Acknowledgment is made to the original sources of some of the information shown on this page. www.btinternet.com/~uk/nickabbot. Fans of Nick are also directed to www.nickabbot.com and www.w2s.co.uk/nick-abbot for indepth information from a fan's point of view - again, acknowledgments are made to these sites. The latter of the last two links includes an interview with Nick which took place in 1999.
Profile: Nick Abbot: Nick Abbot is regarded by his ever growing army of faithful listeners as the best British talk presenter ever to walk our land. His unique style of broadcasting, his strong views on topics he feels are important, his library of sound effects combined with a one off sense of humour (and laugh to match) make him what he is today. But Nick didn't just grow up to be who he is today and he certainly didn't just walk into his Talk Radio evening show without having to prove he was good enough to do it. It has taken Nick a couple of decades to get where he is now and there have been plenty of ups and downs along the way.
Nick attended Brunel University in West London where he graduated in Psychology. It was here that he joined the University Radio station (URB - later to be known as B1000 Radio Brunel) which lead to an interview with one of his all time radio heroes, the late Kenny Everett. He discovered his local YMCA had an in-house station and they offered him a job. He was discovered at the station by John Revil, who asked him to work at the newly launched Virgin Megastore Radio (VMR) - in the earlier years, Nick continued to do a small amount of work at the London store.
Despite advice from Kenny to steer
clear of the radio industry, Nick made the move to Radio Luxembourg where
he hosted an overnight music show - the odd bit of chat but nearly all
music. However, one day somebody gave him a tape to listen to and it was
this that changed the direction of Nick's career, for on the tape was an
American talk presenter by the name of Neil Rogers. Nick immediately fell
in love with Rogers' way of broadcasting and as a direct result changed his Radio
Luxembourg show overnight into a talk show. Whilst at Radio
Luxembourg for the first half of 1988, Nick began shaping himself into the kind of broadcaster he is
then moved to GLR in 1988 to host the coveted Breakfast Show before
joining Virgin Radio.
Nick joined Virgin Radio for its launch in 1993 and was given a late night phone in show between 10pm and 2am. Here is where Nick made his name in British broadcasting as he built up thousands of fans and regular listeners throughout the course of the time he hosted the show. The show ended in 1994 when Nick was given a 7-10pm show, and a show on Sunday afternoons.
Nick was dropped from the late night slot by Virgin Radio bosses following a number of complaints to the Radio Authority, in particular by one woman who bared a grudge against Nick. The station was fined heavily twice for Nick's outbursts and eventually they decided enough was enough and moved him to the Drive Time slot. That was the first step onto the slippery slope that ended Nick's spell at Virgin - he was fired by the station in 1995 as they tried to clean up their act and he was left jobless. Virgin were left with a final £20,000 fine!
After an age out in the wilderness, it was 1996 when Talk Radio gave Nick a chance to return to mainstream broadcasting. Ian Collins took a three week holiday and Nick was called in to cover for the show in his absence. Immediately Nick began to make the show his own and listeners gradually came to love Nick's style of radio. The three weeks ended and so did Nick's time at the station until later that year at Christmas. Again he covered for Ian Collins and again he proved to be very popular.
Shortly after Nick's brief spells on Talk Radio, in 1997, a new set of Virgin bosses hired Nick to fill in on various programmes for several months as the regular presenters took it and turns to go off on their holidays. Nick proved to be popular with the new men in charge and it became apparent they were keen to see him a part of the station line-up again. Nick was airing on the AM frequencies and satellite whilst London's 105.8 service carried alternative programming. Due to lack of production assistants, and a low quality of callers, the show didn't last very long.
That same year, Talk Radio were in the process of offering Nick a Saturday afternoon show with co-host Carol McGiffen. The two of them worked together throughout the close of the football season and proved to be very popular indeed. It was almost certainly the Nick and Carol shows that convinced Talk Radio to keep Nick as part of their presenting staff. Nick later got a full time weekday evening show in the Summer of 1998.
The football season came around and the show ended, but not too long after and Nick had a show again. This time Nick was on his own on Saturday nights straight after Danny Baker. Once again, Nick built up an audience of listeners and proved to be very popular in which ever time slot he was put.
While Nick was working on Saturdays for Talk Radio, he was also being offered a permanent show on Virgin Radio. After moving him around a bit he eventually was given the afternoon slot from 1pm to 4pm and he has remained there ever since. As Nick's spell of Saturday night shows came to an end, Talk Radio bosses decided that they had heard enough and wanted to give Nick his own daily show. He was offered the 7pm to 9pm evening show and after several weeks of ensuring job security and making sure the contract was in his interests he accepted.
Nick remained at Talk Radio until Thursday 12th November 1998 - about the time new management moved in and the hatchet was wielded all over the place morpring the station into a 'sport' station and renaming it as TalkSport. That day was referred to as Black Thursday by many Abbot fans - the day when Nick was fired by Kelvin MacKenzie (just an hour after fellow presenter Tommy Boyd) because he didn't 'fit in' with the station's new format.
Nick stayed at Virgin with his six day a week afternoon music-led show, although hopes remained high amongst his fans that he would one day return to the phones and be allowed to do what he does best. In March 1999, LBC annouced that Nick would be co-presenting a new Saturday evening show with Carol McGiffen - despite a familiar 'behind the scenes' crew, the show ended in September 1999 when both their contracts expired. Nick's last ever words on LBC were '"Oh by the way, I'm a lesbian."
Over this time, Nick became one of Virgin's longest serving presenter, and it was Nick, who, at 17:45 British Time on the evening of May 7th 2001, announced that station jock Chris Evans had wed Billie Piper in a small Las Vegas ceremony on the Sunday night previously. Nick's stint at the station ended in 2001 when he was replaced by Steve Penk on the drivetime show from 4-7pm. At the time, Virgin announced that they were looking for another show for Nick, but that he would be filling in for Chris Evans on breakfast. Ironically, Chris was married to Nick's former co-host Carol McGiffen in 1991, and divorced in 1998.
October 2001 saw the beginning of a short five day stint at Manchester's Piccadilly Key 103 - he presented the 10pm-2am slot for the EMAP station.
This came to fruition with a 2001 move to Real Radio Scotland. His first programme aired on January 8th 2002 later also aired on sister stations in Wales & Yorkshire. However, Nick presented his final late-night show 10pm-1:00am, for it's owners Guardian Media Group on 19th December 2002.
Whereabouts: Nick Abbot is not presenting anywhere at present! It's believed that he's quit the radio business for a while to do other things.
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