Riding the wavelength – thoughts on a double century

In Uncategorized on March 29, 2012 at 11:02 am

Ponderings about radio, connection and random tunes by Andy Bell

First, it’s time to fully fess up.


I have earned a living as a broadcaster since the late 1970s – here in Australia and in the UK.

There, I’ve said it.

My broadcasterlyness is sullied by moolah !

I have done plenty to be proud and happy about as a professional broadcast journalist over the years, but I am beyond proud of “The Full Catastrophe”. 

It even beats my period in Wales in the 80s when I was dubbed by a colleague “the outrageous voice of football”.

That story is for another time.

Joy 94.9 & “TFC” is a labour of love and fulfils my many desires about the medium of radio.

And if there is any consistent passion in my life it is radio.

The intimacy of the medium is without peer and its ability to reach every emotional nook and cranny is a wonder.

It can be snuggled up in bed with, used as ironing or cooking accompaniment or be a raucous or comforting travelling partner.

“TFC” tries to embrace that and tries its best to maximise the possibilities of intimacy

From the start the program has been determinedly contrarian, random and, as a wise man said recently, enigmatic.

Four years and more down the road, I hope the zig-zaggery of the program remains both mystifying and comforting.

A good show for me is one which sounds like it was thrown together, but actually isn’t.

It’s aural sleight of hand with added afterglow.

And a vital part of the recipe is the listeners’ response.

A couple of words in an SMS or email elevates a musical choice or takes the reasoning behind that choice to unexpected places.

Engagement is the key. 

And I fancy that if I am engaged then the listener will cotton on with interest – and vice versa.

It’s the difference between listening and hearing.

Thank you to all who do engage.

There are regulars and there are one-offs – you are all appreciated to the max.

And then there’s the personal.

Without the discipline of a weekly show, and it is a discipline, I may well have fallen into a nostalgic musical morass as my 40s turned into my 50s.

That’s nice and comfortable, but you don’t grow.

There is always more to find out, more to relish, more to consider & ultimately embrace or reject.

The moments of magic for me are when something unexpected comes along.

When in the singular world of the Joy studio a lyric or musical phrase sidles up to my undefended emotional flank and king-hits me for the better.

That is glorious, but must be controlled lest it stumble into the self-indulgent.

Nuf said.

Two hundred shows is a milestone, but should not be a millstone.

There are many new tunes to play, plenty of old songs to reconsider and new ways of doing the program.

“TFC” intends to keep rolling along.



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