Interview number 2 in the series of “Random Interviews” is Phil Scowcroft. Phil is Head of Music at Bolton FM, a station that, over the last two years, has invited me in a few times to take part in Kev Gurneys Club Tropicana 80s show.
I say “invited me in”, but I think they more just “tolerate me turning up”!
To read more about the “Random Interviews”, see this page.
Did you ever have a birthday party, and which was your favourite one?
I wasn’t one for my own birthday parties, but enjoyed going to other friend’s. The one I had that sticks out in my mind was my 10th birthday party. My Dad decided to play ‘Give Us A Clue’ with a room of ten year olds, and got very tired, very quickly. The best present from that party was a battery powered Seaplane that I played with in the bath until my water went cold.
Did you learn any fascinating facts in the 80s?
Oh, lots. I learned that if you stood on a slug, lots of green stuff came out; If you trap yourself in your flies, it damn well hurts; If you hid from someone long enough you didn’t want to play with, they went home; and finally, if you leave several newts together in a vivarium for long enough, they eat each other.
Do you keep in touch with anyone from school, and if not why not?
In passing, not socially. Most of them are on Facebook, but I always forget to either 1) look them up, or 2) accept their friend requests.
What car did your family own in the 80s?
My Dad had his own business that he used a white van for. I distinctly remember sitting in a makeshift leather seat at the back which health and safety would condemn these days. He used to fit it when we went on day trips as a family. It was so cramped, I was always sick when we got to the seaside. It was like we’d won the lottery when he got rid of that for a beige Cortina estate.
Can you remember any jingles from TV Adverts?
“For mash get smaaaaaaash”; “If you like a lot of chocolate on your biscuit, join our cluuuub”; “I’m a secret lemonade drinker”; need I go on?
Write a short poem about your 80s.
Grazed knees, swings, roundabouts and fire
Without the 80s, life would have been dire.
Cycling, climbing, football at night,
Finishing school, watching two best mates fight!
Rubik’s cube, Spectrum, Top 40 and tapes
Life in the 80’s. What WAS there to hate?
What was the most embarrassing thing that happened to you when you were younger?
Being given a broth while I was watching Take Two with Josephine Buchan. It was balancing on my knee while I watched the telly in front of me, when it slipped and covered the carpet. I didn’t have the heart to go and tell my mum and dad in the other room, so I hovered it up.
Who was the first band you saw live?
Showaddywaddy. It was 1979 though. Does that count? I got taken by my sister to Blackpool for Seaside Special which was the MASSIVE summer concert type thing at the time with lots of mainstream big names. They stood out to me as I’d played their Red Star album to death.
Do you have any claims to fame from your youth? Were you on TV, or have your name read out on the radio?
Our school was on TV for the Telethon in about 1988, but I wasn’t in the drama group, so didn’t get on. I was on Signal Radio in Stoke-On-Trent in 1987 playing a kids’ game called Lee’s Crazy Castle. You had to draw a nine by nine square grid, and each square corresponded to a room with either nothing in it, a prize, or a nasty surprise. I’d been in two rooms and got a nasty surprise. As a consolation prize I got some 7 inch singles.
I was always ringing up radio stations for quizzes. These days, I’d probably be blacklisted.
What would you get, or would you have wanted to get, from the pop man?
The pop van was fascinating but I never really craved anything from it. My mum was in charge of all the pop buying but a friend and I used to enjoy collecting returnable bottles in order to go to the shop to get 10p back. 10p was a lot in those days. You could get a 10p mix and come home with a bulging bag of sweets. My best friend used to visit his grandma next door regularly, and was always concocting different mixes of various types of pop to create his own. Whatever he mixed just used to taste like Vimto though.
If you would like to follow Phil on Twitter, in a non-stalkerish way, he is @PhilScowcroft