Tuesday, 28 October 2014


Andy Craig (left), Elton John (centre), and Giles Squire (right).


Now then, it has been a while since a former Metro Radio presenter has contacted the site directly, so it is a big "thumbs up" to Andy Craig who many will remember from his presentation work on Metro Radio in the late seventies. Andy was also a newsreader, in-vision continuity announcer at Tyne Tees Television and presenter of news magazine Northern Life at around the same time. This is what Andy had to say.

Neil Robinson gave me my first break. I had studied Agriculture at Newcastle University and graduated in June 1976. I went off to find fame and fortune, got some shifts with Radio 210 Thames Valley Broadcasting (the home of Mike Read and Steve Wright) before returning to the North East. Neil was a farmer in Slaley and liked the fact that I could talk his language....I got the job!

I joined (Metro Radio) in the late summer 1976 as an assistant to Geoff Brown, and Geoff and I went on to programme all the daily strip shows for almost two years to guarantee the station sound. The programme controller Mick Johnson didn't believe that the presenters could be trusted to choose their own music. True in some cases!

I was instrumental in helping produce the Gentle on Your Mind jingle package which used the John Miles break from 'Music' as the news jingle. Geoff Brown was constantly looking for inspiration and I brought in my own collection of soul and jazz sounds to entice him....One of them by Young Holt Unlimited 'Soulful Strut' made it through to the Metro New Sound jingle.....How we got away with it!!

I made it to air with 'Simply Soul' with the soul show long after Big Phil had gone. I think it was on a Thursday night.

I stayed at Metro until 1978 when I joined Tyne Tees. Initially in continuity and then News. I went on to front Northern Life with Tom Coyne (and on my own at the tender age of 27).
I then moved to Central ITV in Nottingham and anchored the news in the Midlands for close on ten years before moving to BBC Pebble Mill and Daytime Live. Then it was on to launch the ITV franchise Meridian, hosting Meridian tonight for thirteen years. In between I hosted TV-am with Anne Diamond, countless weeks of This Morning with Fern...and for some reason a whole raft of game shows including Sporting Triangles (ITV), One False Move (Sky), Going Going Gone (BBC1) BrainWave (BBC2), Search Line Special with Cilla.....and so on and so on.

Perhaps most interestingly I invested wisely and went on to own
and be lead shareholder in seven Independent Local Radio Stations. I launched several newspapers and then floated the whole lot on the AIM London Stock Market.

As you can see I am Chairman and shareholder of a company that is still pioneering in the broadcast world with most of its work in the United States. It's a fascinating business.

I have some interesting early photos at Metro which I will look out and some amazing memories. Including meeting Mohammed Ali who wanted to take away the song he had heard on Metro as he was driven to the studios. I gave him the K-Tel album from which the track was played.....you wouldn't argue would you.

Finally if you look at the 40 year YouTube video there is a 'still' before Giles makes his speech. That is yours truly with Giles.....and could it be Elton John under the hat? 

All the best

Andy Craig. 

Contact Andy via this website: www.ionoco.com                         

And thanks to you Andy for contacting the website. Good to hear from you!

No comments:

Post a Comment