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40 Things about Radio Clyde

Radio Clyde turned 40 at 1030pm on Hogmanay 2013.

I was 10 when it launched and vividly remember tuning in to the test transmissions on 261 metres on my wee transistor radio in Grangemouth. Then the station went to air and it somehow sounded much more local than I could ever imagined, even though it came from the impossibly glamorous city of Glasgow.

I’ve listened almost daily ever since and thought I’d come up with a list of 40 ‘instant memories’. They’re not exactly in any order – just the way they came to mind.

  • Did Alex Dickson really read all those books he read?
  • Super Scoreboard trouncing Scot – when Scot had commentary
  • Dave Marshall’s sig tune
  • Mark Goodier going on holiday and never coming back
  • Dr Dick’s Midnight Surgery
  • Brian Ford – the epitome of slick on Homeward Bound
  • Half Way Down Robertson Street
  • Captain George patrolling the Conga Line
  • Jim Waugh in the overnight with lots of talk
  • Stick It In Your Ear – the tightest music mag on the radio
  • Richard Park doing football commentary
  • The first time I went in there and thinking OMG
  • The colour red. Everywhere.
  • Kids singing songs for Tiger Tim
  • The recipe on Steve Jones show with Sheila Duffy
  • ‘The Big Day’ with live music all over Glasgow in 1989
  • The early ‘Clyde Festivals’ in Kelvingrove Park
  • The way it sounded huge in the Bobby Hain era
  • Frank Skerret’s turntable going round and round with old songs and bad jokes
  • A local 2-way family favourites – ‘Radio Clyde Worldwide’
  • The way I felt a wee bit disappointed in people who left Clyde to join the BBC
  • Mike Riddoch pointing out the management leaving the building in their helicopter
  • Thinking I’d hit the big time when I was finally allowed on Clyde 2 in 1999
  • Donald Dewar hosting a Friday evening phone in between stints as an MP
  • Ronnie Bergman’s tiny football OB that came in a shopping bag. Ours came in an estate car.
  • Jimmy Mack proudly (and ostentatiously) using a BBC programme box for his show
  • Ross King on the chart on a Saturday morning using an amazing edit of Ah-Ha’s ”The Sun Always Shines on TV”
  • The jingle for Ashfield Motors, featuring a Frank Sinatra soundalike
  • Bill Smith’s old ‘Smithsonian Institute’. Pop fodder & banter it may have been, but I loved it.
  • Billy Sloan’s brilliant Simple Minds programmes around the time of ‘New Gold Dream’.
  • The launch of Clyde FM – a production tour de force
  • The switch from 95.1 to “Stereo Live, 102.5”
  • Riddy on Breakfast. At his best, the Gold Standard of morning shows.
  • Mike Holloway “in your ear”. Nuts but a brilliant music presenter.
  • Donna Summer’s “Love’s Unkind” at Number 2 on Clyde’s Tartan 30. 10 days before it was released.
  • The fact that it had a swimming pool when it moved out to Clydebank.
  • McLaughlin’s Ceilidh, listened to by “grannies oan trannies in single ends and butts & bens…”
  • Lots (and lots) of speech programming
  • A dim memory of Glenn Michael (of Cartoon Cavalcade fame) having a regular show
  • Me Mark Page at his singular best on weekends. I couldn’t understand how he was so knowledgeable about Glasgow until the penny dropped.


There’s a ton of old Clyde audio out there and this set of cuts produced by Bill Padley in 1985 popped up on Soundcloud. In many ways the retrospectives concentrate on the 70s, but in the mid-80s the station was at the peak of it’s powers. I joined the BBC in January that year and moved to Partick and finally became a loyal local listener. It’s fair to say that what they did then influenced everything else I’ve done since. Incidentally, can you name the male lead on these jingles?


Author: johnco

Born in 1963, been involved in radio since 1977.

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