Ridge Radio – Presenter of the Month: Iosif Papathanasiou

Ridge Radio is Tandridge's local community radio station. Broadcasting from its studio in Soper Hall, Caterham, it is staffed by 48 volunteer presenters. To listen, download the free mobile app, ask any Alexa-enabled device to install and then enable Ridge Radio, or visit www.ridgeradio.co.uk and click 'Listen Live'.

This month, our Presenter in the Spotlight is Iosif Papathanasiou. His regular Sunday afternoon show, 'Iosif’s International Music Show', goes out from 13:00 to 15:00.

Ridge Radio presenter Iosif Papathanasiou

Please tell us about the format of your show and the type of music you play

The format is pretty straightforward. I play music with primarily English lyrics, from non-native English singers. This includes all-time classics everyone has heard of, and less-known, but catchy tunes, too. Occasional British hits and non-English songs also make an appearance during the show. The distinct characteristic of the show is the smooth transition from one song to the next.

Where are you from and what made you come to the UK?

I come from a small village called Spilies, in Evia, Greece. I have been a journeyman, having lived and worked in many countries so far, including the US, Slovakia, and Italy. The UK is very organised in many ways of everyday and professional life, which is appealing to me.

What made you get involved in Ridge Radio?

I used to listen to a radio station in my native Greece, that unfortunately went under during the financial crisis, eight years ago. I always wanted to get involved in a radio station and find out how it worked, with the ambition of one day setting up my own, back home. But what really made the difference was how the people of Ridge Radio made me feel welcome – especially Andy, Sarah, and Amanda – and how Ridge is supporting and engaging with the local Tandridge community.

Do you have family back home and do they listen to your show?

Yes, I do, both in Greece and the UK. Some don't speak English, but I appreciate their feedback on my voice's colour and tone, and the songs I play. But long-distance friends from all over the world have tuned in at some point to listen, which is flattering, to say the least.

Do you have a favourite artist or band?

I would be lying if I singled out one. I have plenty, and that's one reason the show is called 'the International Music Show', also known as the 'Musical Salad'. But, definitely Queen, The Killers, Aretha Franklin, and Elvis Presley, to name a few.

How difficult has your life been over the last 2 years?

It's been challenging for all, and I am no exception. But, despite the personal and professional challenges, especially working from home, doing my show for Ridge Radio was a ray of hope.

Tell us three interesting facts about yourself

1. The first song I played was 'Island In The Sun" by Weezer. But, Rondo alla Turca by Mozart is probably my favourite song. It was played briefly on the now defunct Greek radio station I mentioned earlier, and is engraved within me. 2. My favourite movies are the Christmas favourite, 'It’s A Wonderful Life', and 'Rudy'. 3. I kept my first mobile phone for four years. I paid for it with coins, not a single paper bill. The cashier’s facial expression was worth even more than the phone itself!

Can you tell us about your day job?

I work as an accountant for a housing association in London. It's very rewarding that I am able to use my knowledge for something that impacts positively on the wider community. 

Finally, what do you like best about presenting on Ridge Radio?

The cosiness of the studio, definitely. And when I have guests or requests, it turns out to be a fun time, as I add some personal touches as well. And, just being involved with the station is amazing.

Ridge Radio has many interesting presenters, like Iosif. If you'd like to be one, too, why not contact Andy Mac on andy@ridgeradio.co.uk?

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