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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Saturday, January 18, 2003
    ThereÕs not much IÕm too young for these days...
    "You ought to think about going on the radio," friends tell me ...
    "... after all, you've got a good face for it."

    Ha ha ha. But I have enjoyed my very limited encounters with radio studios in the past. The last one I was in was at Cambridge University Radio by invitation of fellow clergy-trainee Adrian who ran a 'world music' show. He invited me to bring in some of my 'world music' collection to play on-air, and I responded by having him play Tom Jones with The Cardigans performing Talking HeadsÕ Burning Down The House. Very eclectic I thought, a Pontypridd - J”nk”ping - Rhode Island crossover. I enjoyed it. But I doubt Adrian's ever forgiven me for that.

    IÕve been in the Radio Merseyside studios in the past to do interviews on their religious show promoting various projects, etc. Today I was there as one among 20 people interested in maybe taking on the occasional ÔThought for the DayÕ; it was an ecumenical, multifaith training session and very enjoyable.

    I learned that:
      Radio Merseyside has the largest number of local radio listeners in the country but when you broadcast you do it as if to just one - itÕs nothing like preaching or public speaking; its an intimate conversation;

      The Radio Merseyside catchment area is probably the most religious in the country in terms of church attendance, but thatÕs no reason for assuming that most of the listeners are familiar with religious jargon - plain talking, everyday language wins every time;

      The average Radio Merseyside listener is over 45 though at the time Thought for the Day is broadcast (morning drive time) itÕs a bit younger. IÕm with producer Wayne Clarke who said, ÒThereÕs not much IÕm too young for these days but listening to Radio Merseyside is one of them!Ó
    The Radio Merseyside religious broadcasting team seem to enjoy themselves doing what they do; the station editor Mick Ord was very upbeat about the stationÕs activity and future; I may buck the listener trends and start tuning in. Good preparation should I ever be asked to do a ÔThoughtÕ; and a favour to the BBC, bringing their listeners average age down significantly.....