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A third of you wake to Rob's dulcet tones

What radio show do you listen to over the breakfast table, on the morning drive to work or on the school run? Chris Moyles, Terry Wogan.

Nicky Campbell on Five Live or perhaps John Humphreys if you like hard news on the Today Programme.

The chances are you will have the dulcet tones of Rob Persani crackling on the airwaves of Rutland Radio.

The amiable presenter has been at the Oakham-based station since it started almost a decade ago.

Surveys show that one-in-three people in the Rutland and Stamford area listen to Rob's breakfast show.

In between the records he chats about random subjects. They might involve domestic dramas involving his girlfriend's young daughter, the rising price of a pint of milk or suggestions for a night out in Oakham and Uppingham.

"People ask me how I can be so cheery first thing in the morning," said Rob, who has recently been made station manager.

"You just get used to a routine of getting up at 5am. I enjoy it though. It is nice to wake people up in the morning. It is a real privilege to be a part of people's lives at the start of the day."

The beauty of Rutland Radio is the breadth of music. One minute you will hear Amy Winehouse's latest hit and the next it could be a 1960s classic from The Supremes or The Beatles.

Rob said: "We play a wide mix of 'hits and memories'. The kids will enjoy a chart song on the way to school and then mum or dad will probably recognise the next record we play. People will listen to us because we are a compromise.

"Our play lists are aimed at as broad an age range as possible, from the under 15s to pensioners, from eight-years-old to 80."

Rob, who lives with his girlfriend and her young daughter, grew up in Staffordshire and cut his teeth on a small rural radio station in Hampshire while he was studying at college.

He didn't get paid but the experience was invaluable when he came to apply for a vacancy at the soon-to-be-opened station in Oakham.

"I felt quite privileged that I was coming to a new station with a comparative lack of expertise and yet I was asked to present the breakfast show. I was astounded," said Rob.

The early days at the station, around Christmas 1998, were spent with everyone crammed into a mobile building at the back of the current studios, off Melton Road.

The move into the newly-acquired building was delayed while the radio station's plans for the grade two listed structure were approved.

It was initially occupied by a doctor at the end of the 19th century and was latterly used to hire out videos from.

Rob recalled: "People are very welcoming in this area which made it easier for us at the start. From day one we have tried to respect our audience and in return they have respected us.

"The nice thing is we were announcing births of babies in the first few months and now we are announcing those children's ninth birthdays. You recognise names having done this job for several years and you try to guess which birthday it is this year.

"We're firmly part of the community, just like Rutland County Council or the Rutland Times. People would be horrified if we were suddenly not there anymore."

Rob can still wander around Oakham, Uppingham and Stamford without being recognised by most folk. As soon as he speaks it is a different matter.

"We do outside broadcasts and some people do recognise me," said Rob. "A lot of people don't know me by face but when I am in Tescos or Boots and I say something or I hand over my loyalty card they do a double take. We are never going to be big stars on this station but it is nice to be recognised and approached by people."

Everything has gone so smoothly for this particular radio presenter, apart from a couple of occasions he admits to.

The first was when he overslept and missed the start of his breakfast show. He woke up 80 miles from Oakham just 15 minutes before he was due to go on air.

A mad dash got him to the studios 90 minutes late with his boss covering.

"I remember when Princess Anne visited Oakham a couple of years ago,"

Rob recalled. "I went out of the studio with a radio microphone and was broadcasting live. The Princess was delayed and I had to talk for about 11 minutes without any music to cut to. I got a round of applause from everyone at the station when I got back."

My top 5 all time favourite songs

James Taylor – You've Got A Friend

Jack Johnson – anything from his album In Between Dreams

Andy Williams – Can't Take My Eyes Off You

Duran Duran – The Reflex

Kelly Clarkson – Breakaway

Most requested songs on the Rutland Radio Coffee Break and jukebox (our 2 daily request features)

Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody

Elvis Presley – Suspicious Minds

Meatloaf – Bat Out Of Hell

Take That – Shine

Tina Turner – The Best

 
 
 

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