A Very Lengthy Blog Post All About Me: (The genuinly final part, with added lengthiness, just for you!)

So then, this is the first paragraph. As mentioned in previous blog posts, the first paragraph is normally superfluous and serves as a way of helping me get into the flow of writing. There are probably a number of regular readers (ever the optimist) who simply skip the opening paragraph and get straight to my flow; and what a flow it will be. But for now, this is the first paragraph and I’m still revving up to that moment. But that’s OK. What’s the rush? We’ll get there. In fact, I can feel the flow coming. To be honest it’s quite a disconcerting feeling and it’s one of the primary reasons why I’m such an infrequent blogger. OK, brace yourselves, it’s flow time!

It was just over three weeks ago when I first attempted to tell you the reason why I left
“”Southside,
but then I got a little sidetracked and started rambling about lesbians and
“”Sir Patrick Moore.
(not that the two subjects were connected to each other in any way. Although I suppose since I’ve now mentioned Sir Patrick Moore and lesbians in the same sentence, this blog post is likely to come up in the top ten results for anyone doing an Internet search for “Sir Patrick Moore, lesbians, which is something I’m rather proud about. If you have found this blog post by searching for “Sir Patrick Moore, lesbians” then I’d like to say Hello to you, you strange creature, but I’m sorry, I don’t think this blog post will really satisfy your perverse needs. If I do find that there is a demand for it however, I might compose some erotic literature involving Sir Patrick Moore and lesbians, and upload it to this blog for you. But in the meantime, I’ll tell you why I left Southside. Feel free to stay though. Wow! I might have stumbled on a new career as a niche erotic author, writing about sir Patrick Moore and Lesbians. I’m getting quite excited about the prospect. I’m going to race through writing this blog post and then get straight to work.)

At the end of my last blog post,I was working for Southside, and things were going pretty well. I had helped them increase their transmission range quite considerably, from a couple of beds in a hospital to the entire world via the Internet. Not a bad start. I’d also started producing adverts for the station, promoting various businesses which made the station a bit of money. again, not bad going. I then began presenting the Southside Podcast and was getting quite a lot of good feedback for it. Things were going well. I didn’t have to play generic pop music. I didn’t have to mention the weather or traffic/travel, or give constant time-checks. We featured interviews with fascinating people, reported from a wide range of exciting events and locations, and I was allowed to say and produce stuff that I thought was funny, and most of the time my humour and style was corroborated by our audience and Alex, the station manager. There were times when Alex would suggest that I maybe shouldn’t have said a certain thing or done a certain feature, but then this was usually when I’d get an email or a comment from someone saying that they especially enjoyed that very same thing; and of course, I would always heed the person telling me how good it was and inexorably do more of the same the next week. I generally got away with it though. People enjoyed it, and the podcasts sounded really good and fun. I respected Alex’s view when he would comment that I maybe went over-the-top or said or did something he didn’t think was funny or of any value, but I took it with a pinch of salt. This wasn’t because I was arrogant, but because I knew the type of media he liked and the type he really didn’t like. he didn’t particularly rate
“”Chris Moyles
or
“”Jonathon Ross,
who I had a lot of time for.
He hated
“”Russel brand’s radio shows,
whereas I personally thought they were refreshingly anarchic, exciting and
unique in a world were broadcasting was starting to become more distilled and homogenised. So I didn’t really get upset or dissuaded by his negative comments because I knew that he wasn’t going to like some of the things I did and said because of his individual taste. But it generally wasn’t an issue. I tended to get away with it, plus I got enough positive feedback to quell any fears that Alex’s opinion conformed to the opinion of our audience. And I got away with it for 86 weeks and 86 podcasts, and then someone complained. I made reference to it in
“”this blog post
but I didn’t mention the issue in any detail. I was told to remove the podcast and resubmit it with the offending item omitted. Since I’m not working for southside anymore, I have no reservations about showing you what the offending item was. So, if you’re willing to risk being offended
“”click here.

Of course, this gave Alex ample opportunity to bring up all the other things he didn’t like about my presentation style. I could sense the storm clouds looming. Things were never the same again. I was getting some really good feedback from listeners. In fact, people were commenting that the podcasts were getting better and better, but it seemed as if every single podcast I did from then on would be followed by more criticism from Alex. I played my
“”Leona Lewis Parody
on a podcast, and I got a phone call from Alex, telling me that there is no room for such content on the podcasts, and that it wasn’t at all funny and that I should leave the parodies to Chris Moyles and his ilk! Alex used to have a habit of ringing very early in the mornings. Often I was just getting up or was still in bed when he’d phone, and so his increasingly frequent negative phone critiques were becoming my regular alarm calls. I remember this particular morning call distinctly because I’d just woken up and I had a long, stressful day ahead of me, full of things that I really didn’t want to do. I had just managed to motivate myself to get out of bed and face the day when I got Alex’s call telling me how rubbish I was. he obviously didn’t say those exact words, but that was generally the vibe I got from the calls. He tended not to address his views against me as an opinion but as an obvious fact that I really should have known myself. So when he told me that my material was rubbish, a part of me started to believe it as fact. He would almost suggest that I should be able to regulate myself, and automatically know that what I was creating was pointless and unfunny. I didn’t personally see that this was possible, since the material that he tended to hate was the kind of material I and others liked. But these frequent criticisms were really starting to grind me down. I would sometimes dread checking my emails in case he would have sent me a written version of his thoughts, so that I could keep it and read it if I ever dared to get a little positive about myself. The day after this particular phone call, I was tentatively checking my emails and saw a message from an address I didn’t recognise. The message was titled ‘The Latest Southside Podcast and the Leona Lewis Parody!” I sat there for a few minutes, bracing myself for the negativity that was about to greet me. “I’ll read this email which will confirm my ineptitude and then I’ll resign from Southside and forget this radio presenting nonsense forever” I thought. I mentally prepared myself for the abuse and then opened the email.

