Aircheck Tracker

Thanks go to Mark Bennett from Alvaston, Derby who orginally contacted us to say he'd found Richard Skinner.

Thanks also go to Tom Hourigan for supplying further profile information in August 2003.

Profile: Richard SkinnerTom Hourigan says: 'Hi, I have read Aircheck Tracker with great interest, and I have a great deal more information on Richard Skinner for you, including his past work, and more about what he's doing now.'

Richard was born in Portsmouth and studied at one of the city's grammar schools.  An interest in broadcasting developed whilst he was a reporter on the Portsmouth
News and he became a founder member of the local hospital broadcasting service - a station which still exists today.  In 1971, he started working full time for the BBC as a station assistant on BBC Radio Solent.  

From there he joined the Newsbeat Team on BBC Radio 1 in 1973, and became a presenter on the station four years later.  He introduced the programmes 'Roundtable', which looked at the week's new record releases, and 'Rock On', which featured music, news, interviews and full coverage of the national and international rock scene.  Richard was a Radio 1 station regular for many years, spending a lot of time on recording interviews and documentaries about bands, groups and artists, and was a key face during the BBC's coverage of Live Aid in 1985, and the host of numerous editions of "Top Of The Pops".  However, he also presented mainstream Radio 1 programming - filling in for Bruno Brookes & Tommy Vance on the Radio 1 Top 40, and hosted the show himself from 1984 to 1986.  He remained with the station until 1992, having joined BBC GLR the year before.

From there, Richard was poached by Virgin 1215 to help launch the UK's first national radio station in years.  As Joint Programme Controller, Richard certainly had a great deal of influence in the choice of presenters - many being old friends from his GLR days (Tommy Vance, Jono Coleman and Nick Abbot to name a few).  Richard was also the first voice (after Richard Branson) on the station on its launch day on 30th April 1993 - and left later the same year, after "launching one of the most successful adult radio stations in the UK".

After a stint at Liberty Radio, Richard arrived at Melody FM 105.4 in 1998, a station then owned by Hanson PLC, presenting mid-mornings.  Richard was one of the only presenters who survived the Melody-Magic conversion - following the station's purchase from Lord Hanson by EMAP.  In December 2001, it was decided that the other Magic stations across the UK would take Richard's mid-morning show as well as Magic 105.4 in London - however, after just 14 months of networking, this was reversed in January 2003.  Richard is still with Magic 105.4 - once again presenting a London-only show, weekday mornings, 10am-2pm, as well as Saturday breakfast, 7am-12am, and the station's own chart, the Magic Countdown, Sunday evenings from 8pm.  More information on the station can be found at their website at http://www.magic1054.co.uk.

Warm regards,
Tom Hourigan.

Tom Hourigan reports: 'It's a shock - EMAP have now confirmed Richard Skinner has left - in my opinion, Magic's finest presenter by a long shot - the situation was a little strange - the Thursday before the Bank Holiday (August 2003), he didn't turn up - Graham Dene on the breakfast show sounded lost for words, having to fill an extra hour, and then two ours of continuous music - the whole thing sounded very sudden.  However, Richard did return over the Bank Holiday weekend - but Bank Holiday Monday was his last show.  Gary Vincent of GWR fame has taken over in an all-new schedule, which has been rearranged, to fit in an extra show. 

Where does Richard go now?  Who knows - however, I found a tape today of Richard just 12 months ago, allowed to actually have content in his links - he sounded relaxed, comfortable, and was very amusing.  Then, after networking ceased, and Magic 105.4 adopted the "less talk, more music" policy, he was far more confined in what he could say.  Since the station's initial launch in 1990, Melody FM/Magic has always had the on-air presenter reading the news, and now, since yesterday, newsreaders have been recruited to break a 14 year habit - so Richard would have literally been linking every time with "less talk, more music, this is Magic 105.4" a few times an hour - I think that's probably why he left - he wasn't getting any enjoyment out of it anymore.'

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