When someone describes an emotional goodbye, it might seem cliché if they reference a lump in their throat. But it’s there, right now, like someone has jabbed a pencil in it, and I’m finding it hard to swallow. And my stomach feels heavy, like there’s a dumbbell inside and it’s dragging my guts down to my knees.
Dare I say this – and I fully expect you to shout ‘man up’ at me – but the last time I felt this way was in 2001 when heartbreak hit me for the first time (ok, so that was slightly worse, but only because she dumped me out of the blue!). And there you have it. The reason why I feel the way I do. It’s heartbreak, because I love KL.FM, and I don’t want to say goodbye.
KL.FM came into my life when I was 9. It was a bright July morning in 1992 (Wednesday the 1st, to be precise), and me and my brother were getting ready for school. We were all so excited that West Norfolk was getting its very own radio station that the chunky hi-fi system in the lounge – the only radio in the house – was tuned to 96.7fm 15 minutes before the official launch time. From the very moment I danced around to You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet by Bachman Turner Overdrive (the first song KL.FM played), the station became a part of my life. After that, it followed me everywhere. It was always on in Mum’s car when she drove us to West Winch Primary School, and it remained on the pre-set when I made the transition to Gaywood Park High. It would be there, blasting through the tiny mono radio in the dentist, pumping through the doctor’s surgery waiting room, softly playing in the taxi home after a drunken night out in K-Town. It has always been there, like a little brother or sister. But the big thing that makes it so special? When I listened, it made the spotty-teenaged-me stop and think, I want to do that one day.
Deciding to step away from something that I love so dearly has been so, so hard. But life is full of exciting twists and turns, and sometimes when an opportunity comes your way, you have to grab the bull by the horns and go for it, otherwise you’ll never know.
I wish I had more than 500 words. But I’ll end with a few thank-yous. To my friend Darren Taylor – the best boss I’ve ever had – thank you for teaching me so much. Thank you to my family and friends for being so supportive throughout the years, and for everyone at work for embracing my decision so positively. And finally, thank you to my incredible listeners, and all the amazing adults and children I’ve met through this wonderful and very special job. I will never forget your loyalty, love, and support. I am eternally grateful.
My last show is on Friday. And hey, if it all goes wrong, I’m sure they’ll have me back on overnights.