“Can I have a signed copy of Bleating Love as sung by yourself… it was great, it really made me laugh. I nearly crashed the car, I was laughing so much.” 

(You might think it’s a bit sad that I’ve got all this saved on my computer, but I want to assure you that this is not the case and that I found the email by doing a search for it in GMail. Glad I cleared that up.) So, it wasn’t a negative comment after all. Instead of resigning from Southside, I became more defiant. Alex’s opinion was just that – his own individual opinion – and I would no longer take his point of view as fact, no matter how he tried to put it across to me.

On the 90th Southside Podcast we had an interview with
“”Groove Armada
and
“”The Nolans.
Alex made a comment to groove Armada that they should collaborate with the Nolans. Obviously their styles of music are rather divergent. A jocular response was given to this suggestion from groove Armada. I decided therefore to try and persuade Groove Armada to take Alex’s suggestion seriously and enthuse their imaginations about how such a collaboration might sound by creating a
“”mix which blended the two groups together.

When I played this out at the end of the 90th podcast, I got a morning phone call from Alex telling me that the mix didn’t work, and that it wasn’t really necessary. I tried to ignore this assessment and to keep believing in myself and my judgement. Sure enough, I got an email from someone, saying how much they liked the mix. So I got more defiant. I would keep going, and do what I wanted, and what I believed in.

Then there was the 98th Southside Podcast. I’m sure you all remember it word for word, but just in case you don’t, there was an interview with a man who called himself a “Systems Management Engineer”. (Don’t ask). he was going on about how he hated people who used confusing language, lengthy complicated sentences and long words to describe things. He reckoned that things should be as least various as possible so as to make the point simple to understand. “A sound idea” you might think, but he tried to support this thinking by reading a long, various quote from an 18th century philosopher. You can hear what he said, and my opinion on the matter
“”here.
We then got an email from the man himself, complaining that he had been misrepresented. I was a bit baffled as to how I could misrepresent someone by playing exactly what he had said, word for word. So I’d misrepresented him by playing a recording of his own voice, saying his own words, in the very order he said them, within the context he made them? But Alex didn’t see it from my perspective. Still, I wasn’t to be concerned about that. And so, like the heroic protagonist (or idiot, depending on your view) that I am, I overreached just a little bit more, and managed to receive yet another complaint in the 99th podcast. Two complaints in the space of two podcasts. Now I must be getting good! The main point of this rather lengthy complaint was (funnily enough) to do with (you could say) a fledgling attempt at erotic fantasy – a genre that I am soon to perfect with my stories concerning Sir Patrick Moore and his active interest in lesbianism. We featured an interview with a science fiction author who was talking about people who were obsessed with Doctor Who. He said that people who had an abnormal obsession with Doctor Who were termed “Whomosexuals”. So I followed this up by imagining an erotic scenario involving Daleks, as anyone naturally would do. But for some reason, this wasn’t deemed normal or acceptable and there was a complaint. However, I did again get another email from someone redressing the balance, saying that they had enjoyed that part of the podcast. So I obviously became more defiant. Don’t worry, we’re nearly at the point where it all goes horribly wrong, and I get my just desserts. Incidentally, you can hear the offending items from the 99th Southside Podcast
“”here.

But they couldn’t stop me now, surely? I’d done this for 99 podcasts. It was quite a while before I finally recorded the 100th podcast. I probably should have made this my swan-song. A lengthy imagined erotic scenario involving the Queen and the Pope should have done the trick nicely I think.

Then I decided that the southside Podcast really deserved a bit of a makeover, a revamp. So I created a new opening jingle for the Podcast, changing it from the plain old ‘Southside Podcast’ to the new and improved title, ‘The Southside Podcast with David Eagle’. I think, to be honest I was just trying to see what it would take to make Alex crack and get rid of me once and for all. I was “crusin for a bruisin” which I believe is a line from a Shakespeare play if I remember rightly. Alex protested at this change of title, but I was still in a position of power. I was doing a lot of work for Southside and not really getting much money for it. Alex didn’t really have any idea of how to upload podcasts, plus he didn’t have the means or skills to edit a podcast together in the way that I was doing. Then the 102nd Southside Podcast came. My final Southside Podcast. There was a report from the London Boat show that I was given to play out on the podcast. This I duly did, but when the report ended I dissected the whole thing and tore it apart. One of the interviewers kept asking a sailor questions about being a salesman. Alex did an entire interview with someone, constantly getting his name and the name of the company wrong, and failed to mention what the company actually did. There were loads of other mistakes that I played and gave mention to. I did this because I thought it was funny. Alex was often calling me up at 7:30 in the morning to criticise me, and so I thought it only fair that I should do the same, only make a funny feature of it on the podcast. You can hear this podcast and my open critique
“”here.

