Aircheck Tracker

Profile: Graham Wright: Graham first took an interest in radio as a young boy living in West Yorkshire - as with most budding DJs he spent many a happy hour putting together radio shows, along with a friend, on a portable cassette player installed in his bedroom - recordings were then played to his ever attentive parents.  Whilst a student, in 1986 he joined Nottingham Hospital Radio (NHR) at the Queen's Medical Centre and spent five years there until radio became both a job and a hobby.  At NHR, Graham fulfilled his requirements on the wards, enabling him to find out what hospital radio is all about - '...creating awareness and so an audience who simply can't get a more personal or friendly service...'

It was another future Radio Trent man, Steve Voce who gave Graham his first show at NHR several weeks after joining.   Graham said 'I thought I'd really made it - and I had!'   He presented two weekly shows, one of them a rock show called 'Shockwave'.  He also worked as a news editor and programme controller. 

Getting paid for doing the job came in November 1986 when he joined the Midlands Radio plc station Leicester Sound, the station that had been created from the ashes of the defunct Centre Radio after Midlands Radio purchased what was left of it.  Graham's first job at Leicester Sound was on the new "Careline" service.  In 1987, he started work behind the scenes for the Nottingham sister station Radio Trent, then as a fully trained music radio presenter, he moved on-air when the AM 999 frequency became GEM-AM in 1988.  However, this was on what is affectionately called 'The Graveyard Shift', the overnight, but progressed to Early Breakfast and then Lunchtimes.  He also worked as a producer for Tony Lyman's Breakfast Show and as a producer for radio commercials under GWR's reign.  This led him to begin doing his own voiceover work.  

And so, talking of GWR, sadly all good things usually come to an end.  A lamentable management decision was taken to "network" more and more of GEMs output with other Classic Gold stations in March 1998 leaving Graham (and many other long established presenters) with no job.  A touch of the past then returned when an enjoyable and lucrative eight months were then spent freelancing at new East Midlands Station Radio 106FM (now 106 Century FM) before Graham secured his current full-time role. 

Of working in radio, Graham said 'As a presenter never underestimate the importance and responsibility of what you're doing, whether it's to several people or several million - each is listening individually for a service that should sound as professional as Trent-FM or Radio Two.  But have FUN within your format!'

Apart from having a key interest in music, Graham enjoys going to concerts (mainly classic rock), real ale & traditional pubs, local cinema, cycling, boating (Graham is working with groups working to restore and reopen the Grantham canal in Lincolnshire), cycling to pubs, visiting pubs by boat, pub walks...(yes, we get the picture Graham...Ed) plus Rover cars...when not visiting the pub! (Ahem....Ed)

Whereabouts: In 1998, Rutland Radio, run by the mighty Lincs-FM group, were granted a full-time licences to provide a service to England's smallest mainland county and the neighbouring historic market town of Stamford in Lincolnshire.  Graham became one of the launch team, but this was not without drama...Graham comments: 'Being the holder of a Yorkshire passport Graham's entry into Rutland back then was viewed with a little suspicion by Oakham customs officers. But having checked my car boot for excess tripe and illegal whippet smuggling - and then discovering I'd already lived in the East Midlands for sixteen years - I was allowed in as presenter of Rutland Radioís weekday Daytime Show, quite honestly being one of the most satisfying so far; because it's truly "local", just like NHR at it's best.'  Graham's show airs daily, 10:00am-2:00pm along with the 'Weekend Wind-down' on Sunday nights from 8:00pm.  Graham is also the station's Features Editor and a part-time news journalist.  

'Being one of the original launch team I'm very proud of what we've achieved in such a short space of time" says Graham. "Starting a brand new radio station (with no listeners!) and now having a third of the entire population tuning in to Rutland Radio each week is amazing. One RAJAR research sweep showed us to have gained a bigger weekly reach in our area than any other local or national commercial or BBC radio station!! It's a real credit to all our professional, hard-working staff - on a radio service with a small budget but big ideas'.

'Being part of the Lincs-FM group, not only is the Rutland Radio music policy much less repetitive and more diverse than most commercial stations, but we do much more than just play great current & classic chart songs" says Graham. "We also feature - sometimes playlist - local artists.  Our news, weather & travel service is rooted in Stamford & Rutland as is the free publicity for local charity, fundraising or non-profit making events.  Many local organisers appear as guests on our shows, along with celebrities such as Rutland Water birdwatcher Bill Oddie, singer Hazel O'Connor, "Crossroads" star Holly Newman and Harringworth resident Dave Bartram of Showaddywaddy, who've all visited our Oakham studios.  I'd say our regional Entertaiment Guide is second to none.  But it's our localness that really counts - building up a rapport with our listeners and advertisers that only an accessible radio station right on their doorstep really can'.

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