SWITCHING from ambulance driver to part-time radio presenter is all in a day’s work for Steve Hickman.
He often finishes his 12-hour shift and heads straight for Hospital Radio Hillingdon’s studios, which are conveniently located beneath the A&E ramp.
Steve began working at the station as a teenager and was hosting his own show at the age of 16.
During the intervening years, he has put his hand to everything from road show manager and fire officer to fundraising co-ordinator and local news reporter.
He currently hosts two weekly shows, as well as being chairman of the station HRH has just been voted the fourth most listened-to hospital radio station in the UK, averaging more than 3,500 listeners a week.
It has certainly come a long way since its roots in 1970 when four trainees from EMI set up some equipment in the staff canteen to play Christmas songs to patients.
Steve said: “We’re all volunteers but it’s nice to get the recognition. I often go round the hospital wards asking people for music requests and come across someone I have brought in earlier by ambulance.
“It’s a hospital station so we get everyone involved, including staff, doing some of the information breaks between songs. It’s a bit of fun for them and helps us out.”
The station broadcasts 24/7 with a range of shows, including the A-Z of Pop, The Vintage Years and Mellow Mix.
The most popular show is the nightly request show which is repeated again the following day. Patients make requests free of charge from their bedside phone For further information, contact Steve Watkins on 01895 279757 or email steve. Watkins@thh.nhs.uk