This was the last Southside Podcast I ever did. I didn’t release another thing on Southside for about six months. Alex didn’t let me release another Southside Podcast, although he was happy to give me a load of editing to do. He gave me a load of reports and interviews to edit and upload to the website. He wanted me to edit them and then upload them as individual files, rather than packaging the items together into one podcast. I wasn’t getting any money at all for this and so I essentially became an editing slave. I wasn’t allowed to speak or produce anything, but I was expected to sit for hours listening to Alex’s voice, editing and uploading the content. This was no fun at all. I was doing quite a bit of freelance work at this point and so when I’d finished working for the day, the last thing I wanted to do was sit for a couple of hours, editing Alex.

Then I got an email from Alex. He said that I could do another podcast series, but that I must keep it simple and not decorate it with any features or “humorous” content. He suggested that I go for the “vanilla” approach. It sounded utterly boring to me, but I thought I’d give it a go. So I released
“”the first episode of the Spotlight.

Because I wasn’t allowed to do any features or extended items of my own, I decided to take on some of the interviewing duties. But there’s little point mentioning this podcast too much, since it only lasted for one episode. I was happy with the first episode. I felt that both Alex and I did a good job on it. While Alex was positive about my interview, he made no bones about telling me that the podcast still suffered from my attempts at humour. “Very disappointing” he wrote. I was working on a couple of projects at this time, and things were going really well for me. I was getting really positive feedback for some production work I was doing, which I was actually getting paid for. After reading Alex’s email, I suddenly came to a realisation. I didn’t need it anymore. southside and I had grown apart. Where once we had worked together, benefiting from a symbiosis where I was allowed to broadcast in my own style, and I allowed Southside to actually broadcast to a bigger audience than just a couple of hospital beds. This partnership worked really well for a few years, but then we both outgrew each other. So I sent Alex my resignation email – which wasn’t at all unpleasant – and I’ve not heard from him since. I sent the email in Mid May, so that’s four months ago.

I’ve just had a look at the Southside website, and they’re doing really well. I personally feel really well and am doing some production work, and some other jobs unrelated to radio. And so the story has a happy ending for all concerned.

So there you have it. Thanks for reading to the end. IN fact, as a reward for all your hard work, my next blog post will be an erotic story about Sir Patrick Moore and lesbians. ‘The Thighs at Night.’ Standby for my first exciting story in the series in which sir Patrick turns from respectable star gazer to filthy bra gazer. But now I’m off to post this. Maybe I should do some research into what legally constitutes character deformation, just to make sure I’m allowed to write this sort of stuff and post it to the Internet. … Nah! I’m sure it’ll be fine! if I end up in court, at least I’ll get some publicity from it. I’m sure Sir Patrick would be thrilled and honoured. He might even agree to read the audio book version, or play himself in the television drama. Now there’s a thought. Things are really picking up a pace. I’d only conceived this idea a few minutes ago. This is how J. K. Rowling must have felt when she came up with the concept for ‘Harry Potter’. Maybe this will be the new ‘Harry Potter’. A cinema blockbuster. Wow! I suddenly feel like my life is meaningful at last. I’ve discovered my great purpose in life!

I’ll keep you posted. Bye for now!

P.S. Sorry for the length of this blog post. I’ll try to write something a bit more substancial and lengthy next time.

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A Very Lengthy Blog Post All About Me: Part4 (nearly there, promise)

Every time I write a blog post I always suffer from the same problem. Once I get started writing I’m fine. I can easily think of things to write. I always find it difficult knowing how to start. I sit at the computer for ages without writing anything. I’ve tried to just type the first thing that comes into my head, just to get me going, but generally the first thing that comes into my head is something completely inappropriate that is best left in my head for all our sakes. My theory is that if I start writing, then my brain will eventually kick in and I’ll eventually start writing something semi-decent. Then I can go back at the end, delete my warm-up introduction and replace it with something amazingly genius. The trouble is however that I tend to forget that part of the process, and so my first attempt remains.

anyway, this should be the point when my brain kicks in and I start writing something amazing and hilarious. … Failing that I could always tell you why I left
”Southside.
What a great idea.

firstly, I’ll try and summarise my time at Southside, starting with my first experience of the station. In case you haven’t read
”parts 1
”2
”and 3
of this epic story, we’re currently at the stage where I’ve tried to apply to numerous hospital and community radio stations in order to gain some live radio experience, but have been turned down on the basis that I am blind. I was also getting increasingly disillusioned by my visits to these radio stations, as they seemed more interested in time checks, traffic and weather reports and playing moreorless none-stop music in between. I wanted to do so much more than that. So imagine my excitement when I discovered Southside.

