Suffolk radio presenters Nic Pandolfi and Rob Dunger celebrate their time on air ahead of World Radio Day 2023
Two well known voices, you may recognise from the airwaves, have spoken about the importance of local radio stations in Suffolk.
Nic Pandolfi, who radio listeners may recognise from his time on SGR FM, Town 102 and Heart Suffolk, said he lost his jobs three times whilst working in the industry.
Despite this he still believes radio is 'as safe as houses' as there is still a 'huge hunger' for it, even though the way people listen has changed.
Felixstowe Radio presenter, Rob Dunger, loves interacting with his listeners and even gets them to send in their own recordings for his popular weekday show.
Both men previously worked for BBC Radio Suffolk, which cut back its regional services at the end of last year.
Following the cuts, Rob and Nic were keen to speak to SuffolkNews about how they got into radio, as a way of marking World Radio Day on Monday, February 13.
Nic, of Woodbridge, has 30 years experience on the radio and joked that 'just because you've done something for a long time, it doesn't make you an expert'.
Starting out as a child actor on shows including Grange Hill, where he played Matthew Cartwright, Nic said: "I fell into radio by accident and I fell in love with it."
He added: "The beauty of radio is the simplicity of it."
Having stepped away from the airwaves, he is now working on a new radio comedy with the working title 'The Downcasts', which will be unique to BBC Sounds.
He is also the UK correspondent for a radio station in New Zealand, which involves getting up in the early hours to talk about the royal family and Brexit.
Nic said: "People are now using apps to listen to the radio, it is the way radio is delivered that has changed - radio is as safe as houses.
"The reality is you can run a radio station from your loft if you want to.
"We are consuming more content, the next generation of radio presenters can start by broadcasting podcasts from their bedroom."
However Nic is adamant that BBC local radio still has a place and should be 'bubble wrapped'
He believes it is 'imperative' that the service is continued.
And what does Nic like to listen to? Well . . . a mixture really: the Today programme on BBC Radio 4, Toby Antis on Heart Dance, Scott Mills on BBC Radio 2 and then a bit of comedy on Radio 4 and Radio 4 Extra.
Similarly to Nic, Rob Dunger, who lives in East Bergholt, never dreamed of being on the radio – in fact he owned a florist in Ipswich for 20 years.
But it was at that florist, in the shopping centre then known as Tower Ramparts, that Rob got his first taste of the industry he now loves.
BBC Radio Suffolk's Lesley Dolphin broadcast live from Rob's shop - which led to him getting a role as one of her weekend breakfast show's newspaper reviewers.
One thing led to another and Rob was asked to go onto a BBC training programme for news reporters, something he 'really enjoyed'.
Eventually he made the decision to sell his shop and, over the years, had many different presenting roles on Radio Suffolk, including the weekend breakfast show.
After taking semi-retirement, Rob became a maths coach at a local school but it wasn't long until he popped up on Felixstowe Radio, which he describes as 'good fun and super local'.
Like many of us, Rob began working from home during lockdown, speaking to listeners from his garden studio five days a week.
Rob said: "We have been picking up a really good audience, it is real community radio, I come off the air and I'm buzzing."
Describing himself as a 'channel hopper' who 'thinks the world of radio' Rob listens to BBC Radio 2, Radio 4, and Gen X Radio - which he calls the competition.
His radio hero was Ray Moore who presented the early morning show on BBC Radio 2 in the 80's.
He is also keen to sing the praises of Mark Murphy, Lesley Dolphin, Nick Risby, and Ken Bruce - who is moving on from Radio 2 later this year.
Anyone who wants to get involved with Rob's show on Felixstowe Radio can get in touch with him on Twitter or via his Facebook page.