Friday, 28 September 2012

The Viking Invasion – Part 3 – Vikings and Pirates Around the Clock

Eighteen months after launch Viking Radio had a schedule shake-up with some new names on the roster and was now broadcasting round the clock. Here’s how an advertising feature in one of the local papers sold the changes.

More star names, more music, more local personalities and am even faster and brighter news service are all part of the exciting 24 hours a day schedule for the winter months on the area’s number one station, Viking.

Goole Times 24 January 1985

Carl Kingston, who’d joined the station that January (see above), now hosted an afternoon show offering “a combination of star interviews, new quizzes and music from both the charts and his extensive selection of Golden Oldies.”
Tim Jibson
Local lad Carl had moved from rival BBC station Radio Humberside; he was not the only one as Tim Jibson  had also “crossed over” that year to present two shows each Saturday. Tim has the honour, along with Dave Fewster, of having worked Hull’s three main stations (Humberside, Viking and KCFM).

Steve Tong, who’d been with Viking from the off was given a permanent slot on the weekday teatime show at 6 p.m.

Carl Gresham
Carl Gresham (‘The Gresh’) had a new Sunday night show that brought “his nostalgic concoction of musical memories with the accent on melody”.

But it was three other features of this winter schedule that presaged the way that commercial radio would develop in the late 80s. Firstly the AM/FM split. Between 3 and 6 p.m. on Sundays listeners on 258 metres could hear Sunday Sport whilst over on 102.7 the music continued with Paul Massey.

Secondly we see the start of “gold” programming with former pirate DJ Jay Jackson (aka Crispian St Peters, real name Howard Rose) presenting the Sunday lunchtime Pirate Gold show complete with those classic PAMS jingles.

The third aspect was the sharing or networking of programmes across more than one station, in this case Viking and Pennine. Kicking off proceedings between 8 p.m. and midnight from 28 October was Andy Hollins.  Apparently on one show he did a great link saying that if you could get Pennine on 102.5 and Viking on 102.7 you’d get a wonderful phasing effect to blow your ears off!

Andy Hollins
I recall a teenage Andy Hollins from his time at Kingston Radio (Hull’s hospital radio service). He’d come into the studio on a Saturday, around midday I think, do a quick bit of prep and then go on air with a chart show, complete with a Pick of the Pops type countdown, extremely slick and professional. Then it was out of studio with ne’er a word to anyone.  

Hollins would make a tearful exit from Viking in the summer of 1986 (see newspaper cutting below) after, according to MD Roger Brooks, "repeatedly hinting on the air that he was leaving the station." Indeed he was going to join Radio Tees and would later work for BRMB.    

This is a clip of Andy on that first joint show. If only he could remember the name of the “other” station!

Hull Daily Mail 18 June 1986
Providing the programmes overnight between midnight and 6 a.m. were Pennine’s Dave Nixon and Graham King.  Here’s Dave in the early hours of 30 October, note the use of a Mezzoforte track, a particular DJ favourite at the time, for his weather bed.

In 1986 the pre-midnight show would revert back to being on Viking only, with Tony Fisher over on Pennine at the same time, and shared programming from midnight to 6 a.m.

This is the third in an occasional series of posts on the history of commercial radio in East Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire.

Thanks again to Paul Bromley.


qxr963 said...

Excellent stuff! Didn't know Paul Massey did the Sunday FM split at one point, but I do remember Mark Allen doing a great AOR show from 2-5 IN 1985, on which I managed to get two or three requests played. I even wrote and asked him for the catalogue number of a Til Tuesday LP which I was struggling to hunt down in those pre-web days!

Unknown said...

Yay, I used to be Tim Jibson's Saturday assistant at BBC Radio Humberside.

I used to have to log the records we played and yes they were "records" then!

Every time I hear "Forever in Electric Dreams" I still think of him as he used to play it every single week :)

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