Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Why He's Still King of Radio; DJ Alan Robson and the Phenomenon That Is Night Owls

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Why He's Still King of Radio; DJ Alan Robson and the Phenomenon That Is Night Owls

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVE MORTON

IF he has one of the most recognisable voices on radio, it's hardly surprising. DJ Alan Robson is celebrating 30 years as host of his ever-popular Night Owls.

And his story in broadcasting goes back even further. A North East institution, the talk-in show attracts thousands of nightly listeners as Alan deals with calls about a myriad of subjects, employing his customary good humour and patience He's also a well-know face on our TV screens, and has rubbed shoulders with some of the biggest names in showbusiness.

Remember When caught up with the DJ.

"I had a traditional upbringing in Benwell. I went to Atkinson Rd Primary, and John Marley School in Newcastle."

says Alan.

So how did he get into radio? "Well, I was a failed rock singer, like a fourth-rate Paul Rodgers, doing the clubs," joked the DJ.

"Then I got into stand-up comedy, and I was pretty good, but I hated doing the same stuff night after night."

A need for Alan to make money some money saw Robson invest in some 'decks' and become a rock DJ around the clubs.

He proved to be a natural, with his easy-going, knowledgeable presentational skills landing him some high-profile gigs, notably Led Zeppelin's last-ever gig at Knebworth in 1979 in front of 200,00 fans.

Metro Radio beckoned and Alan found himself presenting a heavy rock show, which "they put on for one hour, one night a week, between midnight and one in the morning, which shows how important they thought it was!" Meanwhile, Alan was working as a Higher Executive Officer in the Civil Service, managing 20 people.

By 1983, the radio station's late-night phone-in show was on its knees, going from presenter to presenter, when Alan got the call to present Night Owls.

"James Whale had been a big name but was long-gone and the show was really struggling," remembers Alan. "At first I hated it, and didn't know if I'd stick it. Then I decided to do it my own way."

The rest is history, with Robson become a pioneer in the radio world. …

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