Kingy or JK to friends is a broadcaster with over 25 years on air experience.
London’s Heart 106.2 long before it was owned by Global. The Breeze solo jock demo and a breakfast demo with Caz Perry recorded in Basingstoke, that lead to an offer of breakfast and program controller in Torquay. Tough job to turn but I did just that.
Radio 2 United Arab Emirates – A job 8 months in the making! I was invited to apply in July 2016 and in March 2017 I was on a plane heading for the soon to relaunch Radio 1 and 2. Abu Media is a nicely resourced business, still the challenge of getting two radio stations on air in 2 weeks cannot be under estimated…. Boy did we grow in that first week! Soon after joining I was appointed deputy program director.
My show ‘style’ demo was recorded in my Shropshire voice over studio and the songs added afterwards.
Back in August 2016 and I was invited to apply for a job in the United Arab Emirates at the soon to be relaunched Radio 2, which is now under the control of the frequency owners Abu Dhabi Media. I put together a general demo, had a telephone interview and within 2 weeks of moving into my new house I was offered the drive job with a September start date which came and went. Experience means I know things can take a while to sort in the Emirates, come December everything was go again and formal offers where made early February 2017.
2016 started with 3 weeks daytime cover at the Wireless Groups flagship station in Stoke-on-Trent, Signal 1. This led to a regular Saturday breakfast show and cover shifts on the groups local stations that broadcast from Wigan, Chesterfield and back to where his radio career began in Wolverhampton at Signal 107. All this alongside covering various shifts on the Wireless Group Network which can be heard across the UK by almost 5 million people. Jason has also provided freelance cover to The Breeze for the Celador Group
After the Real Radio network became Heart Jason found himself back freelancing. His first booking led to a job offer at kmfm in Kent, a family owned business on the edge of the London market. In June 2014 Jason relocated from Nottingham and spent 19 months presenting the weekday afternoon show from 12pm-4pm, consistently out-performing the stations average market share.
Salford Quays in Manchester was Jason’s weekend home for 12 months as the Real Radio Network prepared to join Global Radio and become Heart FM. Jason knew that the job wouldn’t last forever and expected it to last for 3 or 4 months, what started out as just 2 weekend shows ended up as 5 network shows a week. Jason did the last local show on Real Radio in the North West before it became Heart the following day. It was a privilege to broadcast to North and South Wales, the North West, Yorkshire, the North East and Scotland across the year.
As well as providing cover to Real Radio Jason also popped up on Rock FM, Radio Aire and rather a lot on Viking FM in Hull, which reunited him on air with his good friend Steve Jordan who he’d worked with first time around in Nottingham. It wasn’t unusual for Jason to cover the drive show on Viking finishing at 7pm and then drive 2 hours to Manchester check into a hotel, then look after overnights on the Real Radio network. Over Christmas and New Year 2013 /2014 Jason managed 21 days away from home working, only returning for a few hours on Christmas day to have lunch with his parents and a little snooze.
Whilst working at Key 103 Jason had toyed with the idea of working aboard again and the logical place to go was the United Arab Emirates. It was sunny and hot (make that very hot), exciting and the salary was tax free. After making contact with the boss of Channel 4 he was told they liked what he did on air but didn’t have anything at the time. Fast forward 6 months and a job was advertised, he applied and got the offer whilst walking around Central Park in New York having just finished his four year stint at Key 103. Two months later he was on a plane heading for the sand and a new life, and what a fun 20 months it turned out to be, firstly on the drive show and then breakfast.
Jason returned to the UK in Summer 2012 to attend Bournemouth Commercial Flight Training fulltime for 6 months of solid classroom work studying for the 14 ATPL exams or Commercial Pilot exams if you’d rather. He managed to pass 11 out of the 14 exams which wasn’t a bad result for a guy with 3 o’levels to his name and answered the question could he turn his aviation hobby into a 2nd career?
Whilst working at Trent FM an advert appeared for a mid-morning presenter at Key 103 in Manchester. Jason ignored it for a couple of weeks as he thought he wasn’t good enough to get a job like that. After a couple of interviews Gary Stein called up and offered him his dream job in what is probably the best city in the UK.