I rang the hospital radio station and explained who I was. I wasn’t a celebrity back then you see. Alex, the manager of the station arranged a time for me to come in and sounded enthusiastic. I hadn’t heard any of the station’s output so didn’t know what to expect. I probably expected another experience similar to my previous experiences, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. I assumed my first experience of the station would be a brief introductory meeting with the manager. This had been the case for all the other stations. So I prepared myself for half an hour of discrimination and possibly a bit of uninspiring talk about how radio was all about weather, traffic, one minute generic links, and made-up texts from invented listeners. But no. This experience was completely different.

I entered the hospital and located the radio studios. I knocked on the door and was ushered into a cupboard by a teenager. The door was then closed behind me, and I stood opposite a man, seated behind a mixing desk. I was just about to say something when the man spoke.

“Well now we have David Eagle with us who is visiting the station for the first time. Would you like to take a seat David and ask our guest a question?”

This was more a statement than a question, so I sat down in the cupboard, which I realised was obviously actually a very tiny radio studio, and looked around to see where the guest was. There wasn’t anyone else in the studio. I was beginning to think I’d accidentally stumbled in to the section of the hospital that treats the mentally ill instead of a radio studio. I did however recognise the man’s voice as that of the station manager. There was a pair of headphones in front of me. I quickly put them on and spoke in to the microphone, wondering who the hell I was speaking to.

“Hello” I said. Always a good opener I’ve found.

“hello” came the voice at the other end.

There was a pause, and so I proceeded to ask my question.

“How are you?”

“very well thank you” came the response.

Then there was another pause. I waited for a few seconds expecting the station manager to take over, but he didn’t. “Maybe I should ask another question then” I thought. “Who are you” didn’t really seem appropriate, even though that was what I was thinking, as well as “what the hell is going on?”

“So, what have you been up too today?”

“Well” came the voice in my headphones, “we started filming the new series of ‘the Sky at Night’ today which was very exciting” …

”Sir Patrick Moore?
I was talking to Sir Patrick Moore?! There was a pause. It didn’t seem like Alex, the station manager was in any rush to ask anything himself and so I continued. At least I knew who I was talking to now.

“So, what can we expect from the new series then Sir Patrick?”

he started to talk. I was only half listening. I was stunned. I’d literally just walked in the building two minutes ago. I expected a general introduction with the station manager, but now I’m sitting in a cupboard with a mute radio presenter, interviewing Sir Patrick Moore on the radio over the phone.

Alex eventually took over the reins and continued the rest of the interview. After a few minutes, Alex bid Sir Patrick Moore goodbye and put on some music.

“Welcome to southside” he announced,. It certainly was an unorthodox introduction, but now I assumed we’d have a little chat about the station and where I would fit in etc. Alex didn’t seem to think that was immediately necessary. He announced that he needed to go into the other studio to retrieve the phone number of the next guest. By the time he got back there wasn’t time for any off-air chat. The song finished and Alex introduced the listener (and fortunately this time me) to the next guest. I think it was some woman I’d never heard of talking about her cosmetic products or something. I’m not an expert when it comes to cosmetics. I’m just lucky to have been gifted with the kind of face that really doesn’t need any enhancing. I was however prompted to ask the lady some questions and so I conducted my second interview. I’d been trying to get some radio presenting experience for years but to no avail. Now here I was on my first visit to the station talking to Sir Patrick Moore and a random lady about cosmetic products.

Then the programme ended. Finally, I had a reasonably sane introduction to the station. The meeting went really well. I was encourage to produce jingles and production items for programmes and they were enthusiastically received and played out on the station. Within a month of signing up to join the station I was co-presenting with Alex, interviewing all sorts of people. I spoke to
”Nicholas Parsons,
”Sir Jimmy Savile
”and David Vine.
We regularly spoke to television director
”Graeme Harper
Who was directing the new DR who television series, and had also directed DR who in the 70s. These are just a few of the celebrities we spoke to. You can check out the vast and varied array of guests by listening to the back catalogue of over 100 podcasts. I’ll package all the podcasts together in one place at some point, because the website that hosted the podcasts has been taken over, and the main homepage has disappeared. It’s probably a ploy against me. The Internet is conspiring to purge me from it.

So, we’re interviewing all these amazing guests every week. We’re producing some really good content. My production material is being played out on the radio, and everything is going great. But then I make a shocking discovery. In order for the station to survive, it needed a little financial assistance. Every week the station would conduct a raffle to raise money for the station. Someone would walk around the hospital wards selling raffle tickets. One day the person who usually did this duty wasn’t available, and so I took on the role. I went around the wards telling people that we were raising money for the hospital radio station. Some of the people I spoke to commented that they weren’t aware there was a radio station in the hospital. I went round the whole of the hospital selling raffle tickets and discovering that no one knew there was a hospital radio station. I maybe came across a handful of people who knew that there was a radio station in the hospital, and this was merely because they’d been told the week before by the man selling raffle tickets. It became clear that no one in the hospital was listening. No one knew there was a hospital radio station, and if they did know then they had no idea how to listen to it. Since the station wasn’t broadcasting on FM, the station was only being transmitted to the hospital, so that meant we were sitting in a cupboard on a weekly basis, talking to amazing guests like Sir Patrick Moore, Sir Jimmy Savile and Nicholas Parsons, and there was no one listening and appreciating it. It seemed like complete madness. The station manager had managed to accumulate all these brilliant contacts and bring them on to a fantastic radio programme, but hadn’t managed to accumulate an audience. We were basically having private conversations with these people.

