Show Notes: OJ Borg - How To Radio

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Show Summary:

OJ Borg is a presenter on BBC Radio, with his own night show. Jimmy cornered him in the supermarket and gently encouraged him to come on for a lesson in ‘how to radio’. He obliged - much to our gratification.

Show Notes:

  • [1:07] How do you persuade famous people to talk to you?
  • [1:28] The basics of constructing a studio for radio at home
  • [2:59] How do you develop a great radio voice?
  • [4:41] OJ’s take on radio personas
  • [8:02] Advice OJ was given early in his career
  • [10:06] OJ’s feeling on podcasts
  • [11:11] The phenomenon of Joe Rogan
  • [13:57] What’s the most embarrassing mistake you’ve made on air?
  • [16:52] OJ’s “no caffeine” rule
  • [18:06] Do you find radio even more intimate at night?
  • [18:41] Socially isolated lifestyles before COVID
  • [21:10] OJ’s pitch for the brilliance of the film Demolition Man
  • [23:22] OJ’s baby makes her on-air debut
  • [24:07] Raising kids and not owning nice things
  • [24:22] The nightmare of banana milkshakes
  • [25:18] What is the most surprising thing we can learn about working in radio?
  • [28:11] Can the craft of radio be taught?

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Transcript:

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Jimmy
We’ve got OJ Borg on the line, among many other things, he’s a presenter on BBC Radio, a station which you might call and I definitely call the Miyagi to a Daniel, or even maybe, maybe just maybe the Yoda to our Skywalker. And for that reason I cornered him in the supermarket and I very, very gently invited him on the show. And he accepted and okay, yes, maybe it was just to get access to the deli section because I was in the way a little bit but he did accept. And as I’ve reminded him, a verbal contract is still a contract. So welcome, OJ. Thanks for coming on. I just want you to confirm for our lawyers that it’s under your own free will.

OJ
It’s under my own free will. There I was sizing up the avocado, squeezing them, making sure that we’re the right amount of rightness, my avo on toast with a poached egg and then you balled through right, virtually really, and I was like, yeah, I want to do this. I’m in. Sold.

Jimmy
So the lesson here is just to, anyone you say who has any sort of career and the public, I talk to them at the supermarket because they love that.

OJ
They do, especially if they’re sizing up fruit. Because if you get caught holding two, I don’t know, two avocados or holding a melon, pretty much anyone asked you to do anything you’re gonna have to say yes,

Jimmy
I believe you’re talking to me from home, which is great because I’ve built a studio and my quote unquote studio in my closet and I’m wondering if there is a viable long term solution for BBC level radio.

OJ
It is well you see the thing is that the radio station I work for radio 2 we’re not we’re still going into the studio I you know now my producer has to be two metres away from me at all times. And he’s not allowed to hand me anything anyways to put it on the table. I have to pick it up. So be socially distance but yeah, it is loads of, I mean, if you went through some of the big radio presents in the UK, like 5 Live, they posted pictures of their home studios, and it’s you know, they’ve got all the really not amateur DIY ways of of soundproofing as well. I mean, I’m actually in the spare room which I’ve not done anything with. And there’s a lot of soft furnishings, but you’ve seen them where they put mattresses against the windows, you know, to get rid of some of the bounce. So yes, it is and may I say you sound very good for your although, literally my wife and kids have just walked in the door downstairs if you hear screaming, shouting, and that sort of stuff. You know, they are actually around

Jimmy
I wanted to ask you a little bit about radio, obviously, you’re very experienced with radio, I’m happy to hear that the studio itself is up to standard up to the BBC standard. But occasionally I see people listening to one of our shows, and I look deep into their eyes and I and I see pain. And I see pain on I guess, almost an existential level. And I guess what I’m asking here is, how do I get a great radio voice? Because it seems like I’m causing some sort of physical harm to people right now.

