My Mentor: Matthew Bannister on Arnold Miller
'Arnold took the rather risky step of letting me present the breakfast show'
Monday 17 March 2008
I started at BBC Radio Nottingham straight from university in 1978, and Arnold Miller was my boss for most of the three years I was there. I thought he was a bit straight at first, in his tweed slacks and big glasses, but he turned out to be straight for all the right reasons – very honest and supportive.
Thanks to Arnold, Radio Nottingham was absolutely embedded in the community. He really understood his audience. I got a fantastic grounding in broadcasting, as local radio gives you the chance to do everything.
After I had been there about 18 months he took the rather risky step of letting me present the breakfast show. It was a gamble, as the bulk of the audience were probably over 50 and I was 22, albeit with a deep voice. But I was very grateful to him for the chance.
I couldn't drive and used to take taxis to stories when other people would drive to cut back on costs. He presented me with the station's biggest-ever taxi bill in a frame when I left.
My next job was on London's Capital Radio. After a few more moves, I saw the job of managing director of BBC Radio London advertised. When I looked to see who was in charge of it, it was Arnold. I think they had a dilemma, as Radio London hadn't been as successful as the BBC's other services. I went in with a radical proposal to close it down and start it up again as Greater London Radio (GLR).
They took a risk with me, and there were some hairy times as we employed people like Chris Evans, Chris Morris and Danny Baker, but I learnt from Arnold by watching him at work. He might disagree with people over the editorial thrust of a programme, but he was always supportive. There were a lot of very positive lessons to be learnt from him. I left to go to the corporate centre of the BBC for a couple of years before pitching up at Radio 1, but we've met since and we exchange Christmas cards. I don't think you'll find anyone who has a bad word to say about Arnold; most remember him with warmth and respect.
Matthew Bannister is a former controller of Radio 1 and was the BBC director of radio from 1996 to 2000. He presents shows on Five Live and Radio 4.
Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
Ben Affleck asked TV chiefs to hide slave-owning ancestry, new hacked Sony emails published by Wikileaks claim
Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Driving while dehydrated can be just as dangerous as drink driving, study suggests
- 5 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This publishing company based i...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£25 - 30k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Report Writer / Reporting Analyst is nee...
£24-30K + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: A German speaking Account Manager ...