This realisation led me to set up the Southside Podcast. Now we’d gone from broadcasting to ourselves in a cupboard, to broadcasting online to the world. Not bad going really. I was already doing a few bits of Voice Over and production work and getting a tiny bit of money for it, so I decided to see if it was possible to expand this with Southside. We found a few companies who wanted to sponsor us and I wrote, voiced and produced adverts for them. This gave some extra revenue to the station and myself, and brought in a lot more money to the station than the raffle. So things were on the up. I’d now taken over podcasting presenting duties and was co-presenting the interviews with Alex. We seemed to be getting listeners too. Plus I was even getting some money for my work. So where did it go wrong? Why have I left Southside. Well it’s getting late and … etc. I’ll be back shortly to talk about that, but we’ll leave the story there on that incredible cliff-hanger.

I’m away all this weekend doing folk stuff, and so sadly you won’t get the rest of the story till sometime next week, so don’t wait up for me OK?

byeeeeeee! xxxoMIA

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A very lengthy blog post all about me: Final part (apparently)

It’s the final part of the epic trilogy. Perhaps when I die they’ll turn this into a film, like Lord of the Rings. It would be a challenging project to undertake. As long as they keep it true to the blog. I don’t want to be portrayed as a hobbit. Anyway, it’s time for me to actually write about the thing I planned to write about when I started my post two days ago. If you haven’t read
Monday’s and Tuesday’s blog posts, then I recommend that you do. There’s so many things you wouldn’t understand if you just started reading from here. So many thematic elements that are interwoven throughout the texts. There’s a very complex story ark going on. Even Noah would find himself a bit out of his depth. So give it a good read. Take your time to digest the information, and come back when you’ve recovered from the emotional rollercoaster.

So we’ve established that I want to work in radio. I had done since I was really young. I’d been wooed by quality bbC comedy, and creative radio presenters. I’d also been inspired by the production of radio. I wondered about How the sound effects were designed for science fiction radio drama’s such as Doctor Who, and the hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy. The great thing about radio for me was how you could be transported to another world without any effort on the part of the listener. Television never really did that for me. Obviously being blind I couldn’t engage with the visual aspect of television. But that wasn’t the only reason I loved radio and not tele. The television could only show four channels, and often they didn’t show any content late at night, or the content they did show wasn’t really tailored for a blind person, although I’m sure many of my friends probably appreciated late night channel 4 quite a bit. Televisions were bulky. Radios could be tiny. You could listen to a radio late at night with headphones on under the bed clothes and no one would know. You couldn’t do that with a television. Radios had much more than four channels to offer. You had loads of stations on FM, medium wave, long wave and even shortwave. You couldn’t get any of that on tele. Imagine all the things I discovered about life, all the new worlds that were revealed to me as a ten year old boy just by listening to the radio late at night.
My ears were Opened up to a world of astonishing music thanks to
”BBC Radio 1
with
”John Peel.
Flick the dial and you got satirical comedy (most of which went totally over my head, but I loved it anyway) from
”BBC Radio 4.
Move away from the bBC and you got late night local commercial radio. Nowadays it’s generally all automated music being played out by a computer all night. In those days however you got late night phone ins. And the phone in presenters didn’t have to try and be unbiased like on the BBc. O no! They were opinionated, loud, brass and arrogant, more than happy to be controversial or a complete arsehole to gain listener reaction and ratings. But the programmes made for fascinating listening. Again, my ears were opened to a completely different world. People would talk about the issues of the day, their relationship problems and sex. . Sometimes the calls were funny, sometimes they were sad, and now and again there was the poor old, depressed lady who just wanted her life to end. You would get to know certain characters. If a particular person hadn’t rang in to the show for awhile, people would ring in to ask where he/she was and if anyone had any information. The shortwave frequency boasted every type of radio station from every place on the earth. There were French radio dramas. In fact I remember tuning into a french radio station one night to hear the sound of two women groaning. At first (being younger than ten at the time) I assumed perhaps they were in pain, but as I listened longer I realised that they were very much enjoying themselves. I got my first sex education lesson about lesbianism thanks to French shortwave radio. I was also the only person in my class to be so fluent in French. Sadly, the teacher wasn’t impressed by me knowing the french for dildo. Still, you never know when such information might come in handy. There were also a plethora of right wing Christian radio stations from America. Imagine me as an impressionable pre-teen, channel hopping between French radio dramas about lesbian sex and a gruff American man shouting at me about how I was damned for hell if I didn’t send him money. All this has helped shape the David Eagle you know today … Which explains a lot.

