Mike Bartlett

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On Air Thursday Night   20.00 – 22.00

Thursday night at the Empire

As part of a music enthused family, Dad a pianist, older brothers on guitar and banjo, I became the heartbeat; the bass player. Starting out in their band with my brothers and a cousin, all of us on vocals I couldn’t have been happier. That was until coming back from a gig me and my equipment slipped from the back of a night bus navigating the Camberwell Green.

Still at school and unable to replace the instrument I was soon replaced, one day you’ll read my whole story.

Crucially this was a turning point in my life and I knew music would have to always be there. This is probably not the place to tell the whole story but let me say the dreams of contestants the like of those in X Factor with it’s shortcut to success or failure bear nothing to the reality of earning a place with your peers. Playing Rock and pop for a pittance, sometimes three gigs in a night in the West End clubs like The Flamingo, or Whiskey-ago-go, supporting artists like Georgie Fame, The Tremeloes or The Pacemakers.

That was the apprenticeship; In my opinion I have had a charmed life in our industry initially as a singing bass player, continuing on to play guitar and synth’.   I have worked as a studio musician, toured Europe and supported many chart bands of the 60’s only to meet again when working on TV twenty years later.

Through a chance conversation with a colleague who is a broadcaster and playwright, back more years ago than I care to reveal, I was introduced to Hospital Radio, a worthwhile cause and a faceless chance to give something back.

Thankfully I have been an enthusiastic supporter and participant ever since, Hospital Radio has given me much more than I could ever repay.   Apart from the joy and friendship one receives being a member of such an organisation where the listener is unwell, alone and often little nervous. It taught me the discipline and became a catalyst allowing me to work as a club DJ and to join other professional radio stations in the UK and Ibiza.

Now through the World Wide Web Meridian Radio allows us to combine the local radio network for patients in hospitals with their friends and relations and expats outside, wherever there is a connection Meridian Radio is a two way street.

Mike Bartlett June 2015

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