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Read this: Toby Anstis celebrates 20 years at Heart

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Toby Anstis celebrates 20 years at Heart…

Thanks for the loading This podcast from Radio today.

My name is Stuart Clarkson back for a special one-off edition as we celebrate a big milestone in our industry clocked up 20-years at the biggest commercial radio brand in the UK It's Toby Anstis from heart today program creators of The Bionic studio the smarter way to make radio.

Thank you still getting away with it after all this time.

We'll have a bit of a look back and nostalgic trip through your two decades at heart and some other people you work with and thinking of doing on here, but I wanted to take back even further them out first because it's probably nearly 30 years since I got home from school one day and so andi, Peters introducing you as his replacement in the rain cover.

Earth did you get on there in the first place to logout story you got a remember though is the you know back then? I was only about me.

Just turned something like 22 years old.

I'm only year before I graduated from uni in psychology and there I was about to take over well one of the biggest TV gigs at the time.

You are on BBC One every afternoon for the minions minions of people and experience.

I just had a psychology degree and I was talking to Andy in a public duck and it was the weirdest day you can imagine that is quite surreal and because it happened so fast Paul Smith this amazing at the BBC brought me through the kind of system so quickly you know interview into an exact audition which one really really bad about that.

I was absolutely rubbish the job with a note and then there I was and it really was it happened so so quickly and because it was the profile you got doing that you know every afternoon there were 50 million people watch.

Fastlink before you leave neighbours so in and doing that every single day that does Mount up and so 2 days are doing that and you walk into the street and a lot of people coming up recognising you complete petrified and super excited all at the same time.

I am bearing in mind that you know TV wasn't what I ever planned.

I never do all I want is due from the age of our is be on the radio playing music and television that something that never entertain but you know 10 or 12 years of TV later then finally got a cracker what I always wanted to do was be on the radio and nearly 20-years on and like a lot of people working in the industry you mentioned you know being in your bedroom wanted to be already.

Did you do the thing of you know taping yourself and talking between the records and all that kind of stuff we all did that actually my mum and dad's bedside lamps and I used to put a red bulb in it and put it in a cardboard box and cut.

In the box, then I kind of felt it on are on the on the car Vauxhall put outside my room when that red light was on that we could come in.

I have one of those little little microphone plug into the thing I was trying to do links between the records are really really badly, but we all started by that everybody and radios you know got that fascination with not to take works.

You know conception but just play the play music brings to people and that's what really sort of turn me onto the whole idea of radio you know back then when I went and I still got the same love it is the first time I ever did it when I'm back when when when you were doing that did you not think or I could leave school and go and do this then was that not a career option that even thought of it was just me one when you went to careers office.

You know at school in the dark.

You know they just laugh at you.

They said so what do you want to do after a levels and you know you'd say what I want to be on the radio instead.

Definitely get you involved in that.

I know that I did wasn't interested in in that at all.

You know I knew that I wanted to be on the radio and I never knew how was going to happen and but I felt that no that's what I really really want to do and then that kind of lead to do in hospital radio and which I love that.

I mean actually just love to go round the walls and saying hi to people and they Perk in them up and take my request back to the to the DJ and then see him play it I mean even though quietly I was always hankering after be that person in the chair playing out the records but and the team but that yeah those early days doing a really good idea of the whole idea of 11 on radio which is what it is.

You know the talk to one person and just a lot of those people but it was you know when you got a request from a patient and then you took it back in you knew that the instant the played that tune it was going to put smile on their face.

You know made their day and that's just one.

Nothing just the same they know the joy of doing that was was really exciting really sort of motorway really inspired me and I supposed to give you the technical skills because then working in the Broom cupboard.

It was essentially a little I'm still learning everyday everyday for go and see that is dying.

They're going you know next on BBC One take BMW blah blah and then they scoff off we go in the on lights on behind me and put the camera on and you know minute later to the two trailers back-to-back.

It's only been everybody living rooms on BBC one and two operate the whole thing yourself.

Wish you know when you're just 21 years old and every morning.

Sorry every afternoon BBC one hand me control of the network essentially so once we were put on the hour to get a life and my god it I explained that at times.

