Home > Blog, Bournemouth > Local radio is not dead proves Sean Street

Local radio is not dead proves Sean Street

Last night the Barnes lecture theatre, Bournemouth University was heaving with people. Two highly recognisable figures in radio greeted the audience: Professor Sean Street and Richard Cartridge. The two legendary icons were presenting The Radio Academy South Branch Nations and Regions Award. The title being awarded was the best station within the region with a Total Survey Area (TSA) of under 300,000.

At quarter past six the room was buzzing with excitement and atmosphere. An audience of media students, budding radio students, lecturers and the five radio stations entered for the award: Newbury Sound, Forest FM, Isle of Wight Radio, Spire FM and Express FM waited in anticipation.

Pro. Sean Street. Photography by: http://imakeyourday.co.uk/

Street opened the evening with a touching reflection on his career. Transporting the audience back to the time when BBC Solent began in 1970 a sense of time and achievement was established. The awards “Celebrate what local radio can do” exclaims Street in a joyous manner before receiving a grateful round of applause from the audience.


Street welcomed Cartridge to the hot seat and the room could feel the presence of two important and memorable radio icons. Cartridge disclosed about his history in radio “I applied for a station assistant….’dog’s body role’…” and exclaimed how he felt he had ‘messed’ up the interview but little to his surprise he received a telegram a week later offering him the position. He described the job as “a wonderful, creative environment” and conveyed his passion and love for local radio providing listeners with what they desired. He acknowledged that radio has advanced and due to technology radio as we once knew it has changed, although the “spirit of local radio still exists”.

Professor Sean Street and Richard Cartridge. Photography by: http://imakeyourday.co.uk/

The audience listened to a fluent, gentle conversation between the harmonious pair. Cartridge revealed how at one time every local radio had to use puns and titles; his was “home straight.” This evoked a raucous of laughter from the audience.

Cartridge and Street both acknowledged how revealing radio is, “Radio is a good lie detector.” They offered advice, “Think of your best friend and pretend you’re broadcasting to them” Cartridge recognised that one of the key qualities of radio presenting is sincerity. Very true.

Advances in technology inspired many of the probing questions of the night. Both men agreed that the internet had significantly changed local radio but it also meant that people could listen to their ‘local’ (home) radio when thousands of miles away.

Winners - IOW Radio. Photography by: http://imakeyourday.co.uk/


After a thought-provoking and memorable conversation Street presented the award to the IOW radio (Isle of Wight). The representatives collected the award and had photographs taken with Richard Cartridge. The IOW were extremely grateful for the award and highlighted the radio as an integral part of the island and since becoming independent a year ago they have managed to rekindle the spirit of local radio. The IOW are now automatically entered for The Sony Radio Academy Awards.

Refreshments were provided afterwards and the mingling of media people began. I interviewed one of the IOW presenters, Tom Stroud, on his thoughts about the award and life as a presenter, “Getting the award was great. It is a reward for doing what stations should do…I started radio when I was nineteen or twenty and I will always remember advice from Simon Mayo about being old enough for radio about twenty-six as by then you have had life experience: a mortgage, girlfriends, a family, a car…” Radio students enjoyed the event immensely, Michael King, “It’s nice to hear two well-known radio figures reminisce about their lives in the seventies and eighties. It gives us the chance to get to know them and I have taken onboard advice given tonight.”

The evening reminded everyone that local radio really is the heart of a community and listening to two people with such passion, history and experience of radio encourages others to go forth and strive for whatever career they may love. In my case. Journalism.

  1. scor21
    February 19, 2011 at 10:38 AM

    The kermode and mayo show is enough validation radio is still in its prime. The best show on radio!

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