OJ
Okay, well, first thing you do is you take some bleach (the Trump solution). What do you see I think it’s about a radio voice. Now. I’m, I have known people in the past radio presenters who have developed an on Air Voice and on average, And the problem with that is radio is best when it’s the most natural. I mean, the point about radio is it’s one person talk to another person when you when you are first like radio 101, if you don’t talk to a group of people, you don’t say, Hey, you guys were listening. You say, hey, you always talk to one person. Unfortunately, it’s why there’s so many stalkers in radio because it’s such a personal medium. I mean, that’s a quite a serious point. But you always say, you know, if I was doing you know, hey, thanks for listening, it’s great to have you along. And it’s that one on one so it’s more about being real being you on the radio if you start putting a voice on me and go hey, it’s time for this. Then I always think it’s a persona. It’s great if you if you want a persona, if that’s the sort of thing but the reality is your voice is your voice. And obviously gargle a load of whiskey every morning for breakfast.

Jimmy
Yeah, pack of cigarettes, whiskey. Yeah. Yeah. And also I think if you call your station K Rock FM, suddenly you get automatic radio voice coming.

OJ
Oh, absolutely. If you caught your station k rock, then you should be in Grand Theft Auto. I mean, I was obsessed. About the Grand Theft Auto radio stations and I was like try to work out ways I could start one and just have in fact, I interviewed the guy was his name Linus, something like that. He was the guy who programmed all the music on the Grand Theft Auto radio stations. I interviewed him when I was working for a rock station. And he was great. And he was one of the voices and it’s just, you know, it’s just there are there are some great radio voices idiosyncratically brilliant radio voices that I’ve heard over the years, you know, like one of them over here is Huey Morgan and, you know, Huey Morgan of the Fun Loving Criminals.

Jimmy
Oh, yes. Fun Loving criminals.

OJ
Yes. So he does a radio show on 6 Music, which is another BBC network. Listen to his show. His voice is brilliant. But that’s not important on he’s just got that New York, you know, “Hey, guys, great to have you along”, you know, but it just works. It’s brilliant. If I tried to do that, I sound like an idiot. You tried to do it. You’d also it would all sound like idiots trying to do his voice because it’s his voice and it’s him. So the great radio voice is what you’ve got. Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy, you’ve got a great voice.

Jimmy
Oh, thank you so much. I really appreciate that. And I wonder whether you talked about people, some people putting on personas. Have you? Do you see that work? Does that work for some people? Because I agree that I think that the reality is the best option, right? Yeah, I’m in my closet. But maybe there’s this for some subset of people that that manufactured persona works.

OJ
It does. But I think it depends. It only works if you’re working for radio station that needs that persona. So you get a lot of this commercial radio station in the UK, which are in certain ways, you know, they will be either pop stations or rap stations or whatever they are, and people tend to have to fit into them. And they do and there’s a whole thing during that sort of late 90s early noughties here where every female had to have this husky you know, husky voice and the problem was everyone sounded the same. There was no, there’s no difference between it so yes, if you change yourself, you probably got work then. But if all you become as homogenous with everyone else, then what’s the difference? You know, you might as well be yourself and forge a path and at some point you will be good enough to be where you are rather than putting on a persona. Yes, it does work. But I just personally, I was never that person. I was never the person who put on persona.

Jimmy
It’s interesting you say I think some of the things were global because I remember the sort of love songs to midnight stations. (Oh, yeah) Who were definitely all the same what it sounded like the same woman. So are you saying that they, they get people in who have various voices and then they end up putting on this voice? It’s not like they go out and find people with these husky voices to begin with?

OJ
I dunno, I dunno. Thinking about it, I just know that there’s a lot that became a whole load of presenters who sounded the same both male and female, you know, they just you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between you go, well, who is that, you know, because they all were so similar. And in realistically, it all sort of stems from there’ll be one like main presenter who will do it and be successful, and then she’ll be on or he’ll be on the biggest station. And then everyone under them tends to go well, I want that but we can’t afford that person so you start end up getting these people lying. I don’t know I don’t really know what came first what would come first there but people would start changing themselves to be like that person you know? Copy what is it thing is that the sincerest form of flattery?

Jimmy
Imitation.

OJ
Imitation? Yeah, it’s that’s you know, I think it comes from a good place rather than trying to rip it off. But yeah, be yourself man. Yeah. (Oh, yeah.) Unless you sound like Howard Stern by the next show.

Jimmy
Yeah, that’s the plan, Stern Light. Faux Stern

OJ
I’m not, we’re not putting it I’m not putting anything in myself. Okay?