I've got a lot of trouble.

I'll cover location.

The cut your teeth essentially you know BBC One was amazing what an opportunity feel so blessed to have done that not a bad guy and so skipped through the 90s that Telly stuff that you did the Battle that so turn-of-the-century chance to do some radio and actually people who had a podcast couple years ago will know that before heart you actually did Liberty the am specially cut my teeth on that actually remarkably badly.

I think it was when Zoe Ball was Darren Emma Forbes very sweet Richard Arnold is on Good Morning Britain Federer few of us to go and live radio and then you said you know you might be I may be hot to station for you and I was listening to it and maybe still quite well, and then they basically gave me a chance.

I mean we be fair Jimmy Hicks at the time.

He was the group program controller of heart and Galaxy back then and he wasn't really sure to be honest about you.

See them on TV

Any wasn't really we had to really passed him my agent really got in and got involved and they finally let me go off to stay overnight for 4 weeks which was amazed anybody ever turns out of overnight hang on take a break just get on and do it was absolutely no whatever you on the radio is fun doesn't matter what time of day you always gonna have an audience different things and I'll absolutely loved it, although I don't quite quickly when you want to learn the radio station don't even think about even joking the sizing London cab drivers never do that some kind of joke about the cab driver thinking that you know the owner Road they just you tell me whenever they want to blow up anyway the whole of the switch and I will never forget this.

Switchboard lit up all 10 lines.

Just went straight away, so I thought of cautiously took a lime and some guy belot dad is a cab drivers get him off the timer got a cab drivers very quickly yeah, not have a good and I wasn't you know I love cab drivers have an institution and take them you know but yeah radio station never do that.

I was got a baptism of fire but yeah, got to the four weeks absolutely love doing it and there was a change of PD I think wasn't there and they say well not sure there's anything for you.

So yeah, no Francis curry came on great Francis carry as one of the best thing.

I've ever work with so much time that guy is an absolute genius.

He came in and in the early days.

He took each presenter in when he first got.

Open chat with them all morning ones and he said to me said also be nice to meet you, but I don't think there's anything here for you as I already going good for weeks on that was fun and then a couple later.

He called up and sit up any chance you could fill in the something on a Saturday and then brilliant that bad they let me back and then it was Saturday and Sunday show and Chris Farrell who was in the afternoon then brilliant Chris Farrell and Dr Glitz it's something by remembering for the disco lights at Clapham Grand but he he went off on his travels battle.

I'm not sure if we have a plan to come back, but I think he kind of quietly want to take his biteradio guy but then when he was the way they gave me that show and then I can accept it and if I get holiday, but no he came back.

They was absolutely brilliant about it was absolutely call Caroline doing the afternoon Show on and then mid morning after that.

Is this early days of the heart brand of he was in Birmingham and it was in London but that was it for a for quite a while.

Yeah, it wasn't it? Was it was just a lot of a 6.2 in London it was on its frequency in Birmingham and that was it and then which is come and tell me what's the Frequency in Birmingham this search for 700 so Christmas and the heart network is getting fat.

I remember very clearly is Richard Parker national and Steven elkaim in say hello to us know absolutely fantastic and we feel very loved and we're going to go places with the radio station has until we have and I've never met Richard Park before.

I just knew he was the god of commercial radios is you know he was there when Chris Tarrant was doing Capital Breakfast at all those yeah, he was the Man catalogue.

On the map, but I need it was quite frightening that you know people might say sort of feared and revered am I kinda guessed you quite easy is a larger-than-life character.

He asked to meet me could I go down to meet him after my body showing margarita.

Say no more absolutely the working pressure of a lot of people are not better and he didn't really been Radio 1.

You know great service and then he should have probably kind of cut to the chase it well.

You know how do you fancy having the best thing for the artwork talk to him to clarify what you meant I said I was going as well.

You know the hearts going to go across the networking you know basically.

