Radio’s Bad Boy Goes Good!
RADIO wild child Robin Banks – famously fired from his Virgin drive show when he told listeners that then boss Chris Evans had ‘passed away’ – has changed to a different channel in his radio career.
In a bizarre career twist, the ‘renegade maverick’ – sacked by more stations than most presenters are likely to work for – is now in high demand as a creative consultant to radio stations in the UK and across the world (currently in India) and as a coach to individual presenters who want to learn how to make great radio. He has also signed his voice to the growing audio production company Music Radio Creative. So does this means the self-styled curse of safe and boring radio programmers has finally mellowed?
“I was always mellow, just a little misunderstood!” jokes Robin, who, at the age of seventeen was the UK’s youngest national DJ on Atlantic 252, and whose off-the-wall style earned him massive ratings and audience approval from millions of fans on radio stations such as Kiss, Xfm and Virgin. But he laughs off any suggestion that he’s become ‘the suited consultant’:
“This isn’t about suits versus creatives. We’re all trying to achieve the same goal – great radio that wins audience and presents a great offer to potential advertisers.
“But frankly, most commercial radio sucks at the moment – it’s lost its creative edge, its being drained of its lifeblood. I walk into radio stations and some are so dull they don’t even have their own station playing!!!”
So where is it all going wrong? And what’s Robin recipe to put it right?
“Radio bosses have a choice, they can either opt for repetitive juke-box style playlists with safe and dull presenters or they can inject a bit of fun into their formats, take some risks and make radio unpredictable again.
“We all have more choice these days – if radio wants to win over listeners from the Spotify generation – one of its biggest challenges at the moment – it needs to grab them by the ears and command their attention.
“But it means taking risks – you don’t get rewards without risk. Beryl and Betty were a risk, but they are now one of the best known radio double acts in the UK; the X-Factor was a massive risk for peak-time Saturday night telly, but it has paid off in spades for SYCO and ITV, boosting ratings and coining in huge advertising revenues.
“There is no better platform than live radio for innovation – you just need the right mix of on-air creativity and risk ready managers; part of my work as a consultant is to get the two sides working together and understanding each other a little more.”
As well as coaching the radio stars of today – and tomorrow – the voice of the Discovery Channel’s most successful show ‘Mythbusters’ has signed as a voice artist with Music Radio Creative. So does this mean we’ve heard the last of Robin Banks the irreverent DJ?
“Voicing brings a new dimension to what I do. I love working with DJ’s and radio stations across the UK and beyond, helping to bring a little sparkle to their voice drops and imaging, as well as working with podcasters and producing audio for websites, and Music Radio Creative is such an exciting and vibrant company to do this with – it has creative in its name and is creative to its roots.
“But there’s still a breakfast show inside this old radio dog yet, and I still get offers, it’s just that I’m a little more choosy about where I want to be and need to be certain that any radio station I sign to genuinely wants Robin Banks the package and isn’t going to put me into a radio straightjacket the minute I set foot in the studio – although I’m sure there are many who may think that would be my most fitting attire!”
“Robin is one of those people you never get bored working with because his personality shines through in every script he delivers,” added Music Radio Creative, Director, Izabela Russell. “He’s a class act on the radio, great fun to work with and has just an amazing voice and vocal delivery.”
You can read Robin’s tops tips for the radio stars of tomorrow at www.musicradiocreative.com/jingles/robin-banks