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Ron McGeary

Ron first heard Radio Guy's while an in-patient in the hospital in the early Seventies, and joined the station shortly after his release back into society.  In those days, the studios (a tiny broadcast studio and a fairly large control room) were housed at the top of an old building in St.Thomas's Street, and the equipment was home-built.  Even so, the standard and quality of broadcasting that emanated from those tiny studios was awesome.  There was great camaraderie and a lot of fun.

Ron has many happy memories of those early days, in particular the time HM Queen Elizabeth arrived to open the new Guy's Tower in the mid-seventies.  The station broadcast for three whole days and everyone doubled up (or even trebled up) on jobs to be done.  One of Ron's tasks entailed covering the Queen's arrival to open the tower.  Colum Ryan - who had the unenviable job of link man for almost the entire three days - handed over to Ron, supposedly standing in the quadrangle with the Radio Guy's Outside Broadcast Unit.  In reality, he was standing BEHIND Colum in the studio (with a mike hanging out of the window for "atmos") watching the proceedings in the quadrangle below through binoculars!  At the point the Queen alighted from her limo, Ron was supposed to give a running commentary on what she was wearing, who she was being introduced to but, the crowds moved forward so quickly that it was impossible for him to see WHAT she was doing so he had to make it up as he went along. (Someone, somewhere, has the recording of the whole three days broadcast).

Ron concentrated on comedy shows and creating jingles (along with Colum) for other people (he still has a copy of a multi-tracked singing job done for Terry Taylor's country show).  Colum had a very quick mind and was brilliant at adlib.  On one occasion Ron and Colum were creating a comedy "insert" for Colum's show. It went along these lines:

Colum is generally chatting to Ron when there is the sound fx of glass breaking followed by a thump.
Ron: "Oh look, a brick has come through the window!
Colum: "There's a note tied to it. I wonder what it says?"
Sound of paper rustling
Colum: "It says: 'Windows repaired cheap!' " (That was the joke - well very nearly).

Unfortunately, Colum forgot that he'd recorded the glass breaking sound fx TWICE on the tape and instead of stopping the machine, let it run.  The result was that just after Ron had said his bit, the second glass break occurred.  Without blinking an eye, Colum said: "...and there's another one, and they BOTH have notes tied to them."  He rustled some paper and then announced: "It says, 'Double glazing repaired cheap!' "  Those were the days! (I wonder if Colum remembers the spoof phone calls!).

Two of Ron's favourite tracks are "Pack It In" by the Bee Gees ("Tragedy", actually, but it sounded like they were singing "Pack It In!"), and "Sue Lawley" by the Police.

Ron has three sons - David (25), a special effects technician in the film/tv world, Robert (20) a film editor, and Stephen (17) who is still at college studying music technology (recording).

Currently Editorial Services Manager for the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday, Ron still runs his own cartoon business. He is a regular contributor to the Weekly Telegraph (expat version of The Telegraph) and has several corporate clients.

December 2002

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