I thought that it was about time to look back at some more radio presenters who I have enjoyed over the years. Nick Abbot was among the launch line-up on BBC GLR in the late-80s. This was long before I was a regular radio listener, and this station has gone on to have lots of of relaunches. I first came across Nick in the late-90s, when he was a presenter on both Virgin and Talk Radio, and I can’t think of many other people who have been on two separate national radio stations at the same time.
Nick was on Saturday evenings on Talk Radio, following Baker and Kelly’s football phone-in. I did enjoy his style, he often said “we don’t do topics”, and he didn’t usually discuss what was on the news agenda. For some reason that even he didn’t know, his opening theme was the rather noisy “The Beautiful People” by Marilyn Manson. I remember that he said that on the first radio show he did, he received no calls at all. And even by this point he always seemed to get the same three callers, which was rather awkward for a national station.
One of them was some woman from Cheddar who always thought that Nick was “very ‘fessional”. Nick also often bickered with his producer who he claimed was “useless”. And he was very found of his sound clips, often playing strange noises, and some were taken from early episodes of South Park, including Cartman saying “what?!” when he didn’t know what a caller was on about, which was rather often.
One of the most surreal moments that I’ve heard on the radio happened on Nick’s show. During the news, there was a report on sheepdip, which the presenter mispronounced as “sheepdick”. Nick found this amusing and turned this into a sound clip that was often played. Then not long after, the presenter made the same mistake again, and then made it even worse when trying to correct himself: “sheepdick… oh, er… sheep… dick… er, ooh”. And when they went back to Nick he laughed for about a minute.
Nick would often end his show with “screenless”, where callers were put to air without being asked what they wanted to talk about in advance (Tommy Boyd later got a whole three-hour show out of this idea). He could only put up with people for a few seconds though because of their bizarre outbursts, and he often wondered “who are these people?”. Not long after, Nick was moved to weekday evenings, so he was on five days a week on two stations, which was good.
But this only lasted for a short time as he was let go from Talk Radio following some schedule restructuring. And then he resurfaced on LBC (when this was still a London-only station) where he presented a Saturday evening show alongside Carol McGiffin, an ex-wife of Chris Evans. Nick and Carol did get on well, having worked together on Talk Radio too, but once again they only ever seemed to get the same three callers every week.
And once again he left after a short while, and I didn’t hear much about him for years. But then he returned to LBC on weekend evenings, where although he did now discuss the news agenda, he did have a little more light-hearted take on politics than most of the other presenters. It’s good to know that he’s still out there, and he is still playing those silly South Park clips all the time.