Would you would you like to meet mornings that is Massive

Time I've been offered breakfast on smooth by John Simons gmg, and I was actually thinking about leaving hard because I wasn't getting on brilliantly well with the guy time and I thought you might be time for change them apart changed all that so he was instrumental in me doing that job because there was an actually my own house, so it probably could move yeah and then from then on this big hot network total grow and I was lucky enough to be the first person network show on that and yeah amazing time and the biggest showing in Commercial ready for a long time and tell Jamie and Amanda came along and put breakfast but anyway you got a massive figures, but I mean we did get it to I got it to 4.1 billion at one point and I think we actors Richard said to me you know you got the biggest shoe in Europe I think it was bigger.

Play radio show in Europe not just the UK that time and yeah, but that's 4.1 mm into this when you think about it and other people.

It's not listening very proud to of I've gotten to that point we talked about all the different frequencies cross-country, which we won't text you know as you gradually added more and more stations.

You were kind of the face of Hearts rolling out in all these different areas of the country.


It was actually my my idea that we because they were going to be all these new da.

I'd add metal the breakfast shows and I was something I was going to be on after them all that I should go meet them all 25-26 station tour of the UK that everyday done my show me and kisses John Chittenden is our top PR guy here.

We will go off on a train to wherever and we go and meet the breakfast show the time that for lunch.

You know do a few interviews do some PR and stuff and you know just say hello and you know here we are and it's great to be part of the team and but there was we always try to find some.

I have some connection.

I might have to face to make me a little bit relevant.

You know that's quite difficult when you going from you know Manchester down to Devon into Kent into Cornwall and still laugh about that.

He still jokes me about it as you know God so what you connection to Dover would you connections and what was it to Northampton but it was brilliant brilliant fun things going to we met all these fab breakfast guys and time but yeah, I think that the real standout one for me on that sort of PR2 was actually going to Cornwall because I warn me before call might be a little bit tricky because they're both lovely protective everything down there and Atlantic was going to be rebranded as heart and I had an interview with colour one of the big sort of lifestyle resource magazine so I sat down with this This Woman's do the interview and she was she said you know a little bit course shall we say to be diplomatic and then she came out with?

So, what one what do you know about Cornwall then another word for give you the right to come and do a show in Cornwall I said well you had a Thomas anstice and she won't know well.

You need to look him up because you should be what you should be scared because Thomas and this was one of the most feared pirates in Cornwall in the 19th century or whenever it was he was he was it you know causing all over the county and my daddy done some genealogy said you know apparently we are distant relations to Thomas hamster related to this pirate pirate and I'll tell you what that's Victoria's up.

That's listening don't mess with the Pirates and that was my yeah that they think that but we had a we had a great time.

So please we did it because it was nice though, because I could then piccino the breakfast shows that run before me when I take over you know at 10.

It was a lot of fun doing that.

Programme with broadcast bionics creators of The Bionic studio listening watching reacting to and learning from every spoken word Kolo sweet and SMS to a mix and understand your content to bionic studio transforms everything about radio except the way you make it so 20-years studio urine doing your first overnight show 20-years ago this week to where you are now obviously under different building, what's what do you do in the biggest change at hearts in that time other than the kind of the role outside of terms of how you do your job everyday? What's changed the biggest change? I mean I think just the sheer size of it.

Is is really where I mean you can't is the biggest commercial radio brand still feels to me to be a I still pinched myself that I'm on here and I'm I still can't it's a huge thing and a massive wanted to sit there.

I think just now we're at with the numbers.

It's scary big you know when I do classic show on Friday night.

You really noticed that you know how much interaction with how many people are attuned.

Are you feel like sort of that when you're ready sent you know how big it's got from those days.

Just when it was on the only London he was talking locally to them being a national grand.

It's still counted as well.

It's clever little way.

I still get nervous going on just I did looking down the camera on BBC One ever think too hard about that.

You'll probably go mad.

You'll probably lose your way I thought about how many minute when I come back on heart if I really thought you had a mile, but I'd another way.

It's just a lovely I feel very blessed to still be doing it and alongside hard Answers absolute joy to be honest.

I'm still as excited about Raiders I was the first showed on heart 20-years ago if anything I'm even more excited because I'm not as nervous because I know how to do it a bit.

