When professionalism and passion combine… (Tribute to CJ Munroe)

It’s strange how you always think that it will never happen to you…

Today, during my show on Brooklands Radio, a moment I had been dreading for 9 years finally happened. Although nobody ever thinks too much about it, anyone who works in live TV or radio hopes that the day where they receive sad news on air never comes. Usually, I manage to keep going through the news of celebrity deaths, terrorist attacks and natural disasters (albeit with my stomach usually churning with emotions), providing the necessary information in a calm and comforting manner. However, today was an exception because it was a little closer to home.

This afternoon, during a song, I was made aware that radio broadcaster CJ Munroe had passed away. Many of you won’t bat an eyelid at that name, some might recall it from hearing of her once or twice but to me and so many others, CJ meant a lot.

It’s funny when I speak about her because in all honest truth, I haven’t met her face to face! To give you a brief back story, CJ (or Glenn as she was back in the 70s – another way in which this woman is a true inspiration) worked with my dad and taught him everything he know about disco and radio. They worked together on South Parade Pier and then when CJ moved to Radio Victory in Portsmouth, Dad’s eyes were opened to the world of radio. Quite simply, as my old man puts it, she taught him everything he knows. Fast forward, 35 years and I get bitten by the radio bug, starting with my first presenting job at the age of 15. Dad taught me everything he could about the industry and we’d regularly discuss CJ and the fun they had working together. Months later, Dad made contact with CJ and we sat together to listen to her ‘Strawberry Fields’ show on Palm FM. She really had the best voice for radio! Weeks later, I got to speak to her for the first time and she passed on great wisdom and advice. I found clips of her presenting and found a brilliant video of her singing some Neil Diamond and laughing along behind the mic during one of her shows. She seemed to love Neil’s music. Over the years, we didn’t talk often but she listened in to some of my shows and gave me lovely feedback which was always appreciated. Through her and my Dad, she truly inspired me to keep going with my radio work and try my best to strive towards being the presenter I want to be. Quite simply, along with my dad, CJ helped me to get to where I am today…

Sat in the Brooklands Radio studio, hearing from my family that CJ had passed away was a shock. With 30 seconds to go until the current song ended, I did what I had to do. Find some words to piece together for the next link. However, I knew that this was my chance to do something for CJ one last time. So I cued up that Neil Diamond song she used to sing and shared the news with my listeners. It wasn’t easy to share but sometimes the companionship we offer our listeners works both ways.  That’s why, although I tried to keep my professionalism, the passion managed to creep through. Now some would argue that sometimes, the best radio and TV is the most real radio and TV. The moments when there is no screen or receiver between you and your audience. The moments when your emotion is shared with anyone listening or watching. But I didn’t do it for ratings or sympathy, just like this blog post; I did it because I wanted to say my piece and say a final goodbye to a woman who truly inspired many people and helped many with their journey into radio and in other parts of their life… just like me.

I am really gutted to have never have got the chance to thank CJ face-to-face for what she’s done for me and I bet she didn’t even realise the effect she’d had. But I hope that she was listening today, somewhere, to hear how special she was to me and my journey.

CJ, no doubt, will be up playing Neil Diamond on the station in the sky. She’ll be keeping them entertained with the best voice in the business. That’s for sure! But for me, I just want to say for one final time… CJ, thank you.

(To hear the recording of my live tribute to CJ, visit: https://www.mixcloud.com/JamesJPPearce/james-jp-pearce-tribute-for-cj-02042016/)

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What did you miss? – 02.04.2016

Hey!

Thanks for those of you who listened to my show today. It was full of highs and lows but was an enjoyable one. 🙂 If you missed it, here’s a recap:

This week’s Guilty Pleasure was Madonna’s ‘Vogue’. We discussed the fun I had at Mid Surrey Mencap’s world record attempt for the longest distance covered by a conga line today. Alan Bosson popped into the studio to talk about his show and some April Fools tricks from yesterday. We were the first radio station ever to play Liza Bec’s new track which was brilliant! The Weekend Guide was full of things to get up to over the weekend and then we had some super tunes to finish the show.

