Friday, March 07, 2008

Hope you enjoyed the show

A County Durham radio DJ filled his breakfast show with witty banter, chat about the news and the all-important weather ... but for an hour nobody heard a word of it.
Andy Greener thought he was broadcasting to his loyal listeners as usual, but because he forgot to press a button in the Radio Teesdale studio, his carefully composed thoughts disappeared into the ether.

Instead, fans of his show heard 60 minutes of music and jingles as an automated back-up system kicked in to prevent radio silence.

Meanwhile, station boss Peter Dixon who was listening at home, was trying to alert the presenter on the phone but the former police officer, known as Mr Andy, was too busy chatting away to answer the phone.

Eventually, Mr Dixon got through and only then did the red-faced DJ realise the on-air light in the studio was firmly extinguished. The independent station, which broadcasts to 25,000 people in rural County Durham from the market town of Barnard Castle, has a community licence to broadcast locally.

The presenter said: "I've been doing the show three days a week for 10 months and always pressed the button at the right moment. Goodness knows why I forgot this time. The studio phone kept ringing, but I was too busy talking to answer. I now know that some of the calls were from people pointing out the blunder."

Mr Dixon, the station's only employee, will not fire his "excellent" breakfast show DJ, who is one of 35 volunteers who have learnt their radio skills from scratch.

The manager said: "It's quite funny he was talking to himself for an hour."

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