radio stories

Lee Bannister – Producer, Director, Interviewer – explains about Radio Stories, a series of interviews with Radio Personalities from the Wolverhampton area. Scroll down the page to watch the shows!

Originally conceived in the form of a full documentary to be broadcast on Big Centre Television across the Midlands, the programme would cover a special anniversary weekend to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Beacon Radio in which many former presenters reunited for a weekend of retro programming on Wolverhampton’s 101.8 WCRfm.

Big Centre changed ownership soon after this filming took place, before the documentary could be finally produced. The new owners made it clear that they were interested only in Birmingham-centric material going forward. Nevertheless, all of the privately-recorded footage was safely retained and eventually developed into this series of mini-programmes, with each one planned to focus on one presenter or team. Ultimately this new series will now be able to feature much more interview material than the original idea for the documentary would have done.

The ‘Radio Stories’ series began with an additional ‘special’ pilot episode with Jim Duncan, who was celebrating his own 40th Anniversary in Radio during 2018. The series then continued in 2020 showcasing the original interviews. Some interviews are longer than others due to time constraints in the radio studios at the time, but each interview is presented in its entirety, with only brief editing for cosmetic purposes and to help with the flow.

Plans were being put into place during the early part of 2020 to gather more interviews both from those who we didn’t speak to first time round, or even revisiting and expanding upon some of those we did in 2016. Sadly those plans had to be paused due to the Pandemic. But keep watching this page, or the UpAndHappy! Facebook Page, for updates!

All interviews were filmed at the WCRfm Studios in Wolverhampton, and these programmes feature short snippets of the anniversary radio shows as broadcast on WCRfm.

A big Thank You to Andy Walters who arranged and co-ordinated the anniversary weekend and provided a shed load of the original jingles. Thanks also to Dave Bell from the original “Beacon-Radio-Memories” group who provided the additional images which help to illustrate those famous presenters in their younger years – Dave helps to organize the official reunion parties attended by so many of the original Beacon people. And finally, thanks to Nik Andrews (Andrews Creative) and Norman Bartlam (TNT – The News Team) who helped film it all.

Produced and Directed by Lee Bannister who had worked at Beacon Radio from 1989-2000, alongside many of the famous names he interviewed for this series.

So here are the programmes. If you watch them here, simply choose which one you want to watch from the small icons below, and it’ll start playing in the big screen. Don’t forget to hit the subscribe button and smash the bell for notifications!

… and scroll down for a few extra words from some of the featured presenters …

Since these videos went public, a number of the interviewees have been in touch…

Andy Wint
What a surprise to see the chat we had in 2016 now featuring on YouTube. Many thanks for your effort in doing this – my daughters are very impressed. When the current circumstances are forgotten I hope to be back to catch up with everyone again.

Stuart Hickman
Thanks very much for doing this, I’d love to do more at some point if we get the chance, so many stories from that time.

Dave Myatt (Myatt & Perry)
“Well done on putting these together you’ve done a great job with the edits. I do realise just how much time goes into making these kind of productions actually work!

KKJ – Kris Kennedy Jnr.
I just wanted to say thank you for that interview that you put together I have just seen it and to be honest I had forgotten about it in all the excitement of being back in a radio studio again. I have had so much lovely feed back on the video, I must say very professionally put together, You certainly hit the sweet spot Lee. My only regret is that I didn’t mention my biggest accolade while working at Beacon was being invited down to Buckingham Palace to meet Prince Charles as a thank you for raising so much money for charity in 1979.

Thanks guys – it’s lovely to know you like the programmes!

More to come soon…