After an audition which featured the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and the words "Sprouts and Marmite? Yuck!" Andrew Paul Bowden was given a prime time slot (Sunday lunch, noon-2pm) on Durham's student radio station, Purple FM.
The award of the show was astonishing, mainly as Andrew was bobbins, but none the less, the show went ahead and in October 1997, The Sunday Anti-Climax was born during Purple's one month broadcast.
It's amazing success lead to Andrew to apply for a late night slot, playing weird and obscure stuff, album tracks and b-sides, in the station's next on air stint in February 1998. He was awarded the 12-2am slot on Tuesday nights.
However it was not to be. The lure of sponsorship money from a networked show pushed all the 12-2 occupants off to other slots and at the last minute, Andrew was asked to do 6am-8am, Wednesday and Friday mornings. Or so he was told.
For some reason, Wednesdays disappeared and Andrew was given just Fridays, although to add to the confusion, student newspaper, Palatinate, printed that Andrew's show (Wake Up With Bods) would be on air, Thursdays and Fridays.
In the end, the prospect of having no listeners lead to a more relaxed show, with the team messing around doing stupid sketches and features, as well as being able to leave the studio at 8 and spend the rest of the day in lectures, acting like a zombie after getting up at 5am.
Purple's existing financial and organizational problems built up, and in the end, the station merged with a smaller rival society, Durham Student Radio. Andrew stood for Head Of Music in the new society but failed to get it, coming in a close second. Shame as the bloke who won it was a right prat and did a crap job.
The station made another abortive attempt to get on air in February 1999, was stifled by two incompetent society exec members, and the station eventually set its eyes on a small broadcast in June 1999.
For the next broadcast, Andrew longed to do a music review show and ended up doing a demo in Richard Kirk's (the stations very competent Head of Programmes) bedroom. It went wonderfully and the team got the go ahead for the show.
After discussing other scheduling requirements, Andrew rather jokingly said he could always do the Tuesday breakfast show. Unfortunately the schedulers took it seriously and offered the job, later asking Andrew o do Thursday instead, before they decided to try to get him to do both shows as well as the Wednesday night review show. Seven hours of programming... They were of course very mad...
Richard Kirk didn't think he mad, saying at the time:
"Bods passed his audition because he sounded competent with the equipment, and didn't bore. He had a natural talent for being smooth and getting round technical hitches without drawing attention to them."
Andrew's response was...
"Well I would have wondered if Richard had actually listened to the demo tape had it not been for the fact that he was in the room at the same time as I did it!"
Alas, none of the shows got on air. The station failed to get on air as the proposed dates for broadcast clashed with that of Galaxy FM. Everyone was disappointed. Lots of people had put a lot of effort in and to be knocked back was very annoying.
As it was Andrew's final year in Durham it was not to be again, and a glittering career never happened. The public should probably be glad of this.
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