Robbie James from Farnham is obsessed with cheese, wine, Scotland and golden retrievers, is a music, sport and comedy fanatic and will be writing a regular column for Round & About on pretty much anything that takes his fancy from the view of a young, self employed presenter
My first column. The first of anything is always scary isn’t it? The first word you type. The first slice you cut off Colin the Caterpillar. The first step you take into the sea after you’ve been told ‘it’s fine once you’re in’.
As you’ll know if you read my intro to R&A last month (if you didn’t, why didn’t you?) cricket is one of my true loves. The other is radio.
I love radio a silly amount. I loved it way before I knew I loved it & I think that’s the beauty of it. It fills any gap in your life that you’d like it to, without you asking it or even consciously knowing there’s a gap to fill. Radio gives me the same physical feelings as when someone holds a door open or gives you their unused parking ticket. ‘Ah, that’s nice isn’t it, the world isn’t all terrible’. You hear people sharing parts of their life, letting their guard down a bit, providing silly stories or dedicating a song to their pal. ‘Just nice things’ tend to happen on the radio.
I’ve barely done any task this summer without having some form of sports radio on. Test Match Special, Wimbledon, they’re just there as a constant. You hear the hum of a crowd on their day out. You hear a collective expressing their emotions in a world where we are horrendous at expressing any emotions when other people are around. But then it leaves the rest to your imagination. TV doesn’t do that.
Radio is also so live and raw that it allows us to remember that nothing really matters. Radio 1 can be live to six million people at any one time, and a phone line can disconnect mid call. They can play the same song twice. Unless you’re a *insert rude word*, when you hear or see something go wrong in front of lots of people, we generally just laugh or empathise don’t we? No one was nasty of Twitter when I meant to say I couldn’t ‘get my clock up’ whilst hosting Pompey Live last year and accidentally said something else. What can I say… radio allows you to open up.
Mistakes remind us that these people inside the radio are not unreachable. They make mistakes, and that makes them relatable no matter how many TikTok followers they have. And then we warm to them through that empathy. We feel like we may just know them, and we feel a bit less lonely when we get into the car and pop the radio on after a terrible day in the office.
I’m too thick to be a doctor or a therapist, and not to say these occupations quite compete on levels of necessity, but I really do see being on the radio as a chance to improve people’s days a bit. I miss having a regular radio show more anything – but I’m really confident still has a future on both a local and national level. Oh and AI can do one.
Robbie is a Presenter/Broadcaster/DJ/Idiot, now living in Farnham. I do the radio, the TV, and anything else people pay me to do that my moral compass says yes to.