The career I never had. Ever since my mother told me I had the looks for radio, I thought I'd be a radio DJ.
Apart from a few years on Hospital Radio Stafford, and then various shows on university radio at Lancaster, it was never to be. I did some voice-over work for Andy Marriott when he was at Leicester Sound, and wrote an article in the Independent (in 1995) on radio djs. So although no longer aspiring to be involved in radio, it remains a strong interest - especially American radio - and from time to time I put audio reports and documentaries together - most notoriously an on-the-spot account of the day I accidentally walked into the hotel room containing Jimmy Savile's coffin.
As a quick taster, we begin with a classic aircheck from my old pal Andre Gardner at KEGL "The Eagle" in Dallas a few years back. He's now at WMGK, Philadelphia.
To hear great American jingles, visit the Radio IDs page. There are some classic top-of-the hour cuts there, plus montages for free download. Also visit The Bob Dinan Jingle Podcast which is updated every few days with new audio - jingles and airchecks, plus occasional rants.
Jimmy Savile (2011):
Only after his death did anyone know the full extent of Jimmy Savile's appalling predatory nature. Before that, he was mostly viewed as an eccentric if vaguely unnerving radio and television presenter.
It happens that on the day of his funeral, I was running a literacy conference in the Leeds hotel where his coffin was laid for people to pay their respects. Here's my live report for BBC Radio Suffolk describing the the scene after I inadvertently walked into the room before being ushered back out by security.
King Edward VI School was the first school to take students to Kurdistan, Iraq. Our partnership with that region is very important. During our initial visit and subsequently with students I recorded a series of audio reports which were broadcast by BBC Radio Suffolk. My interview with BBC Radio Suffolk reporter Lesley Dolphin is here.
Kurdistan Audio (July 2012)
In Search of Edmund Coote: (2013)
In 1597 the headmaster of King Edward VI Free Grammar School, Edmund Coote left the school under mysterious circumstances. He was probably sacked by the Governors.
Why? In this audio report for BBC Radio Suffolk I tried to trace the roots of my mysterious predecessor. I also talked to presenter Lesley Dolphin about my quest. The report is accompanied by a picture gallery.
The Joy of Jingles: (2013)
In response to bemused questions, here's an audio documentary I put together explaining my fascination with radio jingles.
A Tour of Suffolk Churches: (2014)
Each year the Suffolk Historic Churches Trust organise a charity bike ride. Nicknamed 'Ride & Stride', it's a chance to cycle between Suffolk's beautiful churches.
In September 2014, cycling partner Richard Fawcett and I made audio report of our visits which were played each day on BBC Radio Suffolk. The archive includes interviews on Suffolk church history with expert, Clive Paine
The various reports are here:
Andre Gardner on the Eagle
In the late 1980s, the same Andre Gardner asked me to be the voice of a station ident: Barton rocks Atlanta!
In the early days of independent local radio, stations often tried to cater for everyone - which led to my spoof documentary, made when I was still at university, Radio Blandshire
Nine of the most creative and memorable radio commercials