Christmas With Radio Cardiff: Jeremy Rees

Continuing our series in which Radio Cardiff presenters tell us what they love about the Christmas season, today, Andy Howells meets the presenter of Soul of The Blues, Jeremy Rees.

How did you get involved with radio?

Radio has always been a passion of mine, for as long as I can remember! I was volunteering for hospital radio when still at school, and to give you an idea how long ago that was the all the desks had inkwells… Have done bits & pieces over the years – script writing, voice overs, news reading – then when Radio Cardiff started in 2007 I signed up as a presenter and did the Open College Network Radio Skills Course that was running at the time. I’ve been here ever since.

Tell us about the show you present

Soul of The Blues is one of 2 shows that I produce & present on Radio Cardiff – the other one (Sweet Company) is about vintage music from 1930-69, this one on the other hand plays mainly new releases – often giving the albums featured their first ever radio play. Soul of The Blues covers the wide and diverse world of Blues music, I think of it like a musical ‘venn diagram’ intersecting with jazz, soul, rock, Americana and even hip-hop. 

The show goes out late these days – 11pm on Wednesdays, but gets an early morning repeat at 7am on Saturdays. That’s on Radio Cardiff which goes out on 98.7FM in the City, and broadcasts on its own mobile app which can be heard wherever there is connectivity (and it streams online of course). After the Saturday repeat the show is uploaded to our Mixcloud page for catch-up listening. Over the years it has also been featured on several other radio stations, and is still currently broadcast on FM radio stations in Germany, New Zealand and Australia among others. 

What has been your favourite experience since getting involved with Radio Cardiff?

Such a hard question – there have been so many, especially over the seven years I hosted a Saturday morning soul & variety show which featured live guests and sessions, but I’m going to have to say the most fulfilling and enjoyable experience was also the hardest work – the 3 series of our soap opera ‘Sophia Square’ – which involved a large community cast many of whom had not acted before, who also devised the plot lines. Great fun.

If you could pick anyone to interview living or dead who would it be, why and what would you ask them?

The Head of Urban Regeneration at Cardiff Corporation in 1966 – I would ask why they were so determined to send the wrecking balls into Tiger Bay and destroy one of the most culturally diverse and artistically creative square miles in Britain. It was an act of civic vandalism that makes me seethe whenever I think of it. Just a few weeks ago I visited Memphis for the same time, and was struck by the similarity – the same thing happened there.    

Vinyl or Digital?

Vinyl for kudos, digital for practicality!

What was the first record you owned?

Ride A White Swan by T-Rex

Do you have a favourite Christmas song, and does it evoke any memories for you?

Funky Christmas by James Brown & The Famous Flames – great party dance track 

Do you have a film old or new you intend to watch or re watch over the Christmas period?

My all-time favourite movie is Billy Wilder’s ‘The Apartment’ starring Jack Lemmon & Shirley MacLaine so I may well dig that out.

Have you bought all your Christmas presents yet?

No, and this question has started my nervous tic off!

What’s your favourite Christmas tradition?

Boiled eggs and toast soldiers for Christmas dinner

What’s your wish for 2018?

Given the state of the world at the moment just surviving until New Year’s Day will be an achievement, but putting aside Global Peace for the moment (sic), 2018 will see a lot of exciting new developments at Radio Cardiff – we are immensely proud of the station, which really punches above its weight for community radio – 60 separate weekly shows and a wonderful team of over 120 volunteers.  

We have nothing like the marketing budgets of commercial radio or the BBC and so spreading the word about what we do can be challenging in such a competitive market, so my wish is that more people find out about us and enjoy the unique and distinctive shows we have on offer. 

  • Check back soon for another Q&A with a Radio Cardiff presenter
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