Friday, September 17, 2010

From Monday, The Iain Dale Show on LBC, Every Weeknight!

As most of you will know, over the last few months I have been a stand-in presenter for LBC in various time slots. Well, I'm delighted to tell you that I have been offered a permanent gig and I will be getting my own daily three hour programme.

From Monday I'll be taking over the 7-10pm slot on LBC from Petrie Hosken, who is moving to the afternoon 1-4pm slot.

I've only ever really had two real ambitions in my life - to be a Member of Parliament and to have my own radio show. Well, at least now I can say I've had a 50 per cent success rate!

I have to admit I had thought this day was never likely to arrive. Having spent a decade doing punditry I reckoned that if it was going to happen, it would have done before now. But then Tommy Boyd came along.

Tommy was a name from my childhood. He made his name as the presenter of Magpie, a kids programme on ITV, but then moved into Talk Radio, where he became a huge success. It was he who recruited me to do some programmes last year on the late lamented Play Radio. It was just me, a microphone and the listeners. I think I only did 5 or 6 programmes and a 9 hour local election night marathon, but it was enough for me to confirm in my own mind that I absolutely loved radio phone-ins and could hold my own as a presenter. Tommy was hugely encouraging and assured me when Play Radio went tits up that I had a big future in radio.

Last September I went into LBC to do a short audition session, but to be honest I felt it was little short of a disaster and I never expected to hear from them again. But three weeks later I got a call around lunchtime to ask if I could present the show that evening. Gulp. Talk about being thrown in at the deep end... But it seemed to go really well. Nothing happened then for some time as they were clearly waiting to see if I would get a seat. In February I did a couple more shows, then I asked the LBC programme director Jonathan Richards if I could put some ideas to him for an election night programme. I did, he liked it and I hosted a six hour programme which most regarded as a minor triumph.

Since then I have covered virtually every show in the schedule apart from the overnight slot. And in August I had four weeks sitting on for Petrie on the show I will now be taking over. I loved more or less every minute of it - except the one moment I got completely tongue tied!

I guess you can tell what this means to me. I am hugely grateful for the confidence shown in me by Jonathan Richards and his production team. He and I both know that I am not yet the finished article as a radio presenter but his constant encouragement has instilled a belief in me that I can actually be really good at this. That's not meant to sound arrogant. Most things in my life I have had to learn. I've always had to work hard to keep up with others. That will be the same here, but for the first time in my life I am doing something I feel completely at home with. I sit in front of that microphone and think to myself 'I know I can be good at this'.

The evening slot is a great one for me, as no one else is doing current affairs on the radio at that time. 5 Live and TalkSport do sport and Radio 4 is doing something artsy. Petrie has built up a very good audience over the last 18 months and I hope to build on that. LBC calls itself London's Biggest Conversation, but we now get a lot of listeners all over the country thanks to DAB, digital TV and the thousands of people who now listen via the website, or their iPads or mobile phones. In London LBC whoops 5 Live's BBC ass in most timeslots (are you listening Stephen Nolan?!). Excited? You bet I am.

But have no fear. I maintain my commitment to Total Politics, Biteback Publishing and, indeed, this blog. But perhaps you now realise why I have recruited an assistant. Because if I don't get some help organising my schedule and my life I'll probably end up in a funny farm. The one thing I am having to slowly come to terms with is that I won't be able to go out to dinner in the evenings, go to receptions or even slob out in front of the TV on a weekday evening for what will hopefully be some considerable time. Oh well, you can't have everything.

Anyway, if you'd like to join the I LISTEN TO IAIN DALE ON LBC 97.3 Facebook Group, click HERE.

For those of you unfamiliar with LBC, do give it a try. It's primarily phone-in based throughout the day, with a range of presenters who are encouraged to be opinionated. Here's the weekday lineup.

1-5am Anthony Davis
5-7am Steve Allen
7-10am Nick Ferrari
10am-1pm James O'Brien
1-4pm Petrie Hosken
4-7pm James Whale
7-10pm Iain Dale
10pm-1am Clive Bull

And at weekends you get Ken Livingstone on Saturdays and Andrew Pierce on Sundays, both from 10am-1pm.

Anyhow, I hope you'll tune in on Monday for my first programme. That's if the Eurostar gets me back from my trip to Holland in time...


Sally Roberts said...

Congratulations, Iain! This is fantastic news. They now have at least one Conservative - OK two if one counts Ferrari - on London's Labour Broadcasting Company Station.

jwildbore said...

Congratulations. i don't listen to LBC - but will give your show a go.

freddo41 said...

Well done!

A right-wing radio presenter, eh? That's a first!

strapworld said...

Tommy Boyd. Now he was quite brilliant on Talk Radio prior to it becoming TalkSport. His programmes were enjoyed by, I would say, millions. The way he could turn an argument inside out and then back again quite logically was just brilliant.

I certainly wish you every success, Iain, and I do hope you give a chance to Tommy Boyd. Are you able to give him a fifteen minute slot- thought for the week? perhaps.
I am not aware of his present circumstances.

Every good fortune.(Mind you I am sure the BBC will come knocking. I feel they are now quite desperate to have tory journalists on board asap!)

