This past year I have tried hard to put smiles on faces on the breakfast shows I do six times a week - Monday to Friday on Peterborough City Radio (PCRfm) in the city, and my Saturday breakfast show on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.
Being on the radio does have its perks despite the early morning alarm calls.
One of the highlights was back in the summer when I had to introduce a plethora of artists on the stage at Newmarket Racecourse, as well as doing backstage interviews (as part of a partnership with BBC Radio Cambridgshire).
It was just as lockdown was being eased, jabs were going into arms and we were allowed to start going out socialising. Suddenly being able to see live music again was such a ‘pinch-me’ moment, even though there were nerves for some.
McFly were awesome, and backstage, totally up for a laugh especially Dougie. The gig they put on was incredible. Olly Murs, Jess Glynne, and Tom Jones were all brilliant too.
But my favourite somehow was Rick Astley. I’d never met him before, but I remember playing his records as a youngster and thinking he was brilliant - meeting him didn’t disappoint.
He was funny, laid back, and so appreciative of his fans who had come out to see him play. When he sang Never Gonna Give You Up, I had never heard a noise quite like it!
Already plans are being announced about next years acts, and I can't wait.
Other wonderful events I was delighted to host included the Central Park music festival, the Peterborough Christmas lights switch on and of course the huge fireworks event at the East of England Showground last month.
Another memorable on-air moment came recently when I interviewed Danny O’Donoghue lead singer of The Script. His sense of fun and passion towards his music really shone through. In his answer to one of my questions, he started quoting lyrics from one of the bands songs (For the First Time) and it struck me what a clever and genuine guy he is - much more intelligent than me.
On a Friday, on PCRfm, we do a thing called the Charity Challenge, where we give cash and interviews to local charities and groups. It’s sponsored by the local builder Princebuild.
Recently we added up how much we’ve donated so far in 2021, totalling close to £5,000 to a huge range of local good causes. It is content like this that makes me so proud to still be presenting on local radio locally after all these years. Don’t ask me how many because I’ve lost count.
Oh, and on a personal level it was also very special to have won two National community radio awards back in October, for best breakfast show and best male presenter.
So, despite it being a very difficult year for all the obvious Covid reasons, my reflections (and best memories at least) in 2021 shall all remain positive.
Merry Christmas everybody.