Keith Skues

Keith Skues

Richard Keith Skues has always been interested in show business. From the age of 10 he wanted to be a radio announcer. His first public appearance was via a perambulator but his publicity handout assures us that it was in a parish church pantomime. He appeared annually in various productions, and at the age of 16 wrote and produced a full length youth variety show. Keith was Youth Leader of his church club.

About this time he founded and edited the “Youth Fellowship Times” (1956-1958).

He was called up for national service in 1958 and admits there was more to it than marching up and down the parade square. Whilst stationed at RAF Chivenor he wrote “The History of Heanton Punchardon”, one of Britain’s oldest hamlets in the county of Devon.

At the beginning of 1959 Keith was posted to Germany and he secured, wangled, maneuvered (we are not told how) a post to British Forces Network in Cologne. He began as a presentation assistant, moved to production and later became an announcer. It was in 1959 that the now famous “Cardboard Shoes” gimmick was born. Instead of using his own name he tried a pseudonym. It has followed him around the world since.

After his release from the RAF he joined British Forces Network (which later changed its name to British Forces Broadcasting Service) as a civilian announcer and his first assignment was in 1961 posted to the sweltering hot desert of Kuwait during the Iraqi crisis. Here he set up a small station and broadcast to most parts of the world from where service personnel had been sent to Kuwait.

Later that year he was moved to Kenya with Forces radio. Mention the years 1916-1964 [sic: 1956-1964 – Ed] and Keith’s reaction is “those were the good old days”. Busy days, too for as usual he began to look for something completely different to do. In this case we substitute “do” for “conquer”. He successfully reached the summit of Mount Kilamanjaro (19,340 feet) in October 1962 along with a team of RAF personnel, who were the first services expedition not to lose any one on the way up, or down. Asked why he attempted such an exhausting feat Keith replied; “I wanted to get to the top in life!”.

Whilst in Kenya he wrote a pop page for the “Daily Nation”, and edited a features page for the “Sunday Post”.

On radio he picked up awards two years running for his series “Skues Me” and “Skueball Speshall” … climbed yet another mountain — Mount Kenya (17,058 feet) … directed a number of films including “The BFBS Story”, “Kilamanjaro — What a Long Walk”, “Wild Life in East Africa” … and appeared on local television.

In 1963 he returned to London and was attached to the BBC on a three month senior programme training course. It was just after his return to Nairobi that Kenya gained its independence, BFBS was closed down and after a stint in Swaziland, Keith was posted to Aden where he remained for three months.

“Trouble seems to follow me around the world — Kuwait, Zanzibar, Tanzyanika, Uganda and Kenya which had uprisings and mutinies, and I spent a few weeks in Swaziland during some trouble they had down there. In Aden I was up to my neck in it with the Radfan fighting. So I opted for a more peaceful life and packed my numerous kit bags and returned to England.”

Whilst at the BBC the bug for radio in Britain had bitten him and he came back once again to do something completely different. It was in 1964 that pirate radio began broadcasting off the shores of the British Isles and Keith joined Radio Caroline which was anchored off the Essex coast and where he worked two weeks on board and a week ashore. He became a regular presenter of the 9-12 morning show and admits that the highlight of his days with Caroline was when he escorted Prince Richard of Gloucester to the ship and interviewed him on air.

Keith moved to land based commercial radio in January 1966 working for Radio Luxembourg and presenting his own show sponsored by CBS records.

In May 1966 he was back at sea again but this time with Radio London — “I was writing a book about the pirates and wanted to experience as much variety as possible.”

He worked with many disc jockeys who are now broadcasting with ILR stations today.

“The pirates were outlawed by the British Government in August 1967 which was a sad blow. Pirate radio had proved really popular and had created a need for all day music and entertainment with an informal approach. Radio One was set up as a substitute, if you like, but on a national network. It more or less replaced the pirate stations.”

Keith came ashore and was offered a regular job with the BBC and was one of the original disc jockeys on Radio One. He was best known perhaps for his compering of “Saturday Club” but he was also a regular host of “Radio One Club”, “Family Choice”, “Pop Inn”, “Today”, “Disc Jockey Derby”, “Night Ride” and “Coming Home”.

He has appeared on many television shows including “Top Of The Pops”, “Thank Your Lucky Stars”, “Juke Box Jury”, “Pop The Question”, “Rough with the Smooth”, “Pop Quest”, “Calendar” and the “Kenneth Williams Show”.

