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BBC WM at 40: Ed Doolan reflects on his years so far
Ed Doolan
Ed Doolan was a teacher before becoming a broadcaster

Asking Ed Doolan to reflect on his career at BBC WM to celebrate the station's 40th anniversary is a case of how long have you got?

The presenter has been at the station for 28 years, joining on 13 September 1982 to be exact.

Over the years he has covered many breaking West Midlands stories and interviewed numerous political leaders and big celebrity names.

BBC WM marks 40 years of broadcasting on Tuesday, 9 November 2010.

Nelson Mandela and Ed Doolan

Ed Doolan came to BBC WM from commercial radio and began by presenting a show between 12pm and 1pm, which was repeated in the evening.

He then did a stint on the breakfast show before moving to mid-mornings and is now pretty much back where he started between 12pm and 2pm.

Reflecting on the last 28 years Ed recalls interviews with Prime Ministers including Margaret Thatcher, John Major, Tony Blair and David Cameron.

From the world of entertainment, names like Telly Savalas and Raymond Burr left an impression.

"It's always tremendously exciting when you meet up with people who, as a child, you grew up with and they were the big stars and then suddenly you're sitting across the table from them and talking to them," he said.

He remembers inviting local school children in to put their questions to boxing legend Muhammad Ali and meeting Nelson Mandela during a visit to Birmingham.

First day at Mailbox

Ed has broadcast from places as far afield as Australia and New York but says he'll never forget his first programme from the Mailbox in Birmingham city centre.

His Sunday show was the very first programme to be broadcast from the BBC's new home at 9am on 4 July 2004.

"That was exciting, a real piece of broadcasting history," he said.

As BBC WM marks 40 years of broadcasting Ed describes his 28 years to date as "something I could never have dreamt of."

He added: "What I wanted to do with my life was to become a broadcaster. After 10 years teaching, I was able to do that and to have spent most of my broadcasting life with BBC WM is as great a thrill as I could ever wish to have."


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