The last few days have seen some of my best friends, and some of the nicest work colleagues ever, come to the end of their time at Phantom 105.2. Some are choosing to leave, some aren’t, but it can safely be said that the likes of Pure Morning, Sunday Morning Coming Down and The Lounge will hardly be seen again.
Phantom 105.2 is my old alma mater, I read the news there and talked nonsense on the radio for four years. We had some laughs up there on North Wall Quay and forged some great friendships. The Phantom upheaval this week has got me thinking about my own time on radio, and in particular the times I made a complete balls of it.
- Tax cunts: It was the early shift, I was tired, I was reading some guff on the news about tax cuts, but instead I said tax cunts. I hoped and prayed that nobody had heard, but of course they had. All of them. And boy could they not wait to send texts about it.
- Stephen Hunt will be shit: There was some match or other on and Stephen Hunt was obviously playing. Reading the sports news is bad enough what with your Cesc Fabregases and your Dirk Kuyts, and I was determined I wasn’t going to called Stephen Hunt ‘Stephen Cunt’ (as you will already know, I had had some difficulty with the C word in the past). So, instead of reading ‘Stephen Cunt will be fit for tonight’s match’, I read ‘Stephen Hunt will be SHIT for tonight’s match’. Perfect.
- Bollocksballscross: There’s a place called Hacksballscross in Co. Louth. I know this because there was something dodgy going on there once and it was in the news. But I, feeling rather tired and emotional one morning had failed to pre-read my news script. I saw this word ‘Hacksballscross’ coming as I began to read the story live on air. My eyes flicked down to it. Was I being punk’d? Did that say something about bolloxes or balls or something? Before I knew it, the world was upon me. ‘BOLLOCKSBALLSCROSS, CO. LOUTH’, I blurted out. I believe I went on to say it again later in the story. A consummate professional ladies and gentlemen.
- I can hear your heart beat: Before my time at Phantom I worked as a newsreader at KFM in Kildare. One of my duties there was to record the death notices, thus providing the highlight of many an aul wan’s day. After each news bulletin was read live on-air the feed from the news booth microphone was supposed to be turned down, so that anything being pre-recorded in the booth wouldn’t go out live on-air. So one evening, in I went to record my death notices, beginning with the solemn intro of ‘KFM has been informed of the following deaths’. On I went giving out funeral details and flower requests. When I had finished I swanned out of the news booth only to be greeted by a sea of stricken faces. I had been reading the death notices live on air over the beautiful strains of Chris Rea’s I Can Hear Your Heart Beat. It took about two minutes before anyone realised. Somewhere a recording existed, but I pray that it has now been destroyed.
- And finally, why don’t YOU try to say the line ‘Berhard Langer got a hole in one‘ live on air without sniggering and see how easy it is.