Croydon goes ga-ga for a radio channel of its own

The man behind Croydon Radio, TIM LONGHURST, says that the new internet station’s Try Out days were such a success, budding broadcasters can expect more to come very soon

Croydon Radio’s Try Out Days saw more than 20 potential new Wogans or Annie Nightingales drop by the studio at Matthews Yard to find out more about Croydon’s first community radio station.

Who could have guessed that estate agents would be so popular? Dayo Badejo, left, answered listeners’ questions on property prices and mortgages during the Croydon Radio Try Out days, with Tim Longhurst at the controls

The Try Out days saw the budding presenters share their ideas for shows and have a go at live broadcasting, and thanks to coverage on Facebook, Twitter and Inside Croydon, those going on air had a keen audience waiting to check out their shows.

A good cross-section of individuals and groups came by in person or agreed to be interviewed in advance.

Fringe comedians Hattie Ashdown and Marc Burrows were first to try out with a frantic, spur-of-the-moment show covering new music and reviewing the local comedy scene. Tibs Holland mixed music and wry observations with a brand of humour he described on air as “comedy bronze”. Tibs’ spot also included an interview with comic Lucy Porter on growing up in Croydon.

Other shows concentrated more on music with occasional chat and informed comment. Paul “Maps” Madden, Waddon resident and founder of the Joyzine review site, shared recent discoveries in new and unsigned bands. Steve Lawlor from Purley honoured Croydon artists such as Captain Sensible and Kirsty MacColl. Chris Matthews, the founder of the Croydon Dinner Club, played a beguiling mix of classical themes. Danny Andrews, an already accomplished internet radio presenter, played a show of chart hits.

Hospital radio veteran James Tighe plans to preview forthcoming live music events in Croydon and his special guest John Edwards, from the band Butt of Lewis, shared songs and spoke about his musical influences and inspirations. Student Dave Young was another musician/presenter who aired his own music in a show interspersed with friends’ comments from the social networks as well as quirky news clips and curious websites.

Musicians and music promoters certainly see the potential of Croydon Radio as a channel for up and coming artists. Tim Eveleigh, event host and gig-goer, plans to collaborate with various music venues around town to promote forthcoming concerts. His show included artists that have played locally as well as his own musical creations. Wayne Brown, a musician and experienced club DJ from Addiscombe, will present a show that pays tribute to Jazz legends.

Janet Smith, Andrew Dickinson and Andrew Pelling each presented distinctive talk shows with a smattering of music. These covered topics such as the Croydon arts scene, raising awareness of environmental initiatives in Croydon and an interview with the chairman of the reformed Croydon Athletic football club. Janet also came equipped with a selection of interviews of topical interest, including an item on the Save The David Lean Cinema Campaign and an interview with Ted Craig, director of the Warehouse Theatre.

Another predominantly talk-based show was by Dayo Badejo who presented a segment devoted to property issues. Dayo, a local estate agent, discussed current trends in the Croydon property market and answered questions received via the website and Twitter on matters of mortgages, student accommodation and rental contracts.

Ted Smith-Orr and Peter Evans represented Poets Anonymous and were interviewed live on air about the nature of writing poetry and sources of inspiration as well as information about forthcoming events. They departed from an all music format and read pieces of their own work as well as poems from other members of their group.

Ah Ha! Tibs Holland provided Croydon Radio with his own “comedy bronze”

The closing show of the weekend and one of the most eagerly awaited was presented by Bieneosa Ebite from Thornton Heath. PR consultant Bieneosa snagged interviews with MP Gavin Barwell, Andrew Pelling and Croydon Tours’ founder James Naylor and had been trailing her show over the preceding week. Listeners connected, and visited the website to interact in real-time with both the presenter and other listeners on the site.

The week of Try Out Shows has seen a wide mix of content, styles and personalities. Everyone who dropped by has been enthusiastic for and excited by the prospect of a dedicated radio station for Croydon. Everyone seems ready to commit to doing regular shows and helping out with other aspects of the station.

Further Try Out Days are planned to accommodate the overwhelming response and the website croydonradio.com provides full details on how to register interest. Despite some initial teething difficulties, the feedback has been extremely positive and constructive with comments describing Croydon Radio as offering something new, distinctive and much-needed within the town.

Certainly those who made it to air over the last week have enjoyed their experience and are eager to continue. We fully expect them to soon occupy their own, regular spot on the Croydon Radio schedule.

Stay tuned, we’re just getting started.

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About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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