Jimmy
And so yeah, what you talked about Radio 101 speaking one to one with people. Yeah, what are some of the other things and it’s either things that you always were told or you got told to avoid when you were when you were early on and the radio trajectory.

OJ
You see used to things called snoops. Radio snoop is where they take one of your links and they would break it down to What you’ve done wrong what you’ve done wrong, it’s very much a commercial radio thing because the problem with commercial radio is you don’t have a lot of time. And it’s all about word economy. So, you know, if I was going to tell you a story, because if you’re on a commercial station, you’ve got to play out 10 minutes with the bats. So it’s if I’ve got a story to tell about how I was accosted by a guy in a supermarket while I was hurt, you know, when I was squeezing the avocado (completely hypothetical story). Completely hypothetical is, you know, it would take me three minutes to tell that story, but realistically, if you delve into it, what are the main points the story are supermarket avocados, guy accosts you, so can you break down that story into the smallest amount of time? So one of the early thing was word economy. Why do something which takes three minutes, which you can do in 30 seconds, you know, get to the point, get to the point quickly, make the point get out of there. And the other thing was one thought per like, I mean, this is very much a music radio thing, not for a talk show like this. If I want to tell a story, then tell the story. Don’t tell the story and then tell another story. And then, you know, mentioned the fact that your toes hurt, and you’ve got a cheese sandwich, you know, you try and do one thought per link, which is I mean, this is don’t be wrong this is you can break all these rules, but they are for all intents and purposes, the rules of radio.

Jimmy
They’re the sheet music of radio and then you get to choose and go off that. Do you find it hard? I was thinking about that, that speed at which you tend to have to work it. Do you find it hard listening to podcasts? Because podcasts generally are just extremely long, right. It’s an hour plus.

OJ
Yeah. I mean, you can’t do it. Yeah, no, I mean, I used to make a lot of podcasts as well. And I’ve done podcasts over the years. It depends how you want… So. So podcasts, I think come into two categories. You get the ones which are just long and rambling and people like to listen to and they want hours and hours and hours of stuff. For instance, the guy Joe Rogan, there you go. That’s the one I was trying to think of Joe Rogan. But Joe Rogan really has built up and he’s got the personality and the, you know, the ability to do that. And he’s and he, realistically his podcast I think is just it’s just the audio stream of his, what he does on YouTube isn’t it sort of works in that way? Yeah. I mean, I’ve listened to it once and I just, you know, I got it, I got the point of it. But for me, it’s not what I… and I don’t have time. As soon as some it’s over half an hour. I’m like it but in some ways, that’s the streaming mentality. It’s the boxset mentality. We go. I haven’t got time for film. But you end up watching for Game of Thrones, which is two twice as long as a film. I’d rather… I think you’ve got the long rambling go on forever. And I think you’ve got the radio shows, which are podcasts which have structure and stability and I’ve always been more of the structure part of the podcast. They’re the ones I like,

Jimmy
Yeah, yeah, there’s a real narrative arc. I think, some of them let’s say Rogan, it’s it’s kind of, let’s start talking and see what happens when we’re going to record the entire series. Interesting. Interesting thing, sometimes stuff comes up. It wasn’t planned. Whatever. But This stuff like when I think one that I really enjoy is Reply All. I don’t know if you’ve heard that, but it’s a much more narrative driven one. And it’s even though it’s reasonably long, let’s say an hour, there’s a beginning, a middle and an end. And so even though it’s going for a long time, you feel like you’re making progress through it, rather than sitting through this kind of even.

OJ
Wow, that’s the best kind of riffing though, isn’t it? The best riffing is where you’ve got a framework where you know, where you’re starting, where your middle is, and where your end is. And then you sort of how you get to those points. You meander through it, maybe you’re always moving forward. It’s when things have no point whatsoever, you know, don’t get me wrong, you might end up with absolute gold and the best thing you’ve ever heard and there’s something lovely, you know, radio is very much… you have to be controlled and you know, you have broadcasters and things like that. So there is only so much riffing you can do before somebody says something which is outrageous and everyone gets sacked. When in a podcast, (the ticking clock) is a ticking clock. Yeah, I mean a podcast where you can sort of go wild because A) there’s no real broadcast restrictions and B) you’ve got space to burn, you can go as long as you want, but it’s, you know, I would still, I would still at the end, I would always I would always, I would always edit something down if it’s that sort of thing.