He remained with the BBC until 1974 having worked on “The Story of Pop”, a radio series which was sold around the world. He co-wrote many of the episodes and was editor of the series. He joined Radio Hallam as Programme Director in March 1974.

Keith was appointed Vice-President of the National Association of Youth Clubs (Patron — HM The Queen Mother) in 1972 and is actively involved in voluntary work for the organisation up and down the country.

Off the air he likes writing and to his credit are “Pop Went The Pirates”, “Radio Onederland” (the story of Radio One) and “The History of the Skues Family”. Keith is a Lord’s Taverner, holds a private pilots licence, writes sleeve notes for LP record covers, has appeared in the film “Sunday Bloody Sunday”, is the voice behind many television and radio commercials, has represented Great Britain as a DJ in South Africa (1971) and in the last three years has been presented to HM the Queen Mother, HRH Duke of Edinburgh, HRH Prince Charles, HRH Princess Alice of Athlone, and HRH Princess Alexandra.

He is sorry that no-one from Radio Hallam met the Queen during her visit to Sheffield. Says Keith “We could quite easily have spoken to Her Majesty during our broadcast, as we were within touching distance, but that would not have been protocol.

Skues is the only Programme Director in Britain who is heard seven days a week with his own show, including “Lunch with a Punch” every weekday 12.00 midday-2.00 p.m. “It’s better than working,” he admits.

Roger Moffat

Roger Moffat

Roger Moffat became an announcer with the British Forces Network, Graz, Austria in 1947. He spotted a notice on the camp board which asked for personnel with broadcasting experience to apply for a post with B.F.N. Says Roger: “I thought I would apply. Mind you, the only microphone I had ever seen was at a village hall and then I’d never spoken into one. Really I bluffed my way into B.F.N. I made up a lot of stories about my imaginary radio career, filled in the necessary forms and I was accepted. I knew the Army wouldn’t check because they are too…! I later became Senior Announcer — mind you, there were only two of us”.

Roger Moffat was demobbed in 1948 and returned to England and joined Radio Luxembourg in their London offices as the Continuity Script Writer.

He stayed with the station for six months and then decided to take up agriculture instead, as he couldn’t see any future in radio. He went to work on several farms which was followed by a course at the Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester, Gloucestershire.

Roger goes on, “One afternoon I had a phone-call from Radio Luxembourg who asked me to fly out to the Grand Duchy the following day and join the staff as an announcer. So I flung ‘my plough’ on one side and caught the first train to London and then literally leapt into an aircraft bound for Luxembourg. I remained with ‘208’ for six months and when I set my mind on London, Pete Murray (then unknown) was chosen as my successor. I applied for a job to the BBC and they sent me on a fortnight’s course for announcer training. At the end of it I was told that ‘I would never make an announcer in a million years’. But by coincidence the BBC were, at that time, very short of ‘voices’ and I was asked to go to Manchester as summer relief for a fortnight. I stayed there not fourteen days, but fourteen years”.

With the BBC in the North Region, Roger introduced every conceivable kind of broadcast, ranging from classical concerts to record request shows and from church services to military brass band concerts. Other sections took in the news, both on sound and television. He was the regular presenter of ‘Melody on the Line’, ‘Workers Playtime’ and the Al Read Show.

Roger’s claim to fame was ‘Make Way for Music’ which began as a radio series and later ended up as one of the most popular series on television. This was a band show featuring the Northern Dance Orchestra, conducted by Alyn Ainsworth and songs presented by Sheila Buxton. Roger’s off-beat approach brought him millions of new fans.

‘Make Way for Music’ is still talked about especially the television shows. Originally it was planned for a weeks ‘fill-in’ but so many hundred of letters were received that it was retained for three months, then another three. The series ran on television for almost four years.

“On our first show, the orchestra were all in braces — there was no scenery — and everyone was all over the place. We went on the air and I decided to eat fish and chips with Sheila Buxton on a park bench. The BBC were not amused, but the viewers loved it.”

Other highlights in the television series included the time when Roger actually blew up the television studio and caused havoc both on and off the screen.

