Kirkcaldy born and bred, Bert Ross is passionate about radio.
The 88 year-old takes to the airwaves twice a week on the Victoria Radio Network (VRN), broadcasting online and on medium-wave 1287 on Wednesday and Thursday evenings.
Bert’s involvement started way back in the early 70’s, whilst working for the Adam Smith Theatre. He had been asked by his friend who worked at the newly formed VRN whether he could convince the star of the theatre’s latest pantomime, Jimmy Logan, to guest on a live show. Bert succeeded and over the years went on to forge greater links between VRN and the Adam Smith, resulting in showbiz giants of the time, including acts such as Bob Monkhouse and Eric Sykes, to appear on VRN at regular intervals.
Bert first took to the airwaves himself in 1980 and is currently the longest serving member of VRN, with his request show and the Victoria Tea Dance being long time staples of his show. Every Thursday morning he makes his way into the hospital and takes song requests from patients and asks them to complete his quiz, which he announces the winner of later that night on his show. His music library is vast and he seldom has to shell out as part of his “if I can’t find it I’ll give you a five pound note.” promise.
Bert said: “I have always been interested in radio and I see what I do as a service to the community. I remember when I first started at VRN and was being shown the ropes; I asked ‘what if hardly anyone is listening?’ I’ve never forgotten the answer I got ‘If one person is listening that justifies you going on air’. And that advice resonates to this day.
“Request shows are the most important shows I do because they directly involve the patients. You are also relating to them, whether you are speaking to them or about them. It is a two way conversation and if I get a request wrong the patients aren’t long in picking up the phone to let me know about it!
“I’ll keep going as long as I can and I hope many others will join me at VRN, which has regularly proven a starting point for others that have went on to greater things in the world of broadcasting.”
For more information or to volunteer on VRN call 01592 648 058 or email [email protected]