Sunday shows for BBC Radio York. I was the producer for that show – which I called …Out to Lunch. A nod to the Johnny Rotten et al 1977 song ‘Pretty Vacant‘.

OutToLunch (2)

In this clip you’ll hear the voice of Bill Mitchell, as humble as he was, chatting to James as the team set off on our journey.

Bill Mitchell, ever the quiet, observant, and opportunistic journalist, pulled me to one side during the recording and asked if he could ‘write something for the magazine’. Six months later this appeared in print:

Dalesman March 1994 v-55 no-12 pp33-35

I’m grateful to Adrian Braddy, the Dalesman editor at the time of writing this article (September 2018), for permission to reprint Bill’s piece.

3 thoughts on “It’s always been the case….

  1. Great piece Martin, lovely audio, and I’ve opened the fine looking article to read a bit later! It’s nice to see news of commercial radio thriving. Will be in touch soon with my own update…


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