Jimmy
I guess I respect. You know, I respect it in the sense that before all this, if someone said, oh, someone who hosted a reality show in the 90s and became an MMA commentator is going to start three hour long podcasts and do five a week or whatever he does. Everyone would have said, no, that’s not going to work. That’s too much content, you spread yourself too thin, you know, it’s overwhelm whatever. He made it work.

OJ
He did make it work because he had the ability to make it work. And he built it up as well. I think a lot of people would look at and go would go Joe Rogan to do three hours so I can do three hours and they forget that you’ve got to do you’ve got to do the same thing for a couple of years. And you’ve got to hit the zeitgeist. It was very early on. Yeah. When people were streaming on YouTube, there wasn’t now, especially in lockdown world, we live in a world of content. You know, it’s how you find these different bits of content out there. That’s the problem. And Joe Rogan had the audience and the clout to get people onboard people to listen to him.

Jimmy
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And le’ts talk early days. So you’re you’re obviously as I said earlier, that Yoda now but in one point long ago, maybe not that long ago, you were the young punk Skywalker. And I would I’d be very interested to know, obviously, again, there’s that 101 advice of always talked one on one, but I’m interested in the best advice that anyone ever gave you when you’re starting out. And if you don’t, if you don’t have something, you can, you can pick if you want. What’s the most embarrassing mistake you have made on air?

OJ
Oh, I made a few mistakes. A few mistakes. I have never I don’t think I’ve ever sworn on a radio station. I don’t think I ever had. Consider a foul mouth and the rest of my life. I think the advice I’ve got given early on was don’t be a dick. I mean obviously he says ironically saying he’s never swore on a radio show immediately using a swear word but they said why and I think that’s an important part. I mean don’t be a dick in life. Sure, that sort of crosses all things isn’t it but don’t on the way up don’t do anything bad because on the way down people just want to give you a kick in. Personal mistake, okay, so I used to Traffic and Travel. So Traffic and Travel, was where I will sit in an office somewhere my wife actually, because she was my boss! And she we use in this office but down to the radio stations best I’ve ever had. We’re all sort of piped in at the time was great, it was being in radio without any of the pressure. And you dial into the radio stations using ISDN line as you did multiple radio stations. And normally a broadcaster assistant would talk to you and put you through to the studio. And this one day, they didn’t. They put me straight through to the studio. I didn’t speak to a BA and I hadn’t been concentrating. I wasn’t listening to somebody was talking to me and I actually they said, they said, How’s your day been? And I went, oh my day’s been shit. And they went whoa, what? Okay, let’s just have the traffic. but I was like, oh my god. Oh my god. It was accidental. He says having never swum, but that wasn’t my radio show. I just want somebody else. It’s fine.

Jimmy
Oh, man, do you have the audio of that? Because that would be amazing.

OJ
Oh, God, it was 20 years ago. I mean, this we’re talking in a time talking, a time for the proper internet. I think we’re still in dialup or something terrible, though.

Jimmy
The other thing I was wondering about as I get into this, still early days, but I wonder if you find it difficult to turn off when you get off air? (No! No!) You don’t find yourself broadcasting the shopping list to your wife?

OJ
No, she used to be a broadcaster. Obviously. A) She’d tell me to shut up. B) She’d critique my style probably. She doesn’t listen to my radio show! She doesn’t listen to my radio show at all! Two years I’ve been doing this, she never listened to it once! And we have to listen-back feature. And she was up in the night - she was up with the baby. No, I don’t. I’m very much you know, but I I guess the problem is the radio show that I do is just me I’m not really doing anything different to what during the normal day so you know, it’s back to the persona thing, which is if I was putting on a character putting on a persona that maybe I would end up you know, in the avocado section, telling people about how great these avocados are, you know, try squishing them and putting it on us. But no, not really not really. And also because I do a show late at night and I’ve got two kids and I’m just tired all the time. I look literally I’m starting to look like I live in my car. And I will get off air. I had a no caffeine rule for the first year and a half during the show because caffeine doesn’t make you any less tired. It just makes you more awake. And nobody needs to be stuck in a room with me 230 in the morning with me off my face on caffeine. Really they don’t because they would not be working with me for long and I’d be probably sued. So, so I don’t drink caffeine after a certain point. Which means if I get it wrong, the last sort of half an hour 45 minutes of the show is basically me asleep. Still saying words mainly sometimes in the right order. And if I got a fair at three so I got there at 3am I will then I don’t live far away from the studio. I can be asleep by half three. So literally, I’m off there. Bang, I’m out. I’m gone. See you later.

