Is a month off a long time? It felt like an age as I was preparing the first free radio show of 2014.

The processing in my headphones, the desk, that dead air studio sound caused by the soundproofing, all felt new again. But it was exciting to be back, I don’t think i’d miss any other job in the world quite as much.

So what was the first one of the year like? Well……fun, I enjoyed it. There was some rustiness to blow off but once that had gone it was a laugh. The opening link consisted of one word, manly due to laziness, jet lag and a lack of creativity!! (See below) But it said everything I wanted to say.

During my time off (seeing in-laws in Australia) I’d gone through almost a full A5 pad of ideas for links/features/sketches/anything else radio related. They were BY NO MEANS all good ideas, but two of the new items featured in the first show.

The first being a sort of very relaxed opening monologue. Something I always loved from American chat shows (see letterman’s brilliance below). On radio it’s different, and i’m obviously not a stand up comedian….far from it, but it seems like a good way to start a show. It worked as a brief summarising of the days news stories with a comment or punchline on the end (Loose women, Sherlock and America’s polar vortex all featured over the weekend). While Letterman and Co would take a full 10 mins we’re operating within a different medium, so I dedicated a minute would be good as well as upping the pace to suit the radio environment. All in all it felt right, a nice feature to hear at the end of the day (the show starts at 10pm), and it hopefully offered a bit of difference with our competitors.

The second was the brilliantly named ‘Free radio mailbag’. Again, another idea inspired from American chat shows. This is where I answer any questions from listeners via Text/email and twitter (or invented with a bit of artistic licence), the station and I personally get a lot of questions asked everyday, anything from ‘What was that song you played’ to ‘can I be a deejay on free radio’ and so on. Obviously it’s not just me sitting reading questions out for a whole link, it’s an opportunity to do some sketches and have some fun around them. For example this time round we had a question asking why we don’t play the boyband ‘Another Level’ on the station more. This led to a spoof advert I knocked up advertising the ‘another level weekend’ where we play nothing but the band, back-to-back all weekend (Not actually happening……thank GOD). The feature seemed to go down well, and has scope to grow and create a bit of decent content. It was by no means award winning, infact it needs a bit of work, but as a first go it felt like it could work in time.

So that’s it. First shows of 2014 done….it was fun, but there is plenty to be getting on with.