Christmas Day - Mary Payne - Page 2

The Christmas Crew also included Dennis Jason, who ruled the airwaves from 10am to 4pm, Charlie, the Ship's Shetland Islander Engineer and our great friends 'Doughnut' Diana Lambing and Hugo Miller from the Fawlty Tours coach company.

At 3.00pm, in place of the Queen's speech, Radio London broadcast the much more edifying Knees Speech, read by Her Majesty, Queen Mary of Stoke Mandeville, complete with corgi impressions from under the table by the irrepressible Doughnut Di!

After some time spent in the galley, frantically scribbling down the names of suitable tracks and their CD references, the big moment arrived. At 4.00pm, I made history by becoming the first female disc jockey to appear on Radio London - probably the greatest honour anyone could bestow on me. I was petrified, but I just had to get into that studio and do it! December 25th would have been Kenny Everett's 53rd birthday, and I'm pretty certain his spirit was there with me aboard the Ocean Defender, keeping my knees from collapsing. In order to hear the station output, I had to wear a Walkman. The headphones wouldn't fit over the tinsel wig, so that had to go.

For this special one-off show, the format went out of the porthole. Fluff, Di, Hugo, Mandie and Geoff, who had all been major contributors to Big L '97 in August, joined Chris Elliot and me in the studio around a table full of food. We turned the show into a party, reminiscing about our own, recent, 'Summer of Love' and playing our favourite music, evoking the earlier one of 1967. Whilst I happily admit that the presentation was far from perfect, I think we all managed pretty well under the circumstances.

Because the station output was available on the Internet, we were delighted to be receiving listeners' calls not just from the London area, but from around the world. We'd already discovered that Big L was being enjoyed regularly throughout the RSL, by a bar full of people in Orlando, Florida run by Reece Porter.

Di answered aphone call from a guy who said he was ringing from Aberdeen. Thinking that he might like a chat with a fellow Scot, she passed him over to Charlie. Unfortunately, our caller had no idea what Charlie was talking about as he was actually calling from Aberdeen, New Jersey!

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