I used to live actually on Barbourne Terrace and was well aware of Wyvern starting up and I remember clearly going into the reception area and watching the DJ’s presenting through the glass. To
To me they were like Gods! I remember buying a Wyvern sweatshirt too. I felt I was so cool. It was miles before the days of radio saturation like it is these days. In Worcester, you could only get Radio 1 and Radio 2. That was about it.
I pestered Sam to get some work. I sat in on his show a few times and absolutely loved it. He used to be puffing on a cigar at 7 am. I remember him saying `” Its Sammy on the tranny” which sounded great in those days. I don’t think you could say that now! Jingles like Thermalex Thermalex…Wyvern weather Thermalex.
Anyway, in 1988 Sam gave in and let me do a one-hour show called the Best of British.
My first record was Matt Bianco and Wap Bam Boogie. In those days it was vinyl only. Big turntables. When I went full-time you just chose whatever records you wanted to play and there was an old Sainsburys shopping basket you filled up with records to play on your show.
So many fun people worked there while I was there. Dave Cartwright doing his Folk show. Sometimes I swapped his carts over and rather than it playing his folk music intro it would play dance music. We laughed so much. Big Rich Edwards and the dance factory. Fantastic music and his amazing deep voice. Jonny Meers and the country show. Although I hated every song, he used to get more mail than all of us. No emails then, just letters and cards. He was massively popular.
I loved the 3 Counties show. Mr Bilton made us wear dreadful towelling white tracksuit bottoms. Also the Wyvern Caravan. We used to do shows from there and if you walked in a bit heavily the record would skip. We did many a show from the car park of the main theatre in Hereford. Good days!
Also looking back on those days I was really in awe of Sam and Mike George but years later they were just mates. I remember Mike George joining the BBC in Worcester when I was on breakfast there. I helped him with the desk on his first show. It felt so odd as he had been one of my heroes and there I was making sure he hit the right buttons and faders!
Always terrifying being called in to see the boss. He was scary!! Then there was the accountant whose name I have forgotten ( John Owens Ed – SS ) who used to wear a brown suit and have an office somewhere upstairs. I had a sign written car too. That was so cool!! I remember David Leatherdale the Worcestershire cricketer coming with me to various garages to try and blag a car. I was so disappointed that most of the garage staff had heard of David but they had never heard of little old me and it proved to be quite a challenge but eventually I did get a free car. I think from a garage in Powick!! It’s probably no longer there now. I remember once also it was the day of a big horse race in England. Maybe the derby? Mr Bilton put a tv in the studio on silent and I had to sort of do a running commentary on which horse was winning. I had no idea about horses and racing and it must have sounded terrible!!
So many happy memories of Wyvern. I don’t think radio will ever be the same and there do not sadly seem to be hardly any characters on air anymore. I listen to local radio now and it’s painful. BBC local radio, in my opinion, should be quietly closed down. The commercial ones all sound the same with bland presenters who just read out strap lines and have no personality.
But always good to end on a high. Do you remember the Wyvern snowball auction thing? It all ended on a Sunday with masses of auction items and Sir John Cotterill, Chairman of the Board of Directors used to come into the studio. It was akin to a royal visit!
Oh also…some characters like Marie ( From Broadway – Uncle Ed ) and the eccentric Bob the bike!!!
And great great broadcasters like Sam, Nick Wright, Mike George and others…..Great days!! Great memories!!
Not in radio anymore and do miss it but time moves on and I have a great job and life in London and am lucky to travel a lot with work and holiday but the days at Wyvern will always be very special to me.