Tina Miles speaks to JANE GARVEY, the voice of Radio 4’s Woman's Hour about the industry, her Merseyside roots and inspirations
WHEN die-hard football fan Jane Garvey didn’t have a ticket to watch her beloved Liverpool she used to turn on her radio.
And it was those entertaining sports reports over a crackly phone line which she listened to as a teenager in her bedroom that inspired her career on the airwaves.
“I was always a bit of a nerdy radio obsessive,” confessed Ms Garvey, who was the first voice on BBC Radio 5 Live at its launch.
“I was a Liverpool FC fan and my dad was a season ticket holder but I couldn’t get to any games. So I used to listen to BBC Radio Merseyside and I remember listening to Bob Azurdia’s football reports.
“Liverpool were really successful and there were great commentaries from all these obscure places.
“My other inspirations were Janice Long on Radio Merseyside’s youth show Street Life, I used to listen to that when I was in my teens. I also loved Ray Moore on Radio 2, he was an amazing broadcaster. They got me interested in radio. I don’t think it was a coincidence they were both from Liverpool.
“I heard Janice Long and I took courage from her. She showed me women could be on the radio.”
Having studied English at Birmingham University, Ms Garvey went into advertising after some experience as a medical records clerk at the Royal Liverpool Hospital, where her mum was a receptionist.
She started her media career as a promotions assistant for Radio Wyvern in Worcester, where she became news editor before leaving in 1988 to join BBC Hereford and Worcester as a reporter. A year later she was appointed the station’s breakfast presenter, before co-presenting Radio 5 live’s breakfast programme in March 1994 and later the drive show.
Her partnering with Peter Allen, who she has credited as having “taught me a lot about broadcasting”, resulted in four Sony Radio Academy Gold Awards.
And when the train she was travelling in crashed at Southall in 1997 she earned plaudits for reporting from the scene on her mobile phone.
Today the mum-of-two is part of Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour presenting team, a role which she took on in October 2007 and describes as “the ultimate part-time job”.
It allows her to spend more time with her two daughters Evie, 12, and Sian, nine, who she has with ex-husband Adrian Chiles.