I also had a bit of a tough moment when I received some sad news on air BUT I will cover that in another blog post.

I will be back next week at 3pm and will also be appearing on Olivia Lynch’s show tomorrow and John Cull’s show on Monday! A busy weekend ahead…

As always, thanks for your company!

JP 🙂

COMING UP – 12.03.2016

Hey all,

Happy (but very foggy) Saturday to you! It’s another weekend and therefore, it’s SHOW TIME! 🙂JP at BR Studio.png

I am on air from 3pm again today with a very busy show, full of fun and features.

At 3:30pm, I will be talking live to Ciara Lawrence, a friend of the station, who will be talking about ‘Disabled Access Day’ and updating us on her time with Mencap.

At 4:30, the Weekend Guide will be back with more gigs, films and local events – today linked with the lovely Amber Evans from Muddy Surrey and Disabled Access Day.

Then, it’s back at 5:30pm, we will be playing Crack The Connection once again! Three songs, one link and one prize.

Also throughout today’s show, we will be chatting about the launch of the new Guildford Hub with the wonderful Jo McGowan, lots of sport with the FA Cup and (more importantly) England v Wales Six Nations match, some of the freshest news stories from around the world and a live Periscope session throughout the show too.

Pound for pound, the busiest show on the station today! So tune in at 3pm for JP’s Countdown To Saturday Night.

See you then 🙂 JP

COMING UP – 05.03.2016

Hey all! 🙂
Saturday is here again – come around quick, hasn’t it?
This week is a ‘Future Starz’ week which means there is just 2 hours on today’s show, 3-5pm. But there is still plenty coming up!

At 3:30pm, we will have this week’s Guilty Pleasure song, especially for a Mum (it’s Mother’s Day tomorrow, remember!)
At 4:30pm, we have a special Mama-themed ‘Weekend Guide’ to give you some ideas on how to treat her.

Elsewhere in the show, we discuss the week’s Twitter trends, some local events coming up and we look at some of the weirder stories in the news.

All of that and more from 3pm 🙂 See you there!
JP

COMING UP – 27.02.2016

Hey all,

After a weekend off (well, sort of… Sunday show instead), I am back with another Countdown to Saturday Night! Here’s what is coming up:

3:30pm – Guilty Pleasure song (get yours in now by emailing me: JP@BrooklandsRadio.co.uk)

4:30pm – Weekend Guide

5:30pm – Crack the Connection

We also will be getting some sneaky peeks at next week’s ‘Future Starz’ show and maybe even a chat with Amanda Neale too.

Also coming up (alongside all of the news, sport and travel), we have a 6 Nations update, news about this year’s Eurovision entry for the UK and we talk about the Oscars.

All of that and more from 3pm on http://www.brooklandsradio.co.uk – see you there!

JP 🙂

MISSED THE SHOW? – 13.02.2016

Well what a show it was! I really enjoyed today’s broadcast and although it was a busy one, we had lots of laughs along the way.

I got to interview the wonderful Jo Garofalo who, along with her husband, is the driving force behind the ‘Voice in a Million’ business. Having to two of their shows before, I am very aware of the great work they do and so it was brilliant to see Jo return to the station for another interview with us.

Olivia wasn’t with me for the beginning of the show but joined me from 5pm for our final hour together because… SHE’S GOT HER OWN SHOW! It was great to share the announcement but it was also a bittersweet moment. I have laughed a lot with her over the past 4 months and dare I say it, I will miss working with her. But she will be brilliant on her own show which starts tomorrow (Sunday 14th) at 11am. Tune in! Oh and the gig we were off to tonight was cancelled – not fun 😦

The Guilty Pleasure returned for a new run, starting with one of my own. It was good to hear Del Amitri’s ‘Nothing Every Happens’ on the air. Remember to email me your ones (see links below).

