Updated April 4th 2003

The weird thing about listening to many audio tapes from your life 15-20 years ago is that, while looking for the right material, you can easily get completely lost in the "time". One event reminds you of another and so on.

I was listening to one of my first broadcasts (as a newsreader) on Nova which dated April 1984. On air at the time were people
like John Clarke, Bob Gallico, Sybil Fennell, Dave Johnson, Declan Meehan and so on. I actually didn't know most of these people at the time, apart from listening to them on air before joining the station. Putting faces to names (and voices) was a bit like meeting the stars you always wanted to meet. I do remember doing sport on a saturday afternoon on Nova, while Hugh O'Brien was on the air.

Well, gee, but I didn't (and still don't) know a thing about sport, so duly buggered up names of soccer players. Hugh O'Brien came roaring out of the studio after my broadcast and verbally beat the living shit out of me for ruining his programme with my mis-pronounciations! In retrospect I can understand where he was coming from, but it frightened the hell out of me at the time!

Actually one of my first broadcasts on Nova was a time when there was a lot of stuff going down in Derry, Northern Ireland. A story came in on the Press Association wire at 1 minute to the hour, about a bombing in Derry. I didn't have time to edit the story, but it was a lead item so I read it straight from the press wire. For those of you not from Ireland or Britain, you'll need to understand that the British called Derry "Londonderry" rather than "Derry". This was a delicate issue. Reading straight from the PA Wire (which came from London) I read the story, and naturally read out "Londonderry" as I read it. Oh boy! Did those calls start coming in! Only on the job a week I was sure I was fired. But I wasn't. Sybil (Fennell, head of News, Nova) was always good like that. I spent a further three years on Nova and related stations.

I have never thought of myself as an anorak, because I never really understood all the technical stuff, like transmitter details etc. But in some form I have always been obsessed with broadcasting. I remember the Nova Newsroom had CNN on, as a news-feed. Hell, NO ONE had CNN at home in the mid-80's! Now, as I am writing this, George Bush is "live" not on just CNN, but BBC World, FOX NEWS (Uggg!), SKY, Bloomberg, and possibly thousands of local stations too. Thing is, broadcasting is now so global, rather than just local, and it astounds me. I can't really get used to it. I think it's the concept of such mass communication that I like. This can be great for humanity in terms of bringing people together. The internet does the same thing. I like it. I like it a lot!

I talk to my dear old mum 13,000 miles away on the phone, and she always says to me "Isn't it incredible talking to you on the other side of the world". Well, I kinda got used to that, but the broadcast thing still gets me. Probably because we're not just talking about low-quality voice, but high-quality stereo sound and vision. And the station that gets me the most is BBC World. As with many of you, I grew up with the Beeb. The test card you see on your left was always on in our house! I have yet to hear/see a better, more professional outfit than the good 'ol Beeb! And I'm not just saying that because the owner of this site (Paul Buckle) works for them! haha... anyway, I want to talk more about the massive change in broadcasting trends, and will do so in depth on the radio home page (that's this page folks!) in the near future.

I digress. As I said at the start of this piece, I listen to old tapes from the 80's while preparing audio shows for this website and Phantom FM, and it truly throws me into those heady days as a spotty 19 year old in Dublin, fighting between the mighty microphones that lured me into radio stations, and Madonna-like girls that lured me into those ghastly Leeson street niteclubs!

Sometimes its fun to look into the past (as long as you don't become obsessed with it!) and no better a place to recall these memories than on a website where the past has arrived! irishpirates.com. Hell, you gotta stay tuned!

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