Richard Park (broadcaster)
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10 March 1948 (age 70)|
Kirkcaldy, Scotland, United Kingdom
Director of Wildstar Records|
Director of Park Management
Director of Park Records
Group Executive Director & Director of Broadcasting Global (2007–present)
Richard Park (born 10 March 1948) is a British media personality and businessman, who is Executive Director of Global Radio. He was previously a media consultant and broadcaster in the UK and has also made appearances as the 'Headmaster' of BBC TV's Fame Academy programmes.
Voted most influential person in the music industry by Record and Radio Industry Executives in 2001, Park began his career as a Pirate DJ on offshore station Radio Scotland in 1966. Later he joined the fledgling BBC Radio 1 network presenting such programmes as The Radio 1 Club and Round Table show.
In the mid-1970s, he joined Radio Clyde specialising in music and sport programming working his way up to be Head of Entertainment. He also hosted a show named 'Doctor Dick's Midnight Surgery' which was featured a phone-in in which listeners could win "Doctor Dick's 12-incher". Park also became the station's regular football commentator, working alongside summariser James Sanderson.
In 1996, he formed Wildstar Records, uniting Capital and Telstar Records. As Director, he was responsible for signing Craig David. In 1997, he was responsible along with executives from LWT for creating the short-lived television show "Live From The Capital Cafe" which was simulcast on Capital Radio. Presented by Dani Behr & Jason Bradbury the 90min show broadcast just after 11pm on Friday nights lasted only four weeks, it did not return for a second season.
In 2001, after 14 years with Capital, he left to set up his own consultancy company, Park Management. Two years later, he set up Park Records, a joint venture with Universal Music. He was also Radio Consultant for Emap, working on Magic and Big City networks. In 2004 and 2005, Park appeared on London's LBC 97.3 as presenter of their Weekend Breakfast Show and stood-in for James O'Brien on the mid-morning weekday phone-in. In the Summer of 2005, he also presented a series of Saturday sports shows on talkSPORT discussing a wide range of sporting topics including football, cricket, rugby and tennis. He appeared as himself in the 2005 Christmas special of The Catherine Tate Show. Lauren and her friends perform a version of the Black Eyed Peas' "Shut Up", which is met with harsh negative comments by Richard.
In 2007, after joining Global Radio, he controversially removed the entertainment programming from LBC 97.3 to turn it into a topical talk station. For example, the popular straight-to-air part of Clive Bull's show was stopped and replaced by a newspaper review. The policy led to negative publicity after Jeni Barnett's treatment of the subject of MMR vaccination was criticised by Ben Goldacre.
Park appeared in both series of BBC TV's Fame Academy as the "Headmaster", and gained a reputation for both his harsh criticisms of the students, and his long running on-screen feud with presenter Patrick Kielty. This came to a head during the 2005 series of Comic Relief does Fame Academy, where his scathing remarks about the contestants, who were all appearing solely to raise money for charity, caused them to threaten a walk-out.
The BBC eventually received 450 viewer complaints after Park made an offensive hand gesture to host Patrick Kielty on live television during the Saturday evening charity programme. The incident, broadcast well before the watershed at 7pm, came after Park criticised Kielty for "sycophantically stroking" the egos of the contestants. As the camera cut to co-host Cat Deeley, Park was pictured in the background mouthing the word "wanker" before making the accompanying gesture. The BBC issued an apology, and said he had not realised he was on camera at the time.
- The Radio Academy "Fellows" Archived 24 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine.
- Manchester Evening News report on Park's offensive hand gesture to Kielty