Twenty years ago …

Monday 11th October 1993 was my first day of paid work as a journalist at Cardiff’s then commercial radio station, Red Dragon FM.  I ‘d finished my postgraduate training course at the beginning of the summer and had spent the intervening time unsuccessfully applying for jobs and working in my friend Jon’s newsagent.

I don’t remember anything about that first day and wouldn’t even remember this story if Jon hadn’t recorded it. As you can tell it was actually from the medium wave service, Touch AM which unbelievably still broadcast a 30-minute news programme called, obviously, ‘In Touch.’

The presenter is Jon Manel who’s now one of Radio 4’s main reporters.

The things I notice: my accent affected by five years studying and living in England makes me sound like a Newport version of Mr Cholmondley-Warner. My delivery too comes straight from the postgrad course.

You can also hear a distinct whirr as each clip starts which comes from the fact they’d have been played from cartridges. It’s all very simple, rough and ready but I bet I still agonised over every bit of it.

6 thoughts on “Twenty years ago …

  1. I’d forgotten all about Touch AM (not that I ever really listened to it) until you posted this.
    Shame to think of the decline in local radio in less than 20 years, which I believe is more to with easing licence requirements in favour of commercial operators rather than ‘commercial pressures;’.

    1. Juliet and I worked together for pretty much the whole time I was there. She mostly did the Red Dragon breakfast shift and I mostly did the Touch shift. Phil was a great bloke, a real character who died way too young.

  2. I’ve tried wiping hours spent listening to Red Dragon from my memory, and had largely succeeded. Now he’s been mentioned I do remember Phil Suarez though, even better name for a football reporter, now that it was then.

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