In the news, we had a lot to discuss including the apparent shortage of chocolate in the UK, the Six Nations scores and some local rugby results, a new app from Asda which sends your heartbeat to your Valentine and the news of Farnham’s Susie Chan or Superwoman! She broke the record for the longest distance run on a treadmill in 12 hours during the week. Incredible!

Finally, we had Crack the Connection and Olivia played along one last time. Lucky she did as she was the only one to guess that the songs all featured in the ‘Love Actually’ soundtrack.

So that’s it for another show. I am not on air next Saturday so the brilliant Adam Duce (who did a superb job on his first Brooklands Radio show today) will be counting down with you next week. I will be back on the 23rd at 3pm.

Until then! JP 🙂

LINKS
You can find out me about Jo and Voice in a Million on Twitter (@VIAM01) or on their website: http://www.voiceinamillion.com
As always, I am @ItsOnlyJP on Twitter and Olivia is @Owillow17. You can also check out the show’s page: http://brooklandsradio.co.uk/jamespearce.html
Find more on the Brooklands Radio website: http://www.brooklandsradio.co.uk and Twitter (@BrooklandsRadio)

COMING UP – 13.02.2016

Saturday has come back round again and that means I am back on Brooklands Radio!

Today’s show is quite simply full of stuff – just the way we like it – but with a bit of a bittersweet announcement too.
JP
THE RUNDOWN (as always, interview times are subject to change*)
3:30pm – The return of ‘The Guilty Pleasure’ and talk of a new feature coming soon…
4:05pm* – JP talks to Jo Garofalo, an amazing woman who is behind the ‘Voice in a Million’ concerts.
4:3opm – This week’s Weekend Guide (events for lovers and singletons).
5:00pm – Olivia joins JP in the studio for a big announcement.
5:30pm – Crack the Connection is back!

OTHER STORIES
Also coming up today: we talk about this weekend’s Six Nations fixtures, JP brings you the latest Surrey travel and we trawl Twitter for trends and stories of the time!

See you at 3! http://www.brooklandsradio.co.uk

JP 🙂

MISSED THE SHOW? – 06.02.2016

Another Brooklands Radio is done and dusted! As always, it was a laugh for me but if you didn’t catch it, what did you miss in this week’s 2 hour show?

The first hour kicked off with some music from Cee Lo Green before we delving into the world of the Six Nations and the Super Bowl for a sports update. What a weekend it is going to be! Other stories included the latest of the Clay Lane Link Road’s delay in planning permission and some line dancing lessons coming up soon in Surrey.

After the news, we had another big mix of tunes and started with some Take That (thanks to Clare from Hart Voices). I even had another go at Brookie-oke (it’s been a while!) The Weekend Guide came up at 4:30 with Dad’s Army and Goosebumps taking this week’s movie release spots.

Thanks to all of those who listened and thanks for your company! I have got a great show coming up next weekend. Check in next Saturday morning for the preview.

JP 🙂

Check out my Twitter for more info on today’s show: http://www.twitter.com/ItsOnlyJP
Find more on the Brooklands Radio website: http://www.brooklandsradio.co.uk and Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/BrooklandsRadio

COMING UP – 06.02.2016

Hey everyone! Just a few hours to go until today’s show on Brooklands Radio. It’s 3-5pm today as Brooklands Future Starz is on from 5 and I am flying solo again this week while Olivia is off.

The Weekend Guide will be back at 4:30pm with lots of weekend gigs across Surrey, two new releases in the world of film and some local events too. There’s still time to add your event, just email me at JP@brooklandsradio.co.uk or tweet @ItsOnlyJP.

At 3:30pm, instead of Olivia’s Track of the Week, we will be having a one-off sports sections, looking ahead to this weekend’s Six Nations games and Sunday night’s Super Bowl!

Also during the show, we look at plans to build a link road over a flood plain in Burpham, a new development at Newlands Corner and some of this week’s big entertainment stories.

Join me from 3pm on the website (www.brooklandsradio.co.uk), on TuneIn or via our app (on Apple and Android).

JP 🙂