Radio Marsden Free Europe

Friday 8 June 4:10pm

My afternoon nap was rudely interrupted by someone knocking on the door and entering my room. Not a nurse, not a doctor, not a cleaner, not a menu collection person, not a health care assistant, not the newspaper delivery man. This time, the person was a disc jockey – a real-life radio DJ, a young man who was cutting his teeth on hospital radio before embarking on a lifetime of Saturday night wedding receptions where dancing will only commence after consumption of; two Jägerbombs (underage teenagers), three glasses of champagne (bride and friends of family), 5 pints of Stella Artois (blokes).

‘Good afternoon. Would you like a record played on Radio Marsden tonight ?’

‘Oh no – I don’t think so thank you.’

The gentleman looked rather dolefully at a rather sparsely populated sheet of A4.

‘Oh please, I really need some more requests to fill out tonight’s show’.

‘OK then. Please can you play ‘Mr. Brightside’ by popular Las Vegas beat combo The Killers ?’

‘Yeah sure thing. What’s your name ?’

‘Norman – Norman Brightside’.

‘OK – it will probably be played around 8 o’clock’.

So, after my supper, I switched over from Russia playing the Czech Republic in the second game of Euro 2012, dutifully tuned in to Radio Marsden and was horrified to hear the closing 94 seconds of ‘Making Your Mind Up’ by Bucks Fizz.

Then I heard DJ Dave utter the immortal words ‘Well one gentleman who didn’t have any trouble making his mind up was Norman Brightside over on Orchid ward so Mr. Brightside – just for you here is ‘Mr. Brightside’ by The Killers.

I sat up and gave my best karaoke impression of Brandon Flowers and also included some impressive ‘air drumming’ although this was hampered a little by the available kit; a straw and a pear (sticks) and a paper plate on an upturned yoghurt pot (cymbal).

The song faded out and the aspiring DJ, ‘DJ Dave’, linked seamlessly to the next song.- ‘Well I’d forgotten how loud that song was but now it’s time to slow things down again by going back to 1964 and ‘I Love You Because’ by Jim Reeves’.

The next day I overheard a nurse say that the ‘crash team’ had been sent to a Mr. Fothergill on Tulip ward last night. Apparently, he was listening to Radio Marsden and the line ‘He takes off her dress now’ triggered a severe angina attack.

I waited expectantly but DJ Dave didn’t return on Saturday. Nor did he return on Sunday. In fact, he never returned for the remainder of my stay. This was a shame as I was really looking forward to hearing ‘Everybody Hurts’ by R.E.M.