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Friday 31 December 2010

That Was The Year That Was.

A look back at what has been a very momentous year for myself & my family.
Even though this video is 17 minutes long, i still missed out some events & people!

Vloggers Caravan Road Trip video playlist:

"Not The End Of The Pier" CD website:

AudioBoo -

A beach vlog.

Thursday 30 December 2010

AudioBoo - New Year Resolutions.


Tuesday 28 December 2010

Wednesday 22 December 2010

Celebrity DJs.

This morning i read that Planet Rock, a UK Classic Rock radio station, were changing their breakfast show DJ.
Now, for anyone who knows anything about radio and i would hardly call myself an expert by the way, the breakfast show slot is always seen as, probably, the most important in that stations schedule.

So, a change of breakfast show DJ is pretty big news. Especially as the DJ being replaced is none other than Alice Cooper. Yes, that Alice Cooper.

I have no idea as to why Alice Cooper is being replaced, if indeed he is. It is quite possible that he's just decided that his time as a breakfast DJ is done. But, i don't believe that, as his show is syndicated and is almost certainly not "live" anyway. Alice's show is being moved to an evening slot by the way.

All this leads me to wonder whether this is, maybe, the start of the end of the celebrity DJ?
Once again, i somehow doubt it, but i personally hope that it at least signals a change in the attitude of radio stations towards DJs.

Over the past few years it seems to have become increasingly fashionable for a radio station to have at least one "celebrity" DJ and often far more than that.
By this i mean a person who has been employed as a DJ because they have become famous elsewhere first. Many UK radio stations now have DJs who are first and foremost, actors, tv personalities etc etc.
Being a DJ is not their job, rather a, quite probably, lucrative sideline.

Quite possibly some of these celebrities have had some experience as a DJ in their past. But, my problem with this is that they have been employed as a DJ because of their celebrity status and not because of their skills as a DJ. They have been given their high profile radio show because of their celebrity, in the hope that their name will bring in extra listeners and to help sell some extra advertising.

Yes, i know that DJs often become celebrities in their own right, especially in this day and age. But, they became a celebrity for being a DJ and not the other way around.

So, does this actually matter?
Personally, i think it does. Although i suspect i may be in a minority on this one.

How many of these celebrity DJs actually work the controls themselves?
How many have any real knowledge of the music and the artists that they are playing?
How many have a real passion for the music that they are playing, or for radio generally?

To me, that is what a DJ should bring to a radio station. A passion for the music, the medium and the ability to present the show themselves.

When we think of all of our own personal favourite radio DJs from the past, that is exactly what you got. People like John Peel epitomised that and, thankfully, people like Bob Harris still do.
Maybe, these people aren't, or weren't the best DJs in the world, but they always command your respect, precisely because they know what they are talking about.

Maybe, i'm a little old fashioned in that i listen to the radio to hear music? Because of that, i want to listen to a presenter who knows what they are talking about.
I fully realise that a DJ such as Alice Cooper and others, certainly know their music, but i still don't tend to like them as DJs. I would much rather have a passionate and knowledgeable total unknown DJ, than one who is there because of their name and celebrity status.

How many potentially great radio presenters are being sidelined and kept out of work because of this current attitude towards DJs?

And just think, if this attitude had been prevalent, back in the 1960s and 1970s, would we ever have had such inspirational DJs as John Peel, Bob Harris and even Tony Blackburn?
Somehow, i doubt it.

So, i wish the new Planet Rock breakfast show DJ, Lucio Buffone, well and who knows, i might even start listening to the show now.

Tuesday 21 December 2010

Monday 6 December 2010

AudioBoo - Camera Boo.


A new delivery.

The Secret Is Out!

Just in case you ever wondered.

When Is Local Not Local?

There seems to be a disturbing trend developing in the UK. The devaluing of the meaning of the word "Local".

Up to a few years ago, when something was described as "local", you knew exactly what that meant. Not anymore.

Two examples of this have occured recently, to really bring this home to me.

I was reading today of proposed strike action, to be taken by journalists at the Brighton Argus newspaper. The journalists are planning to strike on 7th and 8th of December.
They have voted to strike about low pay, a recent pay freeze and the closure of a final salary pension scheme. These are all valid reasons for strike action, but there is one other important issue as well. This being that in November several journalistic positions were transferred from Brighton to Southampton, 80 miles away and in a different County.
Apart from the obvious redundancies and job losses that this will cause. This also means that a part of the newspaper will, effectively, be produced from outside of the area that the paper actually covers.
Is the thin end of the wedge and the start of further job movements?

This is becoming an increasingly common situation and not just in the world of newspapers either.

My "local" radio station, ArrowFM, has recently announced that it is moving it's operations to Worthing. Worthing is in West Sussex and Hastings is in East Sussex. It also happens to be over 40 miles away!

But, once again, this is not a great surprise, as ArrowFM moved it's operations from it's studios in the heart of Hastings a few years ago. Admittedly, they only moved around 20 miles away. But, that was still at the cost of much local content, as the radio station was then combined with the local station for the Eastbourne area. This effectively diluted the local content for both stations.
This situation has now been taken a step further with the move to Worthing, which will combine even more local radio stations into one. Thereby depriving all of those local communities of much local content.

Now, i must stress that both the owners of the radio stations and the newspapers mentioned here, have done nothing wrong, or illegal here.
I must also declare that i have a bit of a vested interest in the provision of local radio content to the Hastings area. As i am the Chairman of Hastings Rock, which is a local radio station for the Hastings area. Albeit one that is only allowed to broadcast for a maximum of 28 days at a time and with a minimum gap of several months between broadcasts.

But, surely there is something wrong here when a local newspaper, or local radio station is allowed to effectively abandon it's home?
Surely, local should mean local?

I know the owners will say that they will continue to provide local content. But, how can they do that when they are based miles away from the town, will obviously have to share that local content amongst many local communities and when the people providing that content will probably have no connection with the local area?

And don't go thinking that this is something unique to the south of England either. This scenario is currently being played out across the country, where radio stations and newpapers are being merged and their operations shared. In my opinion, all this is to the detriment of the local people who these radio stations and newspapers are meant to serve.

Yes, they are commercial operations and they are all trying to make a profit in these difficult times.
In fact, i don't blame the companies themselves. Well, not completely anyway. I lay the blame with the regulations that allow this type of consolidation to legally take place.
I also can't help wondering what the radio stations original licence applications promised as well.

Surely the time has come for these outdated regulations to be reviewed?
Local people deserve nothing less.

At least i can console myself with the fact that when Hastings Rock returns in May 2011 (provided we get a licence that is), we will be broadcasting from Hastings, as we have always done.
So, for a month at least, local radio will be truly local once again.

(The views expressed in this blog post are my own and not necessarily those of Hastings Rock. Just in case anyone cares about that kind of thing)

Friday 3 December 2010

Thursday 2 December 2010

Late Night Snow Vlog.

An impromptu late night vlog, in the snow.
Yes, us Brits are a bit weird.