I know how to control it.

I can you know I know how to do the show I can only make it run smoothly and I'm still learning everyday.

I'm still trying to be better.

I'm still tryna you know I still get annoyed if I just you know if one link or something and I think there's only like stick with that and I think I know I will I just keep enjoying it for another 20 years then after wheel me out of here to you.

I'm not leaving fluffing link I hear you're the Hairy moment once where you almost said the f word on there, but to stop yourself well.

Yeah, because the ceiling almost did it the whole ceiling at Heart basically I was quite new and I saw a tile above me going a little bit and then little Mumbai to the link just fell down on the desk and that was about as close to drop the f-bomb as either will I can tell you but it was yeah, that was quite scary moment somebody paid it back to me that don't don't try and find that name by the way not migrates moment but we know when you're stuck with that what you say and I could I could get around it really well.

I got more confidence in doing it by just like I'm sorry if you just heard some Bangers but the roof just fell down on me and anyway.

He's is whatever you say the other one was talking about daunting moment on the are we had Prince Charles and Camilla coming that we doing immediate or not want to come into global and come and visit the stations and see and the timings coincide with me being on the air as well, so I was the one that had your of hosting them in his studio in front of the Worlds you know Ashley Stephen Richard first ever believe me that is scary and with the right the Future King by me as well.


I think on their there itinerary.

There was supposed to come in at I think it's like 2020 to 12.

We were told we had it all lined up that we cannot we could seg3 maybe for songs if we had to to give me time to.

Billionaire running a little bit late had a lot to do so they arrived about 30 seconds provide to do the intro to the news at midday, and so I had like basically Rocked livelink Prince Charles and Camilla I can literally feel committed breath on my neck.

She was out clothes and then I to introduce the news and I think the lead story might have been a royal new hello got a Prince Charles ever open the mic a lovely I just had to say you know this is it so clock and then that was it but I really I was I was literally shaking my Handsworth what kind of shake the faders what I did that got them in front of you as well.

That was got through that got any time same but we got there been any other guess that kind of made you starstruck like that.

I know you had many people in on the show over the years.

Oh, yeah, it's the stars that have been around a long time.

No the business.

They know the game they know what to do they the ones that.

Patient of happy to give you all the time the world you know because they know what the deal is Lionel Richie cable and see just done Glastonbury Legends the legends and Sunday and he came in and links and split links and things to record them know any came in and I'm going to this like Motown Legend you know gastrulation and I said no sorry mate.

Are you know he just no problem just you can you do we just do the interview and ever and he was incredibly charming and and impatient Robbie William Petersen literally crashed in the show one time just wondering around the building.

I think you've been on whatever are the stations.

Have you so just walk as I've known him for young shino over the years will take that so he just thought he just

Walk-in like I'm talking into his down.

Did he sat down? I'm only going to say I'll probably wouldn't be here.

I just got home and then he started interviewing me he started saying that I had a nice woman that you settled down and look I have pneumonia so brilliant hang on.

I need to talk to you.

You just walked into the studio.

I wouldn't babe.


He was it was a surprise guest moment and yeah.

I mean there's been so many people that have had the chance to be on Monday David Guetta on on just recently before you begin to buy and that was like a bit of a moment for me because I've watched him.

You know play so many times in Ibiza in passion place like that and love him is a déjà vu plays records on hard-on.

Tell him on with it starts with even though it was on too but I was he wasn't there in the flash, but I was still it was still quite a big deal to him and what about the kind of quirkiest guess.

Upside-down on heart right.

I'll tell you straight away.

That was Lady Gaga she was interesting.

Could you know what it's like? You only get allocated a set amount of time with these superstars so I think 10-minutes with her and for 9-minutes probably she spun around on the steel and she had this kind of veil across her face.

I don't know what she was trying to do until Monday or something but she's exceeding anyway, so I only really saw her face for a very short because she was fine.

She still the whole time partially covered up at the same time so I didn't really ever get a connection with her and I don't know what we got left with about 20 seconds of stuff that we could use as she was it obviously they're quite a weird mood unequivocally the most quirky Bazaar gas.