Jimmy
And it almost helps doesn’t it because you have that separation. The sleep is the separation between the show and normal life. It’s a little bit of a book in there. (OJ: Yeah, yeah, really.) And it must be even so personal. You know, you’re talking about nights I feel like nights must be even more personal because, you at a guess, are talking to people who are night shift potentially alone. doing jobs that not that many people do, but they feel that real connection. Do you find it because you’ve worked day jobs as well or day shifts as well? Do you find it’s even more intimate at night?

OJ
Oh, God, yeah. Absolutely, absolutely. We broadcast to people who are in the UK. I mean, what we tend to find is we get a lot of people listening overseas like people in Japan, where you are people and we got a lot of lessons in New Zealand and Australia and in America as well. Tend to be expats, who just want that sort of taste of home they don’t want Australia or New Zealand radio, they want to be saying it so happens yeah. So the radio show I do isn’t a late night radio show. When I started it. I didn’t want it to be listening to late night “let’s get cosy in bed together, pull up those sheets”. And I’m going to lay down next day. I didn’t want that. What I wanted was a radio show, which was for people who were awake and I tried to tag it making awake being fun. But we talked to people who are socially isolated, not even in these times of social isolation. They were socially isolated. They were truck drivers. They were night workers. There were people who are on their own living. So yeah, the connection we get is brilliant. The feedback we get is brilliant. It’s really, really nice and it’s heartening and embarrassing at times because with my ragtag career which has been very much a roller coaster used to getting knocks. So it’s sort of weird when people offer you praise, I find it very difficult to deal with. And it’s an honour to broadcast at those times. It really is. So yeah, we, you know, I was used to social isolation before social isolation. I think I was 1.0 on social isolation.

Jimmy
You were way cooler than the rest of us by getting in on this early.

OJ
Oh yeah - I was an early adopter.

Jimmy
You like the COVID early stuff rather than the late stuff.

OJ
May I tell you, my life hasn’t changed. I still see no one at work. And I still see no one in the day because no one’s around. It’s like literally, I was ready for this. I’d done two years of prepping.

Jimmy
The world’s falling apart and for you It just feels like a normal Tuesday. Yeah.

OJ
Yes. It’s just there’s more queues at the shops.

Jimmy
yeah, unfortunately, no toilet paper. Suddenly there’s no toilet paper and you don’t know why.

OJ
We got lucky off friends. Have you heard of who? Where’s the crap? Is it Yeah. Was something about crap? Something who gives a crap? Who gives a crap? There you go. We got really lucky that our friends did like a double order just before they started. They just got absolutely timed it perfectly so we’ve had like a secret got kind of a few roles spare? Perfect.

Jimmy
And they haven’t made you compete with their other friends. (Like Hunger Games?) Yeah, yeah, I’m thinking I mean, that’s immediately that’s where my brain went.

OJ 21:24
Yeah, well, no, but I’d be up for it. I’ll take anyone out. Give me a bow and arrow. I’m gonna have that toilet roll… Do you know what? I keep finding them thrown around downstairs. I’m like, Do you understand what a precious commodity this is?

Jimmy
I think our kids are gonna grow up in a very different mindset than we grew up in right. There’s all these differences that will slowly manifest throughout life and, and, you know, people will be going into therapy when they’re 35 and saying, I just have this hoarding mentality with toilet paper and I don’t know why.

OJ
Yeah, that tried to get me to use the three shelves, but I don’t know how it works. Do you know the three shells? I actually don’t know the three shelvess. All right, so you know if you see in the film Demolition Man with Sylvester Stallone and Wesley Snipes

Jimmy
I have not, my God, how embarrassing.

