Monday, April 21, 2014

Top Five Things Tony Blackburn Can Say...But YOU Can't!


There's no two ways about it...Tony Blackburn is a radio legend! When you think Tony Blackburn, you hear his strong, distinctive voice resonating in your head welcoming you to the exciting new sound of Radio One.

Every young presenter has a "muse" or somebody they want to be like.  I know so many people that pattern themselves on Tony Blackburn because, well, he is radio in the United Kingdom.  The problem is that there's a certain level of radio patter that ONLY Tony Blackburn can get away with.  There's phrases and keywords that I hear Tony Blackburn say and it warms my heart...but when I hear anybody else say it my toes curl so much I have to buy new socks and shoes.  Tony's style has been moulded over many, many years and totally suits his personality, so for anyone else to say a "Blackburn-Ism" just sounds wrong because it doesn't have the legacy behind it.

So here, in no  particular order, are five phrases that Tony Blackburn can say...but you most definitely can't.

1. "Coming up to the top of the hour..."
When have you ever asked what the time is and somebody's told you "it's twenty minutes to the top of the hour".  It's not a real phrase to use.  Radio is about being as real and relate able as possible.  Neither is our number two...

2. "Seven and a half minutes past the hour..."
Seriously, when has ANYBODY in your workplace or at home pointed out the rough location of the second-hand?  Doesn't happen, no need to say it.  However Tony Blackburn became very distinctive on air by saying the time in this way, even getting the station name into the timecheck as well is a bit part of his repertoire.

3. "Great to have you all out there!"
Radio is a personal medium.  You' talk to just one person and the moment you say "all" or "everybody" it destroys that personal relationship.  It's like when you're out for a night with a few friends and you're having an intimate conversation with somebody about your bad breath, and that somebody suddenly turns around and starts talking to everybody else about your halitosis.  For Tony Blackburn, however, his years and years on air and the way he orchestrates his show lends itself to welcoming "everyone" to the show.

4. "Here's a little bit of..."
Only a little bit of Katy Perry?  Just the opening seconds of that classic A-Ha track?  Surely you want to play the whole song, no?  You don't play "a little bit", you play the whole thing!

5. "Pop-Pickers!"
To be a "Pop-Picker" one must "pick" the "pop" - ie, select the songs.  Outside of a request show it makes no sense...within a request show it still sounds naff.  Tony Blackburn, the host of Pick Of The Pops, is more than allowed to say this...I mean, his show is CALLED Pick Of The Pops!


If you're an upcoming presenter, I hope that soaks in.  If you're Tony Blackburn, please know I am a massive fan and wouldn't have you any other way!

As always, your thoughts on my scribblings are welcome via my Twitter, Pop-Pickers...oh, darnit!