Key 103 was a great place to work and Jason is very proud to have been part of the team that won the Sony Award for Station of the Year in 2008. His show regularly got the peak audience of the day and remained commercial number one in the market place for all but one survey period during his 3 years presenting from 10am-1pm. After the mid-morning show Jason presented the late show for 10 months before leaving Key 103 and moving to Dubai to present breakfast on Coast 103.2.
A move across town to Trent FM came about when Luis Clark joined the station as the boss, he’d previously tried several times to recruit Jason whilst he was in charge of Invicta FM in Kent. A couple of chats at the Slug and Lettice in Nottingham led to an offer to present the afternoon show from 12pm-4pm, it’s the only time a programme director has called at Jason’s home to collect the signed contract.
Trent FM was a hugely successful station with Jo and Twiggy on breakfast, Mark Dennison on mid-morning, Jason on afternoon and Richard Clarke and Lucy Horobin (Jason’s old travel girl at 106) on the drive home. Rich, Lucy and Jason all left the station at the end of December 2006 to join Key 103 in Manchester which was a tricky time as the management weren’t too happy that 50% of the line-up was about to head to the North West.
In September 2000 Jason relocated from Germany to Nottingham to join 106 Century FM which had recently been purchased by the Capital Radio Group. He was invited to be part of the new line up and presented 10am-1pm which could be heard in Nottingham, Leicester and Derby in the East Midlands. He later moved to 2pm-4pm and finally to the drive show before departing across town to 96 Trent FM. 106 Century FM had a great team on air and off air and ‘the magic’ that makes a station great and remains one of Jason’s favourite stations.
As his 12 month breakfast deal at B97 came to an end, Jason decided to have a look around at what opportunities might on offer and found himself in the lovely position of having 3 contract offers on the table, one to stay in Bedford, another to move to Invicta FM in Kent and the one he decided to sign with BFBS (British Forces Broadcasting Service).
Joining BFBS meant a move to Germany to present the drive show before moving to breakfast for around 18 months. During his time with BFBS Jason worked in Kosovo for 3 months and received a NATO Medal for this. After 2 years Jason was offered a fresh 2-year deal that would have involved a move to Cyprus but he decided it was time to get back into the commercial world and take up the mid-morning show on the East Midlands regional station 106 Century FM.
After doing drive shows for around 6 years the next logical step was a fulltime breakfast show. The GWR Group had been talking to Jason about various roles for several months before a breakfast show offer arrived. Working under the PC Derek Flood, Jason learnt an awful lot about radio in 12 months from the daily show meetings and listening to various other breakfast shows from around the UK and beyond on Derek’s collection of C90 chrome cassettes!
Sadly Jason doesn’t have any audio from his breakfast shows on B97 Chiltern FM.
Jason’s sister went to University in Southampton which meant regular drives to the south coast to see her and that meantlistening to Fox FM on the journey south. In 1995 Jason sent a demo to the station in Oxford and despite some pretty serious competition he landed the drive show. Fox was at the time his dream station as it sounded so together, the team working at it was one of the best he’s worked with, it was also the station where he first met Neil Kefford who remains a great friend to this day.
As a teenager Jason grew up and went to school in Wolverhampton. Beacon Radio was on his paper round, little did he know that his radio career would start at 267 Tettenhall Road, Wolverhampton. He initially helped out on Ricky Kirby’s Sunday night show on WABC and then started working behind the scenes on the Saturday sport show, before learning the equipment and playing the local adverts on shows that went out in both the West Midlands and Shropshire. Working with people like Dale Winton, Stephen Rhodes, Myatt and Perry, Graham Hall, Nigel Freshman and Will Tudor – Pretty much the whole Beacon line up.
Being in the station a lot allowed Jason to make demo tapes and finally Pete Wagstaff give him a chance to present a one off overnight shift as Pete Clements had called in sick. This led to a regular Sunday breakfast shift and cover on Beacon and then the offer of the drive show on WABC which was Beacon’s oldies station where he remained for four years before moving to Oxford and Fox FM.
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