OJ
Watch it. So watch it, but they don’t have toilet paper in the future and it’s all about the three shelves.

Jimmy
And then I’m writing down as we speak.

OJ
It’s a really good film actually, very good film. I mean, it’s very idiosyncratically. 90s but it’s a great film,

Jimmy
The best decade for films. (Yeah). And I was wondering also about you know, you talked about the audience before and and the intimate relationship and it got me thinking about the variety of work you do because you do eSports broadcasting as well. And I feel like eSports broadcasting probably very different audience to BBC 2, BBC Radio 2, do you have to change that the approach or the persona or whatever it is, or is it just a switch and content and you’re exactly the same person?

OJ
It’s a switching content in a way. I mean, I guess there’s a slight switch and persona- there has to be because it’s a different thing. I mean, it’s always me. I mean, the way I would always say is they talk about Robert De Niro, and I’m going for an analogy straight of the top of my head. They talk about Robert DeNiro being the greatest actor ever, don’t they? But realistically, it’s just Robert De Niro doing different things. it’s Robert De Niro doing comedy or you know it and then Robert Niro doing something else? He’s not, I wouldn’t say he’s a character actor, it’s just Robert Niro doing different stuff. And it tends to be the same with what I do. Yes, it’s a massively different audience. You know, you’re talking about age wise, you’re talking about very much a young Gen Z, Gen Z or Gen Z. Now,

Jimmy
I believe when I say I would say Zed, but you know.

OJ
I would say that as well. I don’t for some reason I Americanized it. Alright, the babies.

Jimmy
Hello.

OJ
I think. Yeah, go ahead, go.Baby go open upstairs and just staring right, which is I would normally get in trouble with your hair screaming. Yes. You change. I don’t change do I change it? Yes, I do. I have to. I have to change it. It’s always me. It’s just a bit more bombastic stuff I do a lot on stage. The reference materials a lot younger my references have to be younger but it’s still the same thing. The format is still the same. It’s just a different. That’s actually a baby’s just arrived.

Jimmy
Hello

OJ
She’s talking absolute rubbish at the moment. I mean, it’s I don’t remember our elder doing this you know when they just talk.

Jimmy
I mean, I’ll be honest, that was a very controversial statement she just made.

OJ
Wasn’t it? Don’t swear on air. Don’t say again. I don’t care what you think he’s a nice guy. He makes travel bags. Stop it.

Jimmy
the problem is that the nicer the place you’ve, you know, however nice you’ve made this place that you live over the past however long however much of nested you are going to have it destroyed in front of you. Yes.

OJ
Oh, yeah, man. Well, you got nice things?

Jimmy
No, no, that’s my plan all along. Not have any nice things.

OJ
Yeah, that’s the plan. Man don’t have nice things. Like when we moved into this house, we didn’t have, we had the older child, not the baby. We thought well, we’ll have this carpet or I’ve always wanted a nice sofa. So we’ve got a nice sofa on Tick and it was like what we thinking? It’s like covered in Cheerios now and banana milkshake was I mean, it’s like I go in there, I just sit on the floor, because I’d rather sit on the floor and sit on the sofa.

Jimmy
The banana milkshakes, the tough one to get out as well.

OJ
It’s a nightmare. Don’t spill banana milkshake because A) milk is bad B) bananas, but it’s just it looks like someone’s turned it on your carpet, which also happens as well. Yeah.

Jimmy
Beautiful, beautiful. And I think this I wanted to finish off with sort of a meta question. And I think it’s particularly suitable for having a very small child sitting beside you is what because this is not necessarily what people think of when they think of radio and I guess I’m interested what you find people think working in radios like and what’s it actually like, you know, you must have friends who think you have the sweet job then, you know, you get to just talk to people but actually it’s really hard or something like that? Whereas, either you were surprised coming in or people are surprised when you tell them.

OJ
Right, like, don’t be wrong, I have a very good job. I’ve worked hard for it. It’s a very good job. It’s a great job talking on the radio and playing records is good. The things that people don’t realise is you don’t choose your own records. You know, I play what people tell me to play, and I always have done and that is the majority of anyone on a radio station has no real free choice in it. It’s lucky that I’m enthusiastic about all music, but believe me… when she played, it’s like, Okay. I know. I know. (inaudible)

Jimmy
The magic of live radio with K Rock FM.