“So what has any of this got to do with why you left
”Southside?”
Patients, I’m getting to that. My point is that the reason I got into radio was so that I could be a part of all this. I wanted to weave myself somewhere into the great tapestry of radio. Does that sound pretentious? Good! So I grew up listening to radio in all it’s forms and this inspired me to present something that maybe would enthral someone else, like I had been enthralled. And that’s what inspired me to work in radio. And that’s what inspired me to write my radio drama all about lesbian sex at just the age of twelve year old. So now we get back to the story of how I tried to get into radio, and how I increasingly became disillusioned as I was turned down from joining radio stations because of my blindness. Radio had always been a source of security, friendship and inspiration to me, but now it was turning ugly. I started to hear more and more presenters who got on my nerves. Cringe-worthy clichéd presenters with their affected radio voices and their generic links. I wanted to do something inspiring and interesting, but they wouldn’t let me in. Then to top it all off, I go into the studio of a local community radio station, only to be told that quality radio wasn’t inspiring witty presenters, astonishing music like what John peel played, nor was it speech based broadcasting were listeners were invited to interact. Apparently real radio was one minute links consisting of time checks, made-up weather and traffic reports, and text messages that were merely invented by the presenter, accompanied by repetitive playlisted pop music. That one station manager with his fake radio voice and his obsession with weather and time checks nearly destroyed my desire for working in radio with his proclamation of “That’s Radio”. But then I found Southside! We got their eventually.

But it’s getting late and I’ve gone on a bit longer than I expected. So I’m going to get to the point tomorrow. Maybe. I’ll definitely be back tomorrow, and I’ll try and get round to explaining why I left Southside. I know that this means I can no longer call this a trilogy, and I may have just sacrificed my chances of this being turned into a film as a result, but never mind.

I’ll be back tomorrow. In the meantime, why not pour yourself a glass of wine and chill out in front of a shortwave radio set. You never know, you might find a french radio drama containing lesbian sex scenes.

P.S. In case you’re interested, the French for dildo is godemiché, from the ancient Latin word for dildo godemichus, just in case it comes up in a pub quiz or something.

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A very lengthy blog post all about me: Part2

Wow! You’re back for more!?
Yesterday’s blog post
unexpectedly turned into a lengthy insert from my biography. I haven’t actually written a biography but if I did I’d probably donate the proceeds to Tony Blaire. Just in case he finds himself strapped for cash. If you didn’t read
”Yesterday’s blog post,
then it might be a good idea to do that first. It will update you on where we are in the epic story, or (more likely) will inform your choice to quickly close your internet browser and never visit this site again. It was in essence a very lengthy blog post all about me. And now here’s part two. If you do decide to read this post (in spite of your better judgement) then take heart in some words I accidentally found on a blog post from another person called David Eagle. I was searching for my last blog post on Google to see if it was showing up in the search results, but instead of my post at number one I found another David Eagle’s blog post which included the following apposite words:

“I firmly believe that a human being can endure any torture, however grim, if he only knows that there is an end.”

So bare with this post. You can get through it. There is an end. Thanks to
”those wise words from a much more wise and informed David Eagle
for those encouraging words.

Anyway, I digress. Fancy that!

After my setbacks last time with the various hospital radio stations, I decided to take a different approach. This time I wouldn’t tell them I was blind on the phone or in a letter. I would simply turn up with my cane to the studio and take it from there. This approach seemed to work much better.

The first radio station I visited was a local community radio station. I won’t name the radio station because I am about to be not too complimentary about them. The manager listened to my demo and seemed to love it. I thought he might have been getting where I was coming from. He said he definitely wanted me to present on the station. I was thinking that everything was going great. He’d heard the demo and so knew my style. The demo contained snippets of song parodies, spoof adverts, sketches and a few links that were far removed from the generic “this is, that was” format of modern day local commercial radio stations. I took the attitude that if I was going to work in radio, and try and achieve this against the obstacle of my blindness and the discrimination I’d witnessed so far, then I was going to make radio that I thought was really interesting and worthwhile. Otherwise there was no point. If I wasn’t different or better than the average local commercial radio presenter then why should an employer choose me above someone else, especially if that someone else can see and therefore won’t be an extra hassle?

The station manager seemed really enthusiastic and asked me to come in to the studio the following week to go through a few things. Little did I know that these “few things” would make me so disillusioned with a lot of radio, especially local commercial radio.

The following week I turned up at the studio. The manager greeted me and took me into a room and introduced me to another two men. One of the men was a trainee on his first day, and the other was a presenter at the station. In just one hour from walking into that room I would have my enthusiasm for radio presenting crushed. Bare in mind I had wanted to work in radio since I was really young. I had heard broadcasters like
”Kenny Everett’
and
”Chris Moyles
and wanted to try and create something exciting. But the manager of this station had a very different idea.

First we were introduced to a handbook, which the manager called “the radio station’s bible”. He then proceeded to read us some commandments for presenters. For some unfathomable reason, I don’t seem to be able to recall these commandments verbatim. I will however paraphrase.
“1. Presenter links should last no longer than two minutes.”
I interrupted the station manager before he moved on to the second commandment. I informed him that I was already recording my own folk music podcast with my folk group
”The Young’uns
and that we interviewed lots of great folk music performers. I explained that I was planning to incorporate some of this into programmes. I also explained that some of my written material might go over the two minute mark. Plus, all the radio presenters I respected did links that were over two minutes in length. I expected him to instantly capitulate and say that this would be fine, and that these were just rough guidelines for trainee presenters. My optimism soon faded when he told me in no uncertain terms that people didn’t turn on their radios to hear the presenter but to listen to music. Besides, no one wanted to listen to folk music. I would be given a list of songs to play each programme, and I would have to stick to that list rigidly. He then proceeded to quickly move on to the second commandment.

