Graham is an experienced radio presenter and first began working on Hospital Radio Lynn in 1995. He said, "I had been involved with Hospital Radio Lynn, in King’s Lynn from 1995 to 2004, presenting a number of different shows. I presented a dance show, and a show called the Chill out Zone, the forerunner of the FM Alternative. Hospital Radio is good in that it gives you basic radio experience, and enables you to test out ideas… I recorded a lot of shows onto cassette and it’s interesting to listen back and compare them against the Peterborough FM podcasts."
After years of accumulated experience working in Hospital Radio Graham decided to take a short sabbatical which turned into seven years, but his interest in working in radio never waned. He decided to get back into radio when he saw an ad for Peterborough FM. "I’d been looking to get back into radio and saw a poster in Peterborough Central Library. I emailed the station, joined the training course and the rest is history, as they say."
Graham joined the Peterborough FM family as a presenter over a year and a half ago. He has broadcasted 60 shows and counting and should be very proud of his achievements. When he first began his shows for the station he felt quite comfortable as he had prior radio experience. But of course much has changed in the last 16 years so coming to terms with the new technology was the biggest hurdle. "Yes, I felt confident when I began my show as I had done this before. The only difference was that technology has moved on a lot. Consider back in 1995 most music was on vinyl and jingles were on 8- track cartridges. Now everything is virtually digital!"
The purpose of both of Graham Jarvis’ shows is to act as a vehicle of exposure to bands that may not get any radio play. These could be local bands or national bands, just as long as they are doing something interesting and original. The FM Alternative goes out on the first and third Sunday of each month, and is ambiguously billed as ‘classic tracks and the best new music.’ As Graham said, "In truth it features every music style and genre known, usually all in the same programme. I basically like all types of music and try to feature music and bands/artists that no-one else plays on the radio. I also want the music to stop people in their tracks and listen. If you like BBC 6 Music and John Peel – that’s where I’m coming from."
In addition, Graham’s other show, the Jazz Alternative goes out on the second and fourth Sunday and features the best of new and current releases as well as classic tracks, plus a local and national gig guide. "I’ve managed to make contact with a number of jazz labels who have me promote their new releases on the show, but there’s a long way to go in this area. The ultimate goal is for the Jazz Alternative to become weekly, but not yet," he said smiling. Graham went on to add, "Again, with jazz there is no local outlet in Peterborough, so listeners can hear music they wouldn’t normally hear. I have made contact with the Peterborough Jazz Club and their chairman Laurie Jacobs who has been on the show and is due again on the 12 August to talk about the club and pick some music. The local live jazz scene is apparently very limited, so my show helps to give visibility to this genre of music."
Many of our presenters have used the training and experience of working for Peterborough FM to open up their professional horizons. Graham discussed the skills he has learnt while doing the training, "The training taught me about editing, script writing and interviewing. And these skills have enabled me to produce better structured shows. Hospital radio is a good training ground, but these skills were not included. The training has helped my confidence, organisation and planning at work. At the time of the training I wasn’t working due to the economy, and it, at first, gave me a reason to get out of the house and meet like-minded people."
Graham has certainly made the most of his experience working as a presenter for Peterborough FM and he would like to continue developing himself and his skills further. He has recently been elected as Secretary for the Peterborough FM Steering group, which has been developed to help manage the station. "Volunteer work is a great way to meet new friends and get involved in something worthwhile for the local community. Interestingly, when I’ve mentioned this to others, they’ve been interested or think it’s a complete waste of time in equal measure. I would quite like to move onto a bigger radio platform. The problem is that Peterborough FM gives me so much freedom which I enjoy and it’s unlikely I would be able to maintain that. I’m also the sort of person who likes to do something under my own terms and not be dictated to. Having to stick to a playlist would be my idea of hell!"
You can listen live to Graham Jarvis’ shows every Sunday from 10.00am-to Noon. The FM Alternative airs on the first and third weeks of each month and the Jazz Alternative airs on the second and fourth weeks of the month.