As I was tuning in to Dubai Eye on the way to work this week, just as I do every morning, I thought of doing a write-up on this. On ‘what radio means to me’. I, just like so many other people in Dubai, or hey, all over the world, tune in to the radio in the car, at home, in the bathroom, and yes, sometimes at work. As part of this, I’ll need to admit as well – I’m a competition junkie.
My first big win back home, was when JJ Harvey rang me up at 6am and told me that I had a won an all-expenses trip to Sydney to Lady Gaga’s exclusive concert in the Town Hall. With a plus one. It was weird but I was actually more excited to finally meet JJ, Mike and Dom than Lady Gaga herself. These radio DJs, you listen to them every morning. Every morning, for years. You get to know them, and you feel like you know them. But they have no idea who you are. It’s a weird, weird feeling.
When we moved to Dubai and I hadn’t started working yet, I was glued to the radio. I was cooking in the kitchen of our temporary accomodation – Room 2126 Grand Millenium Dubai when Tom and Dan from Dubai 92 rang me after my first ever text out – I had won tickets to Sandance. I was ecstatic. That was a start of a lot of wins over the next 3 years or so.
Look it’s not to say that I listen only to win. It’s just part of it. These guys made driving to work and back, a bit less boring. Sometimes you laugh out loud and you wonder if anybody else was tuning in in the car next to you. My morning tune ins went from channel to channel, depending on my mood. I used to love breakfast with Kenny and Accalia. Then I finally got to see them when I got in the draw for the the trip to, where was it – Turkey? I didn’t dare speak to them though, I was too shy 🙂 I drove all the way to Yas Island for that draw on a schoolnight. Dragged along a dear friend with me as G was out of town. Didn’t win, though I left with a mug and a few other souvenirs. I still use that mug, haha.
Simone Heng. How I miss her 10-1am show on Virgin. I was glued to her show, yes – at work. She was such a cheerful, charming girl. Whenever she had any actual shows I’ll drag G along to go see her. And finally, we got to meet her properly when I won a night out at that Ping Pong place in Wafi. What was it called again? Spin Dubai, that’s right. I remember walking up to her and then began that awkward “You don’t know who I am but ‘I love your show’!” And we actually played ping pong together and that was the highlight of my evening, haha. Was so gutted when she left the country.
Another big girl crush – Alex Hirshi. I moved onto Dubai Eye in the last 2-3 years. Tuning in to Alex and Tim on my way home from work always brought a smile or LOL moment. The bicker between them two, the things Alex says -I loved their show. There was one time at the food festival when they had that longest table thing going on – and I saw her. And I told G. Omg it’s Alex Hirshi. Should I go say hi? I didn’t. Oh dear, what was I thinking. What should I say?
I can go on and on. Every dj, every channel. Brent Black’s famous laugh. That tagline – peace out, home fries. Where does that come from?! Tuning in to Myles till midnight when he used to do the show solo. That moment when I heard a familiar voice on Dubai 92 – Brad from The Edge had moved to Dubai! Tom, dear Tom. He always makes me laugh – though I know he’s not trying to be funny. When Danny, Surina and what was his name? Pee pee lover? Omg, these guys were like a zoo! And who was that hot french guy who then left? I was absolutely gutted when Radio 1 and 2 went off air, just like that. Poof. Heartbroken 🙁 And ah, Business Breakfast – that show is my favourite. Especially when Brandy joined the show. These three – Brandy, Malcolm and Richard, they’re so serious, talking on all these big matters but they can be so funny. My favourite show was when they had the guy come in to talk about that iceberg they wanted to bring in from Antartica to provide fresh drinking water to this region, and she asked them – What if there’s a polar bear on it ?! And I just cracked up laughing. The best bit was the response from the guy – There’re no polar bars in Antartica. Dead serious. I wasn’t sure if she was taking the piss or not but it was sure as hell funny.
Getting a bit long isn’t it, this post. Don’t know where I’m going with it, just one of those random rambles. My tribute to all those who work in the radio industry. Salute. For waking up at crazy hours to entertain us in the early hours. For all the hard work you put in to keep us entertained. For all the competitions you’ve given out to everyone in Dubai and beyond. I may not ever get to meet you but you guys are doing a fab job. Radio means a lot to, a lot of people. You’ve got a lot of fans out there that you don’t even know of 🙂