Are there in sweet if you can call it into because it wasn't really it was it was an intermittent chat and not just a presenter for The salesman to you get involved with the commercial side of things.

How did that we don't need back in the day we never done anything with the film company at heart and so I was doing I'll be there some kids with Ian Morton who was running sort of really high up ODEON anyone over Century Fox nice.

I'd like to have some promotions on on here so arrangements between him being Ali page.

It was like and we did a promotion and that was it and we still doing loads of stuff with them and steamer is very very aware of it that I brought we're still waiting for the commission on that deal by the way, but I was nice to be able to facilitate that I've always had not just on the on the on the outside, but I've always there always let me get involved on the other side of things you know they've been sponsored coming on board.

I've logged out for lunch using and meet people and helping nail deals and stuff like that when I've been allowed to when did you know when your present you can be a little bit cheeky the sales people do that thing then I can go in there and have a bit of a laugh and an any just help sometime.

Yeah, so I've done quite a lot of that off the air as well, which I still really enjoy getting my teeth into but that was 20centryfox is it obviously hard down two years ago now the figures that you had earlier on before the pandemics were pretty encouraging and yeah, you could just tell listening to you on there, but you know you're not playing Lionel Luthor anymore, but you love in the music that you play.

Oh god why this was the thing that for me dance music has been everything that I know that's the way back when I did save work experience Raider underworld APS you know I'm absolutely loved it then and I still do so you know when ashlee's that was said look we want to dance station harddance.

Would you be up for it? And I was like yeah.

Hello yeah, it's exciting things in my career to launch a national radio station and one the play some music that I love you need to get up and do a job that you love every morning and it is early you getting up at 5:30 she got.

To make it good then, so it's an absolute pleasure to come in and out those tunes and you know the reaction we getting is is really good and I think during lockdown as well when radio two people it really sort of Gru and in a digital figures looking great for the heart brand as a whole but I think yeah this station has got so we're going to do with it.

It's very very exciting but the concert bowling out but I think that everything's coming back.

Yeah, it's a brilliant pasty.

I'm I'm very short likely to be doing the brick show on here and club classics.

Yeah, I've been able to get out doing as many gigs.

No, we don't get too but we will give the coming back which is great.

So yeah, I'm back on a couple of racecourses did Ascot and Sandown Park dance anthems AB21 can't say anything I can't say I love that one, but yeah, we got various fairies gigs coming up and then I think it is it is is it something? I think we have to go to 20.

Maybe some other places in do cried again as well, which were great in Brighton couple of years ago and we got a bus now.

We can go on that so I think we got a lot a lot we're going to do with this little radio station of hours dance.

I think it's going to yeah.

It's going to be good now the the listing all the stats are very very encouraging so onwards and upwards through the pandemic going until I swear most the time of your you most do some shows from home or any of those luxury mean.

It's about 5 weeks at home and then was allowed back in you can actually do so on a laptop essentially a browser and Mike and actually do that.

That's what's changed from 20 years ago.

That is a big one.

I mean I mean smart speakers another one as well and obviously a lot of people during the pandemic bought them.

You know Anna playing play Heart dance play Heart whenever you know day.

That's obviously really.

I think you are the platforms listen on but yeah, hot dance during the pandemic the fireworks time that I came back in so lucky for me.

I've had structure.

You know they don't forget I can go to work get on the tube.

You know and no one else on the tube in London and then you know and do the show and then go home so that's been really good for my sanity and hopefully keep everybody entertained.

You know doing it as well.

I mean there's nothing better than being you know the property day to do it and then it from great but I couldn't wait to get back here to be like really poorly at the at the start of it or when you like really really poorly.

All I got it before anyone knew about it was in the February last year.

I got it really really bad stuck in bed for 7 days and I'll ever really get ill and the doctor said you've got mild pneumonia wasn't full-on and I got over that and then a week later.

I got it again, so I mean no test even then it in March when I got it.

I got an antibody test you know months later that year old couple months later and they said you hated it, but yeah, no had it over it funny vaxxed all good.

