Blame 'Listen with Mother'. That was the programme that first attracted John to the magic of the radio, and the start of an ongoing love affair with the wonder of the wireless.
"We had a lovely big old-fashioned wireless set at our house in Wigan," says John, who presents the Friday night rock programme FNAT at 10pm, "the valves glowed through the grille and it had huge Bakelite dials, and a tuning screen which had all these exotic-sounding faraway places like Hilversum, Athlone and er
Although the airwaves were remarkably free of Wigan accents at the time, that didn't deter John from the idea of working at the other side of the microphone and, once it became clear that Uriah Heep, or any other band for that matter, were not about to offer him the job of guitarist and international rock star, he set about forging a career in radio.
"I'll never forget the excitement of my first job offer," says John, who has been BBC Radio Lancashire's Managing Editor since 2001 "it was from Piccadilly Radio and it said I'd be presenting the show from 2 to 6. It was only when I'd read it three or four times that I realised they meant 2 'til 6 in the morning!"
Since those heady days of broadcasting to insomniac Mancunians, John has worked with some of the biggest names in the business "I used to produce Paul Gambaccini
he's got a big name hasn't he?" and met some really famous people. "When record companies had money to burn, CBS flew Mike Sweeney and me to Paris for a 10 minute interview with Mick Jagger
those were the days!"
John's been part of the Radio Lancashire family since 1994. "I've done a bit of travelling around, but there's nowhere quite like Lancashire is there? It really is a special place and it's a privilege to broadcast to Lancastrians, who, as we all know, are a breed apart. Running BBC Radio Lancashire has to be one of the best jobs in the business, working with such a talented and creative bunch."
So what's this FNAT programme all about? "Great rock music. We like to play the songs that other programmes have simply forgotten
drawing on the classic rock annals of the past 40 years, mixing contemporary tunes with things you haven't heard in years! I love loud rock
possibly because all those years of thrashing about with my guitar have made me deaf to anything that's not jet-engine loud. Sean McGinty, my co-presenter, jumps onto every bandwagon in town and loves bands with stupid names and 'difficult' attitudes, so our weekly playlist is something of a culture clash, which generally turns out to be a brilliant mix of ancient, modern and future classics."