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Phil Butler

Phil Butler

Phil Butler brings you the best tunes from the 70s and 80s between 7-10pm on Friday evenings.

What's your first memory?

Hearing Scott McKenzie singing San Francisco on a crackly old medium wave radio. It was probably coming from Radio Luxembourg at the time. That and being mesmerised by my dad's reel to reel tape recorder and its mystical "magic eye" recording level meter. Oh - and being slapped on the back of the legs by my nursery school teacher for scrambling up the cubicle sides and peering over into the girls toilets. I was about four years old at the time and funnily enough, I haven't done it since!

First record you bought?

Rather embarrassingly I was a late starter when it came to buying records; I think I preferred to listen to them on the radio complete with presenter announcements than actually own the vinyl. However, I was attracted to a rather curious novelty song in 1978 by the Smurfs but, knowing it was REALLY naff, I could only pluck up the courage to go into the record shop and ask for it by it's chart position that week. Only in the anonymity of the precinct outside did I open the bag and make sure I'd bought the right record. Unfortunately I had!

Your favourite three songs?

Seekers - The Carnival is Over - The great voice of Judith Durham at its best.

Johnny Cash - I'm a HUGE fan of the man in black so anything really... but probably Folsom Prison Blues and those immortal words "hello, I'm Johnny Cash"

Macy Gray - I Try... WHAT a voice!!

Who's been your best interviewee & why?

This is a tricky one... I'm tempted to say someone famous but, after spending several years presenting a late night phone in I can honestly say that the most interesting people I've ever chatted to are members of the public. Doesn't matter who you are everyone has a story to tell and some of the things we uncovered on the phone in would make the hairs on the back or neck stand up.

What's been your career highlight?

I launched a brand new radio station a few years ago and, after several months of planning and watching the studios slowly take shape around me suddenly, out of nowhere it seemed, launch day arrived. On a sunny Sunday morning in October, just after 10am, I had the pleasure/terror of being the first voice on air. To this day I can't remember what I said... everything passed in a blur. Other than that it would have to be being on the new frontier of UK radio in the late 80's when radio stations split into FM and AM services and suddenly there were TWO radio stations broadcasting out of the same building. I was part of the launch team of the then newly formed medium wave "gold" service that was ultimately rolled out across Yorkshire and Humberside.

How do you spend your time away from the microphone?

I've got three small children so live is pretty hectic at the moment. My kids have a habit of breaking things, but it's ok as "daddy mend it!" I seem to have a continuous supply of broken bits of toys waiting for me when I get home from work. I've also been known to make over (or should that be "do over") a garden or two in my time... mainly out of necessity but actually quite enjoy it (as long as the sun is shining and it's not too cold... or windy... or wet!) I'm also a bit of a whiz on the computer and have built several systems for family and friends.

Favourite place in South Yorkshire or North Derbyshire - and why?

Probably somewhere like Rother Valley Country Park; safe enough for the kids AND they have bikes for the grown ups (woohoo!!)

As a 10-year-old child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A doctor! I ended up with a degree in pharmacology but didn't much fancy the prospect of wearing a white coat for the rest of my working life.

Who would you like to be trapped in a lift with?

Apart from a lift engineer I'd like to travel back in time and be trapped in an elevator with Johnny Cash... and his guitar!!

Favourite food and drink?

Italian every time! … pasta & pizza, vegetarian of course!

What do you never miss on television?

Ask me an easier one… I miss EVERYTHING!!!!

What would you do if you won the lottery?

Keep a sensible amount back to live on comfortably, then enjoy giving the rest away. I'd be the mad guy in town who just gave out wads of tenners to people who looked like they needed it. I'd probably end up getting mugged, but it'd be worth the risk!

Listen to great music from the 70's and 80's with Phil Butler from 7-10pm on Fridays. The programme is available for seven days on the BBC iPlayer.

Phil Butler: Friday, 7-10pm


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