One of the Other commandments stated that the presenter must never call the songs “tracks”. I never did understand his logic for that one. Apparently it didn’t sound right to call a song a track. We must call it a song, although we were allowed to call it a record, even though the songs were digital files on a computer disc drive. He also qualified his reasoning by saying, “it just makes for better radio”. I began to wonder how many Sony radio awards amazingly talented presenters had missed out on simply because they accidentally used the word “track” rather than “song”. If only they’d read the radio station bible.

Another commandment stated that the presenter should start each link by saying what the last track – sorry song – was, then give the listener the time. Apparently giving the listener the time was of vital importance. I’d lost the will to even protest now, and I sat there becoming more and more deflated as he expounded on all the various reasons why time checks were essential. To illustrate this point, he imagined a number of scenarios where someone might be listening to the radio, dependant on knowing the time.

“imagine if you were late for work because the presenter didn’t tell you the time, or if you forgot to pick the children up from school because you didn’t realise what the time was. Imagine if you needed to buy some milk for the morning but because the presenter didn’t tell you the time you can’t because the shop is closed”. Each fictional scenario was delivered as if each situation was a horrifying thought, and was proceeded by a pause to increase the drama. He was also pounding the table rhythmically as he spoke, and everyone knows that when someone does that, then they really are talking the truth. It’s just one of those facts. I didn’t have it in me to remark that if people were so obsessed with the time then they would probably wear a watch, and even if I did say that, he’d probably come back at me with something remarkably insightful like, “yes but what if the watch broke?” And how could anyone come back with an answer to that?

I did however raise a protest about one of the commandments which stated that every hour must be marked by weather and traffic/travel bulletins. The week before, the manager and I had decided that I would record the programmes at home in advance. I was already doing a bit of small-scale voice over and production work at this point and had my own studio. Weather and traffic bulletins were a reasonable thing to include into a live broadcast, but surely the manager would see that they were pointless on a radio show that was pre-recorded and broadcast after 7 P.M.. What he said astounded me. Rather than saying I could simply drop the weather and traffic reports he told me that I should just make them up. He would provide me with some scripts of weather and travel bulletins that had been used in other programmes and I was instructed to just read one of those every hour. He also recommended that I should make up listener’s text messages and read them out.

The meeting continued with the manager and presenter giving us a five minute demonstration of the perfect radio show, which conformed entirely to the commandments as set out by the Radio Station’s Bible. It was the most uninspiring, generic load of drivel. The manager concluded the meeting by announcing triumphantly: “And that’s radio!”

My relationship with that station didn’t really develop any further. I also then found them to be just as reticent about taking on a blind person as all the other stations and so it wouldn’t have worked, even if I wasn’t totally disillusioned about everything they stood for.

Interestingly, the radio station in question have been sanctioned a number of times by
”Ofcom
for faking competition winners, and asking people to text and phone into pre-recorded shows. Seriously, what’s wrong with Ofcom? don’t they realise, “that’s radio!”

So another day on, and I still haven’t told you about why I left
”Southside.

The story will continue tomorrow. Don’t worry. Take courage in those words from David Eagle,
”the real David Eagle:

“I firmly believe that a human being can endure any torture, however grim, if he only knows that there is an end.”

Then again, he’s probably never read one of my blog posts.

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A very lengthy blog post all about me: Part1

Believe it or not, I actually hate writing about myself. This is why my blog posts tend to end up becoming surreal rambles about made-up things. I intended to use this blog as a way of promoting myself and my work, but often I fail to do this and decide instead to go on a complete tangent about something else. Take
”my first blog post
for instance. I spent the first paragraph talking about punctuation marks, and then proceeded to real off a series of puns relating to toilets. I didn’t even mention how old I was, where I lived, how long I’d been working and in what capacity, not to mention all the kind of fascinating things people write about themselves on facebook and Twitter. My shoe size was completely omitted, as was my gaming scores for virtual pin the tail on the donkey, or whatever the kids are playing on Facebook these days. I can’t keep up with all the latest Facebook fads. I log into facebook and people start poking me, humping me, and throwing random objects at me, such as sheep. In reality, I don’t seem to find myself being poked particularly frequently, there is next to no humping at all, although I suppose I am frequently hit by airborne sheep.

Anyway, I have illustrated my point by going off on another tangent. My purpose for this blog post is to explain the reason why there have been no blog posts or podcasts for the last three months. I’m sorry to report that the reason wasn’t because I was being merciful towards you. The main reason is to do with the fact that I have resigned from
”Southside Broadcasting.
I did this about three months ago and I’ll talk about some of the reasons shortly. Firstly though, while I’m sort of in the process of actually giving you some information about myself without going off on a tangent, I might as well explain how and why I joined Southside and some of the relevant events preceding and proceeding it.