ROGER MOFFAT alias SUPERWOMBLE

Norman George headed the string section of the Northern Dance Orchestra and each week Roger grabbed his violin and smashed it into hundreds of pieces during transmission. One week it was decided to do a ‘send-up’ of Max Jaffa and his Trio. Roger was the cellist. The producer phoned the local second hand shop where they used to buy the duff violins and asked instead for a cello. The show went on the air live. Norman George this time got hold of Roger’s cello jumped on it and broke it into many hundreds of pieces. A few minutes later, a rather bewildered shopkeeper phoned and said I didn’t realise you were going to break the cello. It was worth £200!

The ‘Make Way for Music’ production team paid up and all was well.

Roger also appeared in the successful television series featuring Pinky and Perky.

He left Manchester in 1965 and moved to London as an announcer with the BBC. During his stay he has introduced ‘Music Through Midnight’, ‘Roundabout’, ‘Night Ride’ and the usual programmes which continuity announcers present.

On more than one occasion Roger’s tongue has got him into trouble. During a dance band programme Mr. Moffat, trying to find something new to say about the song ‘I Can’t Give You Anything But Love’, announced “Someone once said it is better to give than to receive, or something like that, can’t think who it was. Anyway he’s bound to be dead by now and probably you’ve never heard of him — or want to”.

The phones never stopped ringing and the letters poured in. Words to the effect that ‘it is better to give than receive’ were said by one Jesus Christ!

Roger remembers another story connected with ‘Make Way for Music’. Some fifteen minutes before going on the air live, he received a telephone call from one of our premier Dukes who explained that he had a young nephew and niece in a stately home who were ardent fans of the programme and always listened to it when having their lunch in the nursery. However, on that particular Friday, the Duke and Duchess were entertaining the Queen and other members of the Royal Family to lunch and the two children were ‘commanded’ to attend.

“They flatly refused to miss the broadcast,” His Grace informed me, and would I speak to them, and see if I could persuade them what an honour it was to have lunch with the Queen. But to no avail. ‘Make Way for Music’ took preference, even over Her Majesty! In the end, I understand a compromise was reached. The children would lunch with the Royal party providing they could have their radio on as well! And that, as far as I know, is what happened. It was a great temptation to mention this on the programme, but the Duke asked me not to. I was dying to start the programme with ‘Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses, Your Graces, My Lords, Ladies and Gentlemen — Make Way for Music’. Perhaps it’s just as well I didn’t’.”

In January 1968 Roger took over as compere of the Joe Loss Show, which was followed by the ‘Billy Ternent Show’ and another spell on ‘Night Ride’.

Roger joined the BBC on July 25th, 1951 and was ‘fired’ for being ‘totally irresponsible’ just 20 years later — his birthday, July 25th, 1971. Quotes Roger, “Normally when a member of staff is fired for being totally irresponsible, he is dismissed immediately. However, because I had been with the BBC for 20 years they gave me six months notice, finally winding up with a six hour show on Boxing Night 1971— six hours to myself with no producer, no secretary, no no-body! So I was totally irresponsible to the end.”

The week after Roger had been fired by the BBC, he was back again with a twenty-one week series on Saturday lunchtime with the BBC Radio Orchestra featuring well-known singing stars and personalities. His voice was also heard quite regularly on television both in comedy shows and on television commercials.

Roger Moffat joined Radio Hallam on July 1st, 1974 and can be heard regularly between 9 a.m./12 noon each week day.

He was the main commentator during The Queen’s visit to Sheffield in July 1975.

Johnny Moran

Johnny Moran

Waking up ‘Hallamland’ is the role of JOHNNY MORAN, the early morning breakfast personality on Radio Hallam, whose show is comprised of lively popular music interspersed with items of local information, time checks, weather and news.

Although Johnny is a newcomer to the area, some years ago the Moran family lived in Sheffield and Johnny’s mother was born in the city. The Moran’s emigrated to Australia where Johnny was born and educated and first talked into a microphone working for radio stations 3AW in Melbourne and 3YB in the seaside resort of Warrnambool — commercial radio stations similar in many ways to Radio Hallam.

Having learnt something of radio announcing, travel was his next desire so Johnny boarded a ship and visited Singapore, Ceylon, Aden, Egypt, Italy and France, en route to London, where he applied for work with the BBC but was refused even an audition.

An introduction to Radio Luxembourg at a time when there was a DJ job vacant lead to Johnny flying to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg where he was one of the 208 team from 1964 to 1966, and it was during this time he first came to know Keith Skues who presented Johnny with a badge advertising his station Radio Caroline, the wearing of which did not amuse the manager of Luxembourg.

