(Apologies for the lack of recent updates, I've moved house and it's been a nightmare trying to get back online! All that to come in another posting)
I'd been working full time at Rock FM for three years after they paid for my training. I got to do some amazing things, being involved on the Breakfast shows with Kev Seed, Brian Moore and John Gillmore, producing the sports show in the days when Magic 999 did full match commentaries on PNE, Rovers, Blackpool, Burnley and Wigan. I covered some amazing news stories; the high court appeal of millionaire Owen Oyston, the trial of a Preston nurse accused of killing her husband on Valentines Day in Florida, Tom Finney claiming his knighthood and the sad death of Stanley Matthews to name a few.
The people I worked with both on and off the air were great, welcoming and so much fun. Many remain close friends. I'm so glad I had the opportunity to learn my trade at my local station.
My path to the BBC started with a trip to the University of Central Lancashire, were Rock FM had previously released me to complete the nationally renown Postgraduate Journalism Course. I'd been invited in by course leader Mike Green to explain what it was like working in a commercial radio newsroom. I explained to the students the differences between Rock FM and the BBC. One of the lecturers on the course was the breakfast show presenter on BBC Radio Leeds and we got chatting. I told him how I was getting getting ready for a change after spending so long at St. Paul's Church. He explained how Radio Leeds were advertising for a newsreader and would I be interested in applying?
Eight weeks later I was leaving Preston for Leeds and my first BBC job interview....