After graduating from University in 2006, I decided it would be a good idea to get a job. With this revolutionary thought in mind, I began to send off radio presenting demos to stations. however, it was nearly always the case that the work experience person who was sorting the mail that day opened my letter, took one glance at my CV, noted that I had no experience in radio at all, and promptly binned my CV along with the demo. Either that, or the wannabe radio presenter kid on work experience in charge of the menial task of sorting through the mail simply decided that he/she would stand a better chance of getting employed as a presenter if they threw all the other wannabe radio presenter kids’ demos in the bin. I know that’s not how it was, but that’s sometimes how it felt. I put together a demo, sent it off to the station, and waited, and waited. After a few months I’d call the station and ask to speak to the relevant person, who was never available to take my call. When I mentioned who I was and the reason for calling, they put me on hold for five minutes, forcing me to listen to their station’s output which was always some really annoying radio presenter blabbering on about nothing at all. So I waited on the other end of the phone, listening to this radio presenter boring everyone to death, thinking “why isn’t that me? I could do that. Why does he get the chance to bore and annoy people and not me?” Then the switchboard operator would come back after a few minutes and tell me that no one has a clue who I am, and that there is no recollection of ever having received a demo or CV by anyone of the name “David Eagor”. I tell the person that my name is David Eagle not Eagor, but they simply say, “well thank you for your call Mr Eagor” and put the phone down. I then curl up into a ball and cry for the rest of the day, and the whole situation starts all over again the next day. Perhaps I’ve exaggerated just a little, but you get the idea.

I was aware that one of the major reasons I was finding it difficult to get work in radio was because of my lack of experience. It wasn’t that I hadn’t tried to gain experience. When I was at college I rang up all the hospital radio stations in the area but to no avail. In case you are a new reader to this blog and you haven’t read my back cateblog of previous posts, I must mention at this point that I am blind. You might not think that this would be a massive issue but unfortunately it seemed to be the only factor that stopped me from being accepted at any of the hospital radio stations I visited. I would be met with fervent enthusiasm when I contacted the hospital radio stations. They all said they loved the demo and couldn’t wait to have me working there. As soon as I mentioned I was blind the story changed. Some managers said that it wouldn’t be possible for me to work there because of insurance reasons. One person kept going on about me tripping over cardboard boxes. I wasn’t exactly sure why cardboard boxes were such an issue in the studio, but he seemed specifically concerned with the cardboard box situation. I tried reasoning with him that I had never tripped over a cardboard box as far as I could remember, but this didn’t quell his fears. I even offered to come down to the studio and prove that I could walk around the place without being brought to my knees by a cardboard box but he would have none of it, even if I wore a safety Helmut and body pads. My favourite response was from the man who turned from a really bold, confident speaker into a complete nervous wreck simply when I mentioned I was blind. Everything was sorted. He’d agreed that I could work at the station and he was extolling my demo and saying how great it would be to have me at the station. Then I mentioned I was blind. He proceeded to stammer and stutter nonsensically for about thirty seconds before hanging up on me without a further comprehensible word. Every time I called back he wouldn’t answer.

So I spent two years trying desperately to get experience but to no avail. It never crossed my mind to sue anyone or protest about it. I didn’t really have the nerve for that and the whole situation had entirely destroyed my confidence.

Anyway, after University it was time to get a job and I had always wanted to work in radio. So I definitely had to get experience. But as you’ve just read, that wasn’t easy. I couldn’t get any professional radio experience because I didn’t have any professional radio experience. So I did the next logical thing. I decided to get some voluntary radio experience, and where was I going to get that ? That’s right, hospital radio! What a great idea. Why didn’t I think of that before?

This blog post is starting to get really lengthy, and so I’ll continue the story and eventually tell you my reasons for leaving southside tomorrow.

Thanks for reading. How did you do it? I imagine you’ll probably need to do something relaxing and enjoyable after reading all that. How about some music. You could always listen to some quality folk music on
”The Young’uns Myspace page
and then
”click here to buy the new album.
It’s the perfect antidote to long, rambling blog posts. Enjoy.

Stay safe and beware of those cardboard boxes!

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Man, I Feel Like a Young’un

Man, I Feel Like a Young’un.
It’s been over three months since my last blog post and my last podcast, and I know that the Internet has been rife with rumours as to why. Well you’ve all got just one more day to plague the various forums with your theories because I’ll be letting the cat out of the bag tomorrow. I’ll also be telling you why I’ve been away from the blogosphere and podcasting duties for three months. That’s my rubbish joke for this paragraph. See you in paragraph two.

My folk group ‘The Young’uns’ have just released a new album, ‘Man, I feel Like a Young’un’. It’s available to order in CD form
”here.
You can listen to three songs from the album to see if you might like it
”on our Myspace page,
But you don’t want to bother with that. Just go straight ahead and
”buy the album now
without giving it any thought. Go on, do it, you might not regret it.

So there you go. My glorious return to the blogosphere was basically a very unsubtle advert. Don’t worry, my next blog post will probably be a long, egocentric rant. We’ll be back to the quality blogging from tomorrow.

Did I mention you can
”buy our new CD here?

Byeeeee!

P.S. I’m not dead.

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