David Anthony said...

Many congratulations. You deserve it.

Matthew Dear said...

Many, many congratulations. It's so wonderful when somebody acheives a deeply held ambition. And on such a bright and crisp day. Fantastic.

(WV: obees) Easy on the snack food? ;-)

Bryan said...

Wish you all the best, Iain. LBC used to be a regular habit till we moved here in Berkshire just beyond the fringes of reception.

BTW, whatever happened to our favourite presenter, Brian Hayes?

Anonymous said...

7 to 10 every weeksday sounds quite onerous but I suppose your your 'whole work-life-commitment-experience' gives you flexibility during the day.
I hope they allow you some decent holidays - though I presume the downside is that you will not be paid.

Anyone who whoops the BBC's ass is good by me.

franmouse39 said...

Well done Ian - tricky timeslot listener-wise, but perfect for people like me who want politics not sport at 1900.

Squiffy said...

Good job Iain, you thoroughly deserve it.


Lexander said...

Great news, you deserve it. Looking forward to your own tv prog before long.

Bill Quango MP said...

Congratulations. And you've ousted the worthy, but dull as a Brown economics lecture, Petrie Hosken too.

Double whammy.

Steven_L said...

A funny farm? Aren't you rich enough to call it 'rehab' and check into the Priory yet?

Unknown said...

Tommy Boyd was absolutely brilliant when he was on Talk Radio before that idiot McKenzie got rid of him.

As I remember, he used to start a discussion with a certain proposition (partly to get the likely candidates to react) then gradually change his position throughout the discussion to highlight the inconsistencies in their arguments.

I wish he was still on talk radio somewhere. The Wikipedia article seems to show that it where his passion really is.

I'll probably tune into LBC and check out your show as 5 Live is dreadful in the evenings.

You are right about Nolan. Almost as bad as Dotun!!!

Unknown said...


Brian Hayes went after 5 Live employed the controller from Talk Sport (Mozzy??).

He dumbed down the station by getting rid of the best broadcasters and got rid of the minority sports, transforming it into the Premiership obsessed station that it is now.

Man in the Street said...

Thanks for the heads-up. Another reason for giving LBC a miss.

Your seemingly endless plugging must have paid off.

Iain Dale said...

Get out of bed the wrong side, did we?

Anonymous said...

So pleased to hear the news Iain. I used to listen to Talk Radio whe n Nick Ferrari and David Banks were on it. I like Petrie's prog. so good to hear she will be on in the afternoon . Good Luck!

Anonymous said...


Tommy Boyd is a lunatic. He started out OK in LBC in late 1970s. Once in Talk Radio he started ranting about the spice turmeric used in curries, and questioned the purpose. The idiot did not do his homework as turmeric has medicinal properties-the powder used is derived from the herb. I never liked his put down of those who disgreed with him. I stopped listening to the Talk Radio. Except Mike Dickin who used to present in LBC in late 1970s and early 1980s, I did not like any one else in Talk Radio.

I listen to LBC from time to time, but these days it is a Labour Broadcasting Station and Red Ken uses it to further his come back as Mayor. In its best days LBC was an excellent station to listen to. I will try to listen to your show.

bear of little brain said...

I have to say, I'm sad they've got rid of Jeni Barnett and Cristo. I'm quite happy to have the Dale slot, but I would have preferred they got rid of some other people (who I won't name in the hope this comment doesn't get moderated).

I rarely agreed with a word Jeni said, but I still enjoyed her show! I thought she was a radio natural

Kenneth said...

Well done, Iain. I remember your '18 Doughty Street' shows, and I think you are already a good talk-show presenter. The main requirement is not so much to be media-savvy and over-polished, but simply to like people and to enjoy talking with them. Which I think you do.

Patrick said...

many congrats.

i agree, i think that the quality of the presenters on bbc radio 5 has dropped - have you noticed the best presenters leaving ahead of the move to manchester!

no dab here ;-( will do my best to listen on the hissy fm reception here.

Huriye said...

You're quite right Iain, your Election Night broadcast was a major triumph - the best election coverage on TV or Radio in my opinion.
Great news about your new show, I will tune in for sure, and please don't get too slick or start sounding insincere (like Jeremy Vine). I like your enthusiastic manner, fairness, and appreciation of the callers' points.
As a listener to LBC since the Falklands War in 1982, I love the station, but I do think JR is a little too obsessed with TV Names - eg. replacing Cristo with Richard Arnold. And for those saying it's a Labour station, David Mellor is joining Ken Livingstone for the Saturday morning show.
It's a shame you won't be doing Sundays anymore Iain, I was looking forward to hearing you defend Ann W against Steve Allen's attacks! BTW how can you think Strictly is boring when you watch the tediously formulaic and overproduced X Factor?
Good Luck! :-)
P.S. I saw your Civil Partnership photos on Flickr, it looked a lovely day, and your bridesmaids were adorable!

Anonymous said...

I enjoy your slots, Iain.

Can you please tell me, though, why LBC presenters (e.g., Petrie Hoskin) feel the need to affect peculiar accents? It's damned annoying, and one of the reasons I don't tune into LBC much.