29th November 2013
I've been merrily talking nonsense of a morning in Hertfordshire since 2001 and here I am at the tail end of 2013, with a body ready to donate to the medical scientific research of beauty sleep, finally signing off.
Honestly, there's not been a day where I've not wanted to get up and do the show. Who else can go into the office and drive home knowing they can say that night "I've:
- invented my own sausage which Noddy Holder gave an award
- hijacked a canal boat on the hottest day of the year to see if we could commute to London by river (you can't, we started in Ware at 6am and by 10 were in Broxbourne)
- jumped off the top of the QE2 on a zip wire or out of a plane for the Isabel Hospice
- made a child cry in front of hundreds of people by force feeding them marshmallows. (so sorry!)
Ah, what a performance appraisal meeting they'd have.
Not to mention...
Dressing as King Henry VIII, Robin Hood, a snowman, an elf, Chewbacca at a Jungle Book screening (they'd run out of monkey outfits) and let's not forget the time I spent Valentines Day dressed as a bride in sub-zero temperatures...
Or danced in a leotard in a video that would go on to tour the world on Beyonce's big screen (genuinely)
When I had a children's book published:
Or when we wrote a song to take Stevenage Borough to Wembley for their FA Trophy clash... and it became the first football anthem to be played at the brand new Wembley Stadium!
And in finding all of these clips I was reminded of the time we treated news buddy Chris Hollis to a full body naked massage live on air... when the fire alarm went off... Sorry Chris. I've only just noticed from the date on it that he left the station two months later!
Or when we did the show from Simmons the bakers, making doughnuts live on air (living the dream) or Stevenage swimming pool, belly flopping from the top board, or when we took over Chris' glass walled news reading booth and recreated the end game of The Crystal Maze using silver foil, a listener, an industrial wind fan, two bouncy castle inflators and some leaf blowers.
I've been kidnapped live on air and flown to Amsterdam for a breakfast show Stag Do, I've been overwhelmed when sent lots of gifts when our son was born, some of them even hand-made. I've helped launch the Herts Air Ambulance in front of 20,000 people and when nobody asked me to turn xmas lights on one year I decided to turn them on in every town spending 12 hours live on air criss-crossing the county doing count-downs in lounges, schools, pubs, youth centres and offices...
I've worked with brilliantly creative people, had free reign to say and play whatever I wanted, had the pleasure of many local bands performing for us and the best bit, chatting to listeners with their awesome stories. I've read to thousands of kids with 'Stevenory' and only once introduced a woman on stage by saying 'Hello Sir, what's your name?'.
Of course there's some regrets. I regret that Stevenage didn't get to see our work experience boy wearing a christmas light onesie (health and safety apparently) and it's still sad we couldn't recreate Hungry Hippos using maltesers and children gaffer taped to skateboards. The world just wasn't ready.
I do know that my successor Graham Mack seems like a top bloke, who is full of energy and ideas - don't worry I'm sure Jules will soon wear him down. Hertfordshire's a brilliant county and JACK fm a brilliant radio station. And you lot blimmin' brilliant listeners who know to keep their requests to themselves.
But now I'm ready for a fresh challenge, working from home spending more time with my family. Who knows how I'll cope without this in my life every morning. Probably I'll be in therapy by June. Hopefully they'll have a voucher deal for it in JACK's Shop by then.
Take care and of course, have fun,