Brothers Gareth and Fraser Cottrell sound like they have done a radio show for years. Naturally they bounce off one another. They describe their Tameside Radio show 'Weekend Wireless' as "being a fly on the wall in the Cottrell household, fun and entertainment for all the family". However it's not always been this way as Gareth and Fraser were once stammerers. Gareth's full story has been featured in previous issues of Speaking Out. Bitten by the radio bug at the age of 16 Gareth was determined to achieve his dream and in 2005 graduated with a degree in Media Radio Production. Gareth is currently a producer at one of the country's largest commercial radio stations, Manchester's Key 103, and is soon to launch his own production company Fraggell Productions.
Fraser - though still only 12 - is fast becoming an experienced radio presenter having started at the age of 7 helping his brother, then later being offered his own show. "My first presenting role was at an internet radio station where Gareth also hosted a show. Although my show was pre-recorded and not live it was still a huge step for me because I had a stammer".
Having a stammer is not Fraser's only claim to radio fame. Being only 12 he is thought to be the youngest radio presenter in Britain, which is something he is very proud of.
Gareth and Fraser's Radio show 'Weekend Wireless' is a show for all ages and all tastes in music. Everything on the show is done by the boys, choosing the music, organising competitions and prizes, making the jingles and producing the show. Weekend Wireless is broadcast Sundays 5pm-7pm across Manchester on 103.6fm Tameside Radio. If you live outside the Manchester area you can listen online at www.TamesideRadio.com, where there are also photos, videos and show clips. If you wish to get in touch with the boys you can email them on firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Steve Middleton
I started at Solent University this year, and wanted to get myself started on the best note that I could, so pushing out my comfort zones would be a good start. I have always been interested in radio since I started DJ'ing about 10 years ago, but dreaded being involved because of my stammer. Since doing the Starfish course some years ago, and getting involved with the BBC Documentary on stammering 'Lost For Words', I have gained so much more confidence than I would ever have expected. Before the Starfish course I would have never had the confidence to approach a radio station.
So on the first day of my University course I was knocking at the door of the radio station. I am a 'House' DJ' (or 'Dance' as many people call it), and since November I've been hosting a weekend warm-up party, like Radio One does. I have a good following of listeners and play lots of top house/Dance tunes to get you in the mood for the weekend! I love talking on the show, too. I think I come across as very passionate about what I am doing simply because of my love for House music. I really enjoy it.
Fun, hard work, rewarding
By Rob Day
I've done both hospital radio and local radio. Hospital radio is very enjoyable, as you can meet the patients and staff, arrange the show, and then present it. Local radio can be equally inspirational. For six weeks, I presented a show on Brooklands FM Radio 87.7, every week day 6-7.30am and on Sundays from 12-2pm.
Yes! I am up extremely early to get the studio ready for transmission and get my breakfast show into some sort of order. The hour show is worked on the basis of an 'Hour Clock'. This means that items to be announced, such as adverts - travel news - quizzes - local activities and reading out articles from the papers are run strictly to an allocated minute schedule. It takes a lot of research to trawl through the newspapers looking out for interesting and amusing items.
This has been a very demanding time but enjoyable none the less. As you can imagine, to present a show needs organisation, flexibility, energy, drive and FLUENCY...Un Problemo... Hello! It's me I'm talking about - there are times when I am and I am not. So, what am I going to do? Easy, go into another character and act another person and 'bingo' problem sorted? I may be betraying myself a bit, but I felt it had to be done. I went into being 'Albert Ross from Fleetwood', Mr Caretaker Man. When the time comes to read out specified articles and pieces I have to use Albert to ensure continuity.
It seems to work for me. I am aware that this is not The Answer but it does help. To have a stammer and to present a Radio show is fun, hard work, but rewarding. I can only suggest that you have a go at something like this if you have the chance...you may really enjoy it and want to do more.
Editors' note. Do you need to be fluent to be on radio?
Rob Day is a BSA trustee.
From the Summer 2008 issue of 'Speaking Out', pages 12 and 13