Richard Skinner (broadcaster)

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Richard Skinner
Born (1951-12-26) 26 December 1951 (age 62)
Portsmouth, England, UK
Years active 1970–present

Richard Skinner (born 26 December 1951) is a British radio and television broadcaster.

He was the opening announcer and TV anchor at the Live Aid concert, and is the only presenter to have fronted all three of the 'flagship' BBC pop music programmes, TV's The Old Grey Whistle Test and Top of the Pops and the Radio One Top 40 show.[1][2]

Early career[edit]

Richard grew up in Portsmouth where attended Portsmouth Grammar School.[3] He was a founder member of Portsmouth Hospital Broadcasting, which first went on air in April 1970. After studying newspaper journalism at Highbury Technical College he began his career at the local paper 'The News'. He then moved to the Erith Observer newspaper in Kent and at the same time appeared briefly on BBC Radio Medway, before joining the staff of BBC Radio Solent in October 1971 as a presenter of music programmes (including the weekly pop show Beat 'n Track) and news reader.

Radio 1[edit]

Skinner joined BBC Radio 1 in the autumn of 1973 as one of the original presenters of Newsbeat.[4] He continued in this role until 1980, when he started presenting music programmes for Radio 1, taking over the Monday-Thursday evening show from Mike Read. At the same time Skinner continued with Newsbeat as a studio producer and also worked as an in-vision continuity announcer for Thames Television.

In late 1981, Skinner became presenter of Radio 1's Rock On magazine show on Saturday afternoons and Roundtable on Friday evenings, on which he and guests would review the week's new releases. He continued with this until late 1985.

In addition to Roundtable, from 1983 Skinner presented the Saturday Live show from 4 - 6.30pm alongside Andy Batten-Foster.

On 30 September 1984, 17 years to the day after Radio 1 began, Skinner took over the Sunday afternoon Top 40 show, also broadcast on FM, on the same day that David Jensen, who had just left Radio 1, started presenting The Network Chart Show on commercial radio in competition.

He presented the year-end Top 40 of the year countdown on Radio 1 for both 1984 and 1985, including playing the previously banned Frankie Goes to Hollywood track "Relax" during the 1984 countdown.

On BBC television, he presented Top of the Pops and Whistle Test, and also played two roles in the Band Aid and Live Aid phenomenon of the 1980s.

Instead of publicising new Boomtown Rats release as planned, Bob Geldof announced the creation of the Band Aid project on Skinner's Radio 1 show in 1984.

Then on 13 July 1985, Skinner made the opening announcement at Live Aid ("It's twelve noon in London ...") as the event got underway. He also fronted the first hours of BBC TV's Bafta Award winning coverage.[5]

Capital FM[edit]

In the spring of 1986, Skinner left Radio 1 to join Capital Radio, and was replaced on the chart show by Bruno Brookes. At Capital, he presented on its FM Album Rock station CFM and hosted The Way It Is - Capital's equivalent of Radio 1's Newsbeat.

Return to Radio 1[edit]

In October 1988, when Radio 1 - which had acquired its own FM transmitters - extended its hours, Skinner rejoined the station to host a midnight show to play an eclectic mix of album oriented music. In late 1989, Skinner took over the Saturday afternoon Radio 1 show the 'Saturday Sequence' from Roger Scott following the latter's early death from cancer. In 1991 Skinner also took over the helming of Scott's series Classic Albums.

In April 1990, he left the midnight show to be replaced by Bob Harris, but continued with the Saturday Sequence, where he remained until 1991, when Johnnie Walker took over.

GLR[edit]

From the turn of the 1990s, while still at Radio 1, Skinner also presented a daily show on BBC GLR, a mix of music, recorded and live, and live interviews from pop to politics. This continued until the end of December 1992.

Virgin Radio[edit]

On 1 January 1993, he joined the launch team at Virgin Radio, working as joint programme director, head of music and mid-morning presenter. On launch day 30 April 1993, he hosted the station's first programme. His weekday morning show ran from then until the autumn of 1996.

Magic[edit]

After a short spell at London's Liberty Radio as breakfast presenter alongside Carol McGiffin, in 1997 Skinner joined London's Melody FM, which later became Magic 105.4, presenting the mid-morning show for six years until September 2003. In August 2013 Skinner returned to Magic 105.4 to provide cover for holidaying presenters. Skinner also continued to provide cover in 2014.

Virgin Radio Classic Rock[edit]

In late 2003, Skinner was freelancing at the south-coast station Wave 105. Then in early 2004 he rejoined Virgin Radio on the London digital station Virgin Radio Classic Rock, where he hosted the mid-morning show, which was initially recorded, but broadcast live from mid-2005. During this period, he provided holiday cover on Virgin Radio. He left when live programming on Virgin Radio Classic Rock was abandoned in December 2005.

Classic Gold/BBC Radio Berkshire[edit]

After freelancing on the Classic Gold network, in April 2006 Skinner joined BBC Radio Berkshire to host the Saturday and Sunday mid-morning programmes. During this time he also covered for holidaying presenters. He left on 6 January 2008.

Original 106[edit]

In January 2008, Skinner joined Original 106 as mid-morning presenter and remained in the slot until November 2008, when the station was rebranded as The Coast by its new owners Celador. He briefly moved to weekend afternoons before leaving the station in December 2008.

XFM[edit]

Skinner joined XFM in January 2009 to present the station's networked mid-morning show in London and Manchester - leaving at the end of August 2011.

Absolute Radio 70s[edit]

It was announced in an Absolute Radio press release on 18 October 2011 that Richard Skinner would be part of the launch team on Absolute Radio 70s. He hosted the opening show for the station at 10am on 29 November.

Miscellaneous[edit]

Skinner is married to Deborah ('Delightful' Deborah in the Steve Wright Posse on BBC Radio 1 in the 1980s) and has two sons - Christopher (born 1977) and Jamie (born 1996).

References[edit]

  1. ^ "TOTP Archive of Presenters". BBC TOTP. 2009-01-31. Retrieved 2009-01-31. 
  2. ^ "Radio Rewind - Richard Skinner". Radio Rewind. 2009-01-31. Retrieved 2009-01-31. 
  3. ^ Sheila Tracy (1983). Who’s who on radio. Worlds Work Ltd. ISBN 0-437-17600-2. 
  4. ^ http://www.radiorewind.co.uk/radio1/richard_skinner_page.htm
  5. ^ http://liveaid.free.fr/rewind/complete/pages/richardskinner.html
Media offices
Preceded by
Simon Bates
BBC Radio One
chart show presenter

30 September 1984 - 23 March 1986
Succeeded by
Bruno Brookes