Brenda Ellison

Brenda Ellison

I’m sure you’ve had that feeling … sitting there and thinking “How on earth did I get here. What am I doing here? Why Me? I must be mad”. And at the same time knowing deep down, that wild horses wouldn’t drag you to anywhere else. It’s one of those very special moments when you know that you’ve achieved what you’ve always wanted to achieve.

Well that’s exactly how I felt on October 1st, 1974. Sitting in Studio A of Radio Hallam. By then we were all used to the name, Hallam, but the idea that we would actually get on the air, on time, and that there would be people tuned in on 194 was a very different matter. But they certainly did, and it wasn’t long before they let us know they were listening. It was a tremendous thrill to see out switchboard jammed with calls from people enjoying our programmes.

And then there were the happenings on day one … the gram decks seizing up, the cartridge machines all playing at once, Yorkshire Television filming Roger and I, being blinded by the lights, our glass window breaking and having to be repaired in the middle of the programme. Oh … all these memories and impressions come whizzing back. I felt I needed four ears and two pairs of eyes, to take it all in. We shall never see another October the first of the like again!

But as to how I got there. I hadn’t always wanted to work in Radio, but funnily enough, looking back, it seems as if events had decided for me that there could never be anything else. I suppose it all started at school in Ecclesfield where I was given parts in plays, and thoroughly enjoyed them. In fact they became, as far as I was concerned, the main reason for school. Then I had to decide what to read at University, and there was only one thing really for me … Drama. Now this was no ordinary theatre course, theatre was one side … radio was the other. We had our own broadcasting studio, but being a University there was nobody to transmit to, so in my opinion not much point in doing the thing at all. Much better to have the citizens of a whole city to listen … local radio had just opened in Sheffield, and I needed to earn some money in the summer vacation. The whole thing fitted together very nicely. I got hooked!

That’s how my love affair with Radio started. From London to Manchester I’ve flown upside down in aircraft, I’ve gone up in a hot air balloon — I’ve even interviewed lavatory ladies in their own abode … and now I’m with Hallam, learning from the experts. Anybody who works with Keith, Roger, and Bill can’t help but have their standards raised, and I owe them a big thank-you. But more than ever … Long live commercial radio, and long may Hallam prosper … it’s one of my best friends and I hope it’s one of yours too!

Brenda Ellison
1975 ● THIS IS TRANSDIFFUSION