Nick Abbot is a UK Radio Presenter and can currently be heard on London's LBC 97.3 on Saturdays from 2200-0100, he also covers for Clive Bull. I wrote this page some time ago now about Nick's early radio work.
Nick has had a varied career in radio, he worked at Radio Luxembourg presenting a late-night music show. It was here that he came across a tape of Neil Rogers, an American radio talk show host, who has proved to be one of his biggest influences in broadcasting.
In 1988 he was hired by the BBC to become the first presenter of The Breakfast Show on what was until recently Greater London Radio, a job which he held for about a year.
In between times he also worked 'in-store' at Virgin Megastores Radio and it was from there that he was hired by Virgin 1215 when it launched in 1993. Nick's original programme was a mixture of music and phone-ins. However Nick is a presenter who is not afraid to speak his mind, he often voiced his opinions about other stations and presenters and it was this that eventually led him in to trouble.
Nick was always very down-to-earth and sometimes abrupt with his callers, hence in the early days of Virgin he was nicknamed "Nasty Nick", before 'Big Brother' was even thought of! Nick would dispute being 'nasty' but he was often rude.
Nick's phone-ins never have any topics as such, many people think this is odd and listeners phone-in when they have something, but often nothing to say! However, once people adjust to the style of the show, the unpredictable nature of the calls is what makes the show so exciting and humorous to listen, gaining Nick many fans who would never miss any of his appearances. Anyway, back to the story.
Whenever I listen to Nick, I sometimes find some of his phone-in material so funny that I have to stop listening momentarily to get my breath back and stop laughing. This is surely a good thing, except that if I am listening on my personal stereo and other people are around, I am made to look completely stupid when I am rolling around in fits of laughter!
However, not everybody felt this way about Nick and his show attracted a number of complaints leading to him being dropped from the 10pm-2am slot. He was moved to a new time of 7-10pm in the hope that the change of time might 'mellow him out', but being 'prime-time' it meant that more people heard him than before and more people complained. Despite the fact that people became aware of the content of Nick's show, it appears it was simply not possible for this minority to tune elsewhere or switch off if they heard something they didn't like!
After this, Nick was moved to late-night slots again, but this time he was only allowed to play music. What turned out to be his last chance for the time being came when he was given the Drivetime slot, where he was allowed to take a few calls, but nothing to the scale of his former shows.
Virgin incurred more fines and subsequently in 1995 Nick was sacked from Virgin Radio, Virgin claimed that they wanted to concentrate more on the music element of the station and that Nick's show would not fit in with the new format.
Virgin's last fine, the biggest, at £20,000 came after Nick allowed one of his callers to tell an urban myth about "a friend" of his who picked up a girl, and whilst they were having sex, he was so drunk that he threw up on her and passed out. She then took her revenge, by having a dump on his chest while he was still unconscious.
Nick returned to the airwaves in Summer 1996, when he stood in for Ian Collins on Talk Radio, I missed these shows, the next time I heard Nick was when he returned to Virgin in about May 1997 The new management had obviously decided they wanted him back in the line-up after hearing him on Talk.
It was good to once again hear his unmistakable voice on the radio. As well as at this appearing occasionally on Virgin, he presented a Saturday afternoon phone-in with Carol McGiffen on Talk Radio, during the close of the football season. Although I am using the phrase in its loosest sense as they weren't always that many calls taken as Nick and Carol had some much to say to and about each other!
He also presented the evening show on Virgin for 6 weeks that summer, marking a brief return for his old phone-in show on the station. After the football started again for the 1997/98 season, Nick was given his own show on Saturday nights on Talk Radio and also a slot again on Virgin Radio.
However, Nick almost left Virgin when he was finally given a nightly phone-in on Talk Radio, after re-building his audience on the Saturday evening show. Nick stayed on the show on Talk and on Virgin adding new listeners all the time, getting back to his best. Until that is he was sacked by Talk Radio's management in November 1999, shortly before the station was re-launched as Talk Sport.
Nick stayed on Virgin until Summer 2001 and has since taken off on what may turn out to be a tour of the commercial radio world.