My earliest career ambition was to be a butterfly. Thankfully, dreams change, and I was still quite young when I fell in love with radio. My sister and I started a “station” that we recorded on to cassettes and made our parents listen to. We had news (made up), music (ripped from legit radio) and horse racing with horses that gave interviews (don’t ask). Our station was called Funky Funky Funky Radio, because, well, we were children, and good things often come in threes.
Less than a decade later, my first real media job was on the radio. I love listening to it, I love making it. It’s so intimate. I just bloody love radio. Always will.
Which is why I have had the same transistor radio for the past decade or so. It’s nothing fancy – Sony, slate grey, less than 30 quid from Argos, and a bit battered at this point – but it still fulfils its job admirably. I’m all for digital radios, but there is something satisfying in tuning a radio – the aural reward that lives on the other side of static.
My radio has travelled with me all over the world: Bamenda, Cameroon; Berlin, Germany; and now, New York, US. It is my companion in the bathroom every morning and in the kitchen most evenings. But it comes into its own at weekends, especially on Sundays. My greatest radio joy since I moved here has been Jonathan Schwartz’s four-hour show on local station WNYC: wall-to-wall American music, with an unhurried, anecdoteand knowledge-heavy host. It has become, for me, a sort of succour, p paving g the way into the week ahead.
Radio as comfort is nothing new. But new comforts wrapped in familiar packages are still welcome.