After two years abroad, Johnny decided to further his career by again trying to join the BBC … without success.

During 1966, Johnny taped some films and commercials, worked as a DJ and compere at the Marquee Club in London, and recorded sponsored radio programmes for the off-shore pirate station Radio London. It was at the Marquee that he first met Radio Hallam’s Roger Moffat.

At the end of that year, it was third time lucky and Johnny started work for the BBC Light Programme, working for the first time with Roger, Keith and Bill Crozier.

In seven years with the BBC, Johnny introduced programmes which ranged from Radio One Club, Housewives’ Choice, What’s New, a Golden Oldies programme, a Soft Rock programme, and the pop magazine programme Scene and Heard which ran for almost six years.

Among the highlights of his time with the BBC, Johnny counts two special programmes on the Beatles, and in 1972, a trip to Canada representing the BBC which gave him a chance to see top North American radio stations in action in Montreal and Toronto.

While working mainly in radio, Johnny has made several guest appearances on both BBC and Independent Television programmes and has worked as an announcer on BBC-TV. Further radio activities include programmes for BBC World Service and the British Forces Broadcasting Service which have been heard throughout the world.

In 1974, while working for British Forces and recording a series of shows syndicated in North America, Johnny met Keith Skues at a party given for singer Barry White and first heard about the plans for a commercial radio station based in Sheffield.

Keith was due to go to Sheffield after the party so Johnny offered to drive him to the railway station. Johnny got lost — Keith missed the train — but Radio Hallam were awarded a contract to start broadcasting!

Johnny’s was the first voice heard on the new radio station when it officially opened at 6 a.m. on the first of October, 1974, and despite a couple of hitches and a jumping record, he remembers that day as one of the most exciting of his career.

Johnny enjoys a wide taste in music and likes the exotic in motor cars, food, drink, and travelling which is still high on his list of favourite pastimes. An accomplished sportsman, he has been a member of Radio Hallam’s teams at cricket, football and motoring and is trying to learn to be a good loser, although he has high hopes of forming a winning combination for Hallam at darts!

Johnny is married and has a labrador dog, a black cat and a fairly sizeable collection of records, although he’s wary of loaning them to Roger Moffat who has still never returned a Barbara Streisand album borrowed five years ago.

With the extension of Radio Hallam’s broadcasting hours, you can hear the Johnny Moran Breakfast Show from 5 a.m. while 9 a.m., and on Wednesday evenings he returns 8 while 11 p.m. for the Soft Rock and Soul (thanks to a slip of the tongue, better known as the Soft Sock and Roll) Show.

Beverley Chubb

Beverley Chubb

Beverley Ellen Chubb was born in England in 1948 but was shipped to the Colonial parts at a very early age and later educated in Perth, West Australia.

She did plan to do a University course in History but had failed the exams. Beverley decided on a life of leisure but within a few months her parents bludgeoned her into earning a living. So she became a Dental Nurse, qualified and left — she couldn’t stand it … so she moved to work as a clerk for a transport firm and left — she couldn’t stand it … she worked as a barmaid for half an hour and was sacked. So she spent most of her time hanging around with folk and surfing crowds, took guitar lessons, used to spend a lot of time checking out local bands and was thrown out of home by irate parents.

She moved into a flat with two music freaks, played hippies until she was forced to become more respectable and joined the Perth Dental Hospital, whereupon she was immediately posted out with a mobile crew to the remote bush towns. In her spare time she formed a local folk group, who played for their own amusement, guesting at local dances. She moved to Sydney for a month, returned to Perth and eventually left for England in April 1970.

Beverley subsequently toured Europe for four months, worked on odd occasions, and was invited to join Radio Luxembourg as a typist. But she doesn’t do things in small doses and ended up as Assistant to the Programme Director, being responsible for production, playlists and artists liaison. Realising she could not become Managing Director for at least another five years she joined Radio Hallam as Music Producer and is now responsible for looking after the weekly playlist and all visiting artists as well as liaising with record companies and running the record library.

Beverley is the regular presenter of the midnight to 3.00 a.m. Saturday show “Chubbing with Chubb”. She’s also a regular contributor to the motoring programme on Fridays.

1975 ● THIS IS TRANSDIFFUSION