DJ clocks up 30 years with Hospital Radio

Clive Garrard holding his award certificate with Alex Lester
Clive Garrard holding his award certificate with Alex Lester

A DJ has been presented with an award for his long service to Hospital Radio.

Clive Garrard, 54, has met countless celebrities in his time since he started out in June 1982.

He was presented with a certificate marking his 30 years of voluntary service by BBC Radio 2 DJ Alex Lester at the Conquest Hospital.

Mr Garrard has vowed to carry on as a DJ for Hospital Radio at the Conquest, which he does once a week on Monday evening, and hopes to notch up at least 40 years.

His main role is to go around the wards chatting to patients and asking what songs they want played on the station.

Mr Garrard said: “During my 30 years of presenting request programmes for Hospital Radio, I have met some very interesting people. In 1984 I met former DJ and TV personality Kenny Everett, who was visiting his bank manager in hospital. A nurse came out and told me he was there. He was quite a shy man, which surprised me. But I got chatting with him and he signed a photograph for me.

“I also interviewed impressionist Janet Brown in 1987 when she was impersonating Margaret Thatcher.”

Mr Garrard, who lives in Redwell Avenue, Bexhill, met Beatles producer Sir George Martin in September 2011, at EMI Records at an evening to celebrate the life of singer Matt Monro.

He said: “I had gone to interview the singer’s daughter Michele Monro, who had written a book about her dad. Sir George told me about the one time he got angry with the Beatles when they did not want to record two of their songs in German. I have also played requests in hospital for Mike Appleton, TV producer of The Old Grey Whistle Test and Live Aid, as well as for Elton John’s cousin and Francis Rossi of Status Quo’s cousin.”

Since 1982 Mr Garrard, who also works for Talking Newspapers in Heathfield, has done full interviews on air with Gilbert O’Sullivan, singer-songwriter Don McLean, Leo Sayer, Ralph McTell, 60s pop star and actor Adam Faith, and Glenn Tilbrook, lead singer of the band Squeeze. Mr Garrard got interested in becoming a DJ when he was 15 after seeing radio presenter Emperor Rosko (real name Mike Pasternak) doing a roadshow for BBC Radio 1. He said: “I was so impressed he became a hero of mine. I met him five years ago and told him he was my inspiration.”

Mr Garrard has worked on the radio at hospital in Tunbridge Wells and Eastbourne, as well as the Conquest. He has been part of Hastings Rock since 1995 and joined Arrow FM when it launched in 1988. In 2007, he received a mayoral award from the then mayor, Councillor Maureen Charlesworth for 25 years service to Hospital Radio. The station is always looking for volunteers. Log on to www.hospitalradiohastings.org.