OJ
I know! It was like, have you ever seen that BBC clip where the guy’s doing the interview, and the baby runs in and then I don’t know if it’s his wife or the or the nanny. She runs into grabs a baby but tries not to get see? Best clip ever.

Jimmy
I also like the one the BBC One where the guy goes in for a job interview and gets a different theme but he goes into the job interview and ends up on screen talking about digital privacy or something.

OJ
Hang on! Not the taxi driver, the taxi driver. Yes, it’s the taxi driver who turns up yeah, that’s, that’s my favourite thing ever. And so I use that as a reference when I when I, when I do interviews on the radio, I don’t know whether it’s a calling card now, but I always do. Let’s check we’ve got the right person. And I use it as a cheeky way of introducing people. So I’ve got you know, I’ve gone to Wikipedia, or whatever PR stuff we sent, then I go, are you the this person? Are you this and it always works quite nicely. Radio is hard work, radio is full of paranoia. Radio is full of, you know, at any moment, you’re going to say something terrible and get sacked. You know, there’s a lot of stress that goes with it, but I can’t knock it as a job. It’s a great job talking to people and playing records is brilliant.

Jimmy
Yeah.

OJ
It’s not just talking about, as I said before, you know, the whole word economy thing. It’s not just going on the radio and talking. I think if you listen to the best radio presented around, you know, the people who’ve done it for years, the people who know their craft is easy. It’s easy to present on radio. It’s hard to present on radio and be good because you’ve got to be yourself. You’ve got to be natural, you gonna be funny, you got to play right? You know, you got to do all those things. It’s, and it drives me a little bit mad when you get a lot of comedians or actors who, you know, if I tried to go do a stand up gig I’d do, I might be able to tell a few jokes, it’d be pretty average because I haven’t learned the craft. I haven’t spent years going around all the you know, working men’s clubs and things like that and learning how to do it. But I think sometimes you get a lot of people who decide to go, Well, I’ll just go do radio, it’s fine. And then you hear the make all the mistakes, and he just drives you mad drive drives me mad. Yeah. So anyway, so I’ll critique you and send it over after this. Is that right? Yeah,

Jimmy
Perfect. Perfect. Yeah, and I’ll send you notes on those avocados. (Could you? Yeah, dude. What are you gonna make a baby bag? I need a baby bag.) Oh, it’s coming soon. It’s gonna be soon. And that actually reminds me of something. What you’re talking about, around learning the craft. Do you think it’s something that should be taught? Or is it something you can kind of learn for yourself?

OJ
Uh, It can be taught to you. It absolutely can be taught to you. But then you have to, it’s all about air miles. And it’s about you know, just keep doing it and doing it and doing it and doing it. And what is it, you got to do something for 10,000 hours before you’re deemed good at it? Is that the line? That was a guy wrote a book? Yeah,

Jimmy
10,000 hours

OJ
And then you can be considered elite at it. And it’s just that, you know, and the other thing is, don’t make all your mistakes on the smaller places. You know, too many people I know, have been lucky. And you know, well lucky, make your own luck, but they have been fortunate to make it to a big station. And that’s where they’ll make some terrible, terrible mistake. And if you make the big mistake in front of a million people, it’s not the place to do it. Make your mistakes as I’ve made a tonne of mistakes, but I’ve done it on such small stations as much such small TV shows that you sort of get out of the way. And no one knows. Plus I did it also make all your mistakes before the internet became big and everyone can find what you’ve done at a moment’s notice everything streamed.

Jimmy
Well, that makes a lot of sense. That’s a bit of a radio masterclass from OJ Borg.

OJ
Oh, I’ve never imparted any information on anyone!

Jimmy
And I just want to confirm again that he voluntarily appeared on the show. So thank you. Yeah,

OJ
Yeah. Can you release my dog now, please?

Jimmy
[Laughs] Absolutely. You can get OJ on BBC Radio 2 weeknights, and we’ll post the audio on show notes from this conversation at minaalradio.com/oj.