‘TEAM’ John Myers Radio Days
John Myers is a name many will be familiar with he has been featured on television documentaries concerning the commercial radio industry and was for a time the head of Red Rose Radio in Preston, Lancashire. John has just written his Autobiography : ‘TEAM’ Its Only Radio published by Kenton Publishing. The book is an absolutely hilarious account of John’s life and times in the radio business and it contains many outrageous insights into how the industry ran back in the eighties and nineties which is when I met John Myers. Today we have Psychic radio ‘phone in shows all over the UK but few people know that it was John Myers that started this working with myself and the Bolton based psychic-medium James Byrne.
The year was 1991 and John Myers was the Programme Controller at Red Rose Radio, I recall listening to his morning show as I drove into work for Lancashire County Council. At the time I was working with James Byrne trying to get his career as a professional stage psychic-medium off the ground. In those days it was really quite difficult as there was no widespread acceptance of psychics, in fact many were openly hostile as James and I discovered. However it was John Myers that gave us a really positive opportunity when he called and suggested that James Byrne come into the studio at Red Rose Radio and broadcast a ninety minute show featuring him giving callers psychic messages. It was the first time that any commercial radio station had broadcast such a show and it caused quite a sensation. On the night the radio station was surrounded by Bible waving protestors demanding that the show be banned. The press had created a big storm of trouble for us by running a headline stating DEVIL WORSHIPPERS COME TO TOWN. That didn’t help.
The first broadcast on Red Rose Radio of James Byrne passing messages from beyond the veil was a sensation and it made the national press. John Myers himself was so impressed that he offered James a regular show a late night psychic ‘phone in and suddenly a door had opened and a new era for psychic presentations had begun. Within a matter of months commercial radio stations around the UK were running their own versions of our show. But it was John Myers that had the foresight and vision to make the decision and he contacted me to do it with him, using my then client the brilliant psychic-medium James Byrne.
The book by John Myers contains some really unusual admissions that opened my eyes to what really was going on back in the golden era of commercial radio. If you were around then in the late eighties I am sure you will recall the endless competitions that these local radio stations ran. The prizes were often really worth winning with brand new cars and amazing five star holidays on offer. But it was how these competitions were eventually won that will surprise you. I won’t spoil the fun by telling you too much but let me just say that all was not quite what is appeared to be. Plus there were often serious mishaps as the radio stations made mistakes whilst trying to control the outcome of their competitions. On one occasion the station ran a crazy competition requiring callers to guess the number of onions packed into a French Renault car, a brand new on at that. So they actually did pack the raw onions into said car in the middle of an August heat wave and yes, they started to go off big style so that before anyone could win the car it had been virtually ruined by its content of by now rotten onions. How mad is that?
John Myers moved on from Red Rose Radio to run a commercial station in Carlisle his home town. So when I booked James Byrne in for a show at The Sands Centre it seemed to me a good idea to ask John Myers if he would run the Psychic ‘Phone In show a few times in the weeks leading up to James appearing at The Sands Centre. As ever Mr. Myers was delighted to help and joined in the fun we had presenting James Byrne on his new radio station. It also proved to be immensely popular with the listeners as long before the date at The Sands Centre we had sold all the tickets. On the night of the show John Myers was kind enough to introduce James Byrne on stage and it was a great night.
There are within John’s book many wise observations concerning the presentation of a radio show. John writes of painting pictures in the mind of the listener by descriptive language and a certain tone that is hard to define but is instantly recognised. Having worked with many of the biggest names in the radio business John Myers is uniquely positioned to direct and advise any aspiring radio presenter. The thing is John knows all the tricks, he invented most of them and in his book he openly discusses some of the incredible stunts he pulled over the years. There are stories about outside broadcasts that were virtually totally faked in the studio and because he knew how to do it no one ever discovered he truth, until now. So if you have any aspirations at all of being a radio psychic or presenter get John’s book and pay attention to how not to do it. On one occasion the rather manic Mr. Myers used a heavy metal chain and padlock to secure the front entrance of BBC Radio Cumbria where he was working. On the front door he placed a sign announcing that is was for sale due to lack of public interest. The next morning the first crew of the day arrived at 5am but were unable to get in thanks to John’s joke. He escaped the wrath of management by resorting to direct denial. You just need to read this book it is very funny.
Many years have passed since James Byrne and I first went to Red Rose Radio and since then the commercial presentation of psychic mediums has moved on to television. Indeed I myself was featured on TV3 in Ireland doing an infomercial two hour show called Psychic Readings Live. This was actually filmed live in a huge studio in the middle of Budapest, Hungary and broadcast on TV all across Ireland. I was on my own for the full two hours taking calls from the public in Ireland and giving them psychic messages and insights. I did eight straight two hour shows and the programme producers were impressed with the figures so within days of my return to the UK I was offered a long term contract and sent plane tickets to fly back. Unfortunately the Irish broadcasting authority did not like the show and it was taken off air. What we really needed was John Myers to sort them out in his very own personal way. To find out how John manages to manipulate situations read his book.
You can purchase the book ‘TEAM: It’s Only Radio’ by John Myers published by Kenton Publishing ISBN 978-0-9546223-9-8 All proceeds go to charity 100% is divided between Cancer Research in memory of John’s father, The Radio Academy and also Radio Tyneside a radio station in Newcastle for those in hospital. The book is available signed direct from John Myers himself just visit John’s website www.myersmedia.co.uk cost is £10 including postage. Or look on Amazon or visit the publishers website WWW.Kentonpublishing.co.uk or by sending John an email Book@myersmedia.co.uk