Steve Redgrave: Up with the birds every morning
It's now over 25 years since Steve Redgrave started getting paid for talking complete nonsense. A quarter of a century later he still hasn't been rumbled.
The very early 1980's was the time when Steve was allowed to broadcast to ill people through the local hospital radio service. In his wildest dreams he thought the sick and injured might get better through listening to his chirpy youthful voice of innocence. The less charitable might suggest he hurried their exit from hospital who wanted to get away from his bizarre ravings.
Steve has in his words, "the artist these days who's known as Prince again instead of just being a squiggle" to thank for getting a job on the radio. On his demo tape he submitted to a new radio station he included the flip side of (yes he's old enough to have played vinyl discs on the radio) Prince's hit 1999; Little Red Corvette. This provoked quite a talking point with his the head of programmes which secured him a freelance position as a pop DJ.
With the gift of foresight he left behind a career in banking, perhaps sensing that some day they'd be less popular than politicians and estate agents for a full time radio presenters' job. The inevitable 'your contract with us won't be renewed' event did come around but doesn't regret a moment of his commercial radio days. They brought him the chance to interview soul legend Barry White in his record company's Los Angeles offices. This was swiftly followed by a chat with Richard Carpenter who spoke candidly about the loss of his sister from the legendary duo, The Carpenters.
On a brighter note, Steve joined the BBC and is grateful to have the opportunity to present a wide variety of programmes. He recalls his first outside broadcast. A dog show event with barely a dog in sight. Three of the longest hours of his life.
His early bird existence has been interspersed with the occasional foray into night time broadcasting. One of the joys of off-peak broadcasting he says is "that one-to-one connection you get with the listener." More importantly he says, the bosses only smile politely when they see him in the office. They never seem quite sure who he is but know that he must have something to do because he keeps turning up regularly. Here's to the next 25 years.