Category Archives: Radio Show Blog

Do You Prep Your Radio Shows?

Coming from student radio, I have heard too many people respond to the question of prep’ing their shows with, “Nah, I like to be spontaneous.” Fab.


Seriously, their thought seems to be, “I’ll just turn up and wing it for 2 -3 hours, and it will be great! I will love it. The listener will really love it!” Except, I’ll let you in to a secret: you won’t, and they won’t either. If you think being spontaneous is about just saying what comes in to your head, then your listeners will do the first things that comes in to their head and turn you off.

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail

This was the mantra taught when I did my teacher training. It’s a truism you can take with you everywhere in life. You need to plan. You need to prepare.

A well run station will have a play-out log scheduled well in advance of your show. Not even the play-out computer is just playing the first things it thinks off! If you want to make great radio, you need to put the time in to planning and preparation.

Now what does this really mean? Plan an hour for every hour your on air? Get a file of material? Well, there are as many ways that people plan as there are people; we’re all different. In one of his blogs, radio giant (quite literally  – have you seen the size of the man!) John Myers says:

“There is no myth about all this. What ‘prep’ is about is simply working through what is required to ensure your show can be the best it can be. What do you need to do, what do you need to prepare ahead of time or put in place so you can deliver the features, content and information to make it a winner.”

Real spontaneity comes out of your preparation. And good preparation is like money in the bank. You can go off on a tangent and if it works, go out with a bang by hitting it with a prep’ed ‘get out’, ending or audio item. However, if it doesn’t work or flops, you can still go out with a bang by hitting it with a prep’ed ‘get out’, ending or audio item!

Boom! Either way, good prep helps you make it a winner.

In my next blog, I’ll give you some tools and recommendations to get your prep started.

Introducing Peter Nicholls, local radio broadcaster?

It’s been sometime since I wrote a personal entry that was about me and not some cause or issue, but it’s about time isn’t it?

May 30th – June 23rd was our yearly community radio FM RSL projected at Staffordshire University, called Cre8 Radio. This was the longest FM RSL run we have done since Cre8 launched in 2009 and we had a fantastic time. I hosted a 2 hour afternoon show most days, including weekends, and during the week I had a fellow co-host in the form of Liam Maxwell.

On the back of this, I’ve finally plucked up the courage, pushed by my lecturer and former BBC Stoke producer Anne Duffell, to get a demo in to Radio Stoke. Having nearly 50 hours of live radio audio to choose the best from also helped!

So here it is, my radio broadcast demo for BBC local radio. Fingers crossed!

Student Radio Star 2012

The Hits radio in association with the Student Radio Association ran a competition ‘for the best student radio talent to appear on The Hits radio.’ The 1st prize is 4 shows and voice coaching, the runners up got one show and coaching.

I wasn’t sure if I should enter. But at the last minute last Monday I though, blow it, and quickly put together 5 mins of clips and 1 ‘best link’, and uploaded them to the site. And then I wondered if it was any good. Self doubt and wondering if I am any good, in fact I felt generally low afterwards for a few days.

However, 5 minutes ago I opened my email, only to discover an email from the competition containing the following paragraph:

Your entry has made it to the final shortlist of entries and is now with our expert panel of judges who will be select the final winner and two runners up.

I suppose you could say I am quite shocked and delighted to get to the final shortlist! Whatever happens, getting this far is an achievement. The overall winner, and the runners up, will be announced at the Student Radio Conference on the 3rd April in Bradford. I can’t be there, but I am sure I will know soon enough I am on that final list or not. Here’s hoping.

Long time needed update!

Wow. It’s been too long. Very quickly, I’ve landed some work experience at Radio One and I am so excited. What a chance in a life time opportunity! As part of this, I’ll be spending a morning with the Chris Moyles Team, and they want me to do some audience research. So, could you please answer the few questions below; copy and past them in to a response to this post. THANK YOU!

What is your favourite genre/type of music?
Who is your favourite pop star/artist/band/DJ around at the moment?
What are your favourite TV programmes?
How do you spend an average weekend? What do you like to do with your friends?
How important is clothing to you? What type of clothes do you buy?
What phone do you own?
What’s your favourite social networking site? (Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Twitter etc.)
How often do you use it and what for?
What are the 5 most important possessions in your life?
What do your parents moan to you about most?
Who do you look up to most? (family figure, friend, celebrity?)
Who is the biggest celebrity in your world at the moment?
Do you listen to the Chris Moyles Show?
What are your favourite parts of the show if you do?
Which parts of the show annoy/irritate you?
What guests would you like to see appear on the show?
What type of feature would you like to see introduced on the show?
What other shows do you listen to on Radio 1?
What do you like about them?