Andy Sennitt has been interested in radio all his life, and spent his teenage years listening to the British offshore stations of 1964-67.
Arriving at Lancaster University, Andy was delighted to discover that the students had been given one of
the first university radio licences in the UK, and was soon involved with University Radio Bailrigg.
For one year he was the station director, and always had to be on standby to present live shows when the scheduled presenter didn’t turn up. Andy says this type of community radio was a great way to learn all the basics of radio. Hospital broadcasting was well-established as a great source of on-air talent, but the authorities were initially wary of student broadcasters. That changed, and one of Andy’s successors as station manager, Richard Allinson, went straight from university to present the breakfast show on London’s Capital Radio and is now a long-serving presenter on BBC Radio 2.
Andy’s career took a different path. After graduating, he went to work at the BBC Monitoring Service near Reading, where Andy jokes that he ‘got paid for listening to the radio’. After 4 years, the chance of working on the World Radio TV Handbook came up. Andy applied, and got the job, so in 1978 he moved to Denmark and became assistant editor of this annual directory of radio and TV stations around the world. During his time there, Andy returned to the air presenting media news on World Music Radio, which broadcast on shortwave, and then on the Media Network show on Radio Netherlands. In those days, sending a C60 cassette by post was the easiest way of getting the audio to Hilversum.
In 1987, the Danish editor Jens Frost retired, Andy took over as editor and re-located to the Netherlands. NOW he was able to go to the studios in Hilversum and became more involved in the Media Network show. Ten years later, Andy went to work full-time at Radio Netherlands, initially as a Web editor and latterly as a strategic advisor. But a massive government budget cut announced in 2011 brought a premature end to that, and 270 of the 350 people working in Hilversum were made redundant.
Andy is now officially retired, but the opportunity to broadcast on Radio Seagull was too good an offer to resist. Andy says “I was just a few years too young to work on the offshore stations of the 1960s, and when I left university there were only a handful of new commercial stations in the UK.
I don’t regret one moment of my career, but I loved presenting music programmes on the radio, and the chance to do it again on Radio Seagull is brilliant.”
Mondays: 07:00 - 10:00 and 19:00 - 22:00