Yeah, but it wasn't good to hear we're glad you fully recovered and assign the summer you put a picture on your insta of you on stage at her Radio 1 roadshow and presuming that was like through the TV because you never actually worked at Radio One did you know I didn't work so funny enough.

I remember around 1985 economy was controlled.

I think Paul Robinson into Radio 1 then lovely guy pokes anyone to work in Disney and I did couple of things for him, but this room at came back to me everybody started telling me one that lovers of Harry I was going to be on Radio 1 and I knew nothing that I don't think my manager but obviously they would there was some chit chat going on there and maybe they just thought you know me on the ozone or something or doing you know what about Toby and that.

Really big brother's been told by all these record plug is already enough I was excited but I don't know about if that's really good after hospital read it and you know that would have made sense at the time.

I was doing some maths sheets and all these sorts of things in the profile for Radio 1 that would have but a good brand fit but it never never actually came off and I was quite gutted because it may be that I don't know maybe somebody the television jumped in and said no he's worked 5 days for us on that you know when I doubt that.

I don't know maybe somebody really want to say I don't know actually no, it's not quite right at the moment so I missed out but we did yeah that time that was already I was on stage in Southsea we were filming down there.

I can't remember it was all Saints or something like that anyway there before me so I ended up on stage on Radio 1 do my time do the ones I did the Railroad shows that day.

We then had to fly from Southampton to Manchester because it?

Play after Robin take that and that was her newsworthy story you know and so I gone straight from that one then thought to interview take that you know that Robbie they went from being p4p, but yeah, so that was my download the radio on moment that road, so I did actually get to say ho sathi.

I was such a friend of mine who works in radio the other day and he said if you're going to be talking to you.

Can you please ask him? What's the best dance track for a controlling what I tell you what I was quite happy with was it a call with somebody was on a road trip to the other Friday on club classics and dynalink over Armand Van Helden you don't know me which is the beautiful he's got about 48 seconds and it's Building and building a building and Emma due to hit the first bit of it it just it's added did sound good that one right.

I'm so I would say yes looking for do a nice bit content over dance tune you got 48 beautiful s of Armand Van Helden you don't know me so that one comes highly recommended.

Obviously, the building is now compared to where you were 20 years ago was just I want to know you got all those massive radio transnational shows coming out of their celebs walking in and out for shows and popping Sensation but also number radio people in there.

Are you starstruck Ever by the radio people that you should see you later.

I mean a lot a lot of people that probably tell me answers over then I still there when I see Johnny phone around I mean he is the for me the funniest person on the radio that that you know he is always been told me that I thought is just brilliant is a crazy man, but he's absolutely on top of the game absolutely love listen to him.

He's probably a glass you got a little bit like you know man holding a lovely Ashley Roberts everyday we arrived in the building about the same time and of course the nicest and the best.

Shadow emulsion on same time but I didn't see her and she's fat that what a lovely bunch of people.

We do have you know then you know what we did the jungle together and so she can't be saying that to be fair.

So she's actually people won't be happy family in this building and I just had a laugh and when you think about it of the brands are in this.

You know they are you know capital in heart smooth Radio exit all absolutely on fire.

I don't want to be happy really well congratulations on your 20-years a big milestone birthday that you've had in the last year as well since we last spoke hate being 40 graduate from global Academy and he's come through and he produces Top classes on a Friday night, so you started out when I said 2001 he said yeah.

Really bored at home.

I said Jacob really.

That's it mate.

Come on that would that beautiful know that that but there is in the you know and then he's starting his career and I'm I'm still get away with my 20-years on but I'm you know I look back at it so funny feeling incredible 20 years and I'm lucky to still be doing it and yeah these guys at global already made it for me.

I've loved every minute of it and had all the support from you know Richard and that's all those people get me there and yeah.

Thank you to them.

I'm still here is to the next 20-22 smooth breakfast then you thank you for chatting Radio today.

Yeah, pleasure.

Thanks for having me on thanks to Toby and I hope you enjoyed listening just as much as I enjoyed chatting to him.

Just before we go this time a reminder about cleanfeed worth.

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That's it for this edition will see you soon broadcast bionics.

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