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Culture

My Oxford: Trevor Marshall

The irrepressible and multi-award winning Trevor Marshall is the voice, face and all-round DNA of Oxford's JacK FM radio station
"The home of Jack FM and Jack 2 is a special place for me. It is always covered in graffiti, a couple of rats have applied to the council for planning to build an extension for their growing family and I have had 17 punctures over the last 8 years from the broken glass."

Can you tell us a bit about your relationship with Oxford?

Back in 2007 I was rescued from a radio station in the Midlands and boy was I in need of being pulled out of a little place called Birmingham! I am sure there are people who love Brum, I just did not get on with it, for me it didn’t feel like home!

When I met the team from the dumpiest building in radio, I instantly had a far better feeling of being in a place I could love.

By the way, despite what you may think about high flying radio people, they are clever, because we had arranged to meet up at Malmaison and that’s where I signed the deal to present the breakfast show for a new radio station called ‘Jack’…

And then I saw our dumpy building on the Woodstock Road the next day and that, frankly, was a bit of a shock to the system!

Anyway, 8 years and several industry awards later I was spot on about Oxford as I absolutely love it.

What are your favourite haunts around the city?

I do really like the Castle Quarter which is still not as busy as it could be.

The rooftop bar at the Malmaison is very pleasant on a summer's evening and the whole atmosphere around that hotel is delightful.

I once interviewed Ian Broudie from the Lightning Seeds who came in for a chat one morning after a stay at the Mal, he looked a little tired and he explained that he had not slept a wink!

Being a creative songwriter chap, he could not let the occasion pass him by without thinking of all the stories the former prison had within its walls and I think he penned a couple of songs overnight. He went on to say that he could not wait to get back there one day.

We are also lucky to work close to Jericho, which is one of my favourite places, especially getting something to eat at Pierre Victoire, although I have not been in for a while. I have many happy memories associated with that great bistro.

What to you are the most iconic aspects of Oxford?

For me the covered market is still a joy and takes you back to another time within the city.

I always make sure I take visitors through there on a walk around.

Strolling around Radcliffe Camera and then in to Broad Street will always put a smile on my face as I have seen that part of Oxford on many different occasions.

Such as, for instance, the Oxford United open top parade after securing promotion from conference back in to the football league. I was lucky enough to be broadcasting live from the bus witnessing a sea of yellow as thousands crammed in to Broad Street and beyond, a very special occasion and one I will never forget.

Where do you eat and drink?

Now there was a time when I went out a lot to eat and drink, but alas the kids get in the way of all that and I am a now more of a taxi service, but Taylors is just a five minute walk around the corner in Summertown which is perfect for lunch.

If you see the wife by-the-way, tell her it is only on the odd occasion (thanks).

The Perch is still a beautiful place to eat outside of and the Cherwell boathouse near Dragons is an ideal place to grab a drink and watch the tourists struggle with their punts.

At this point I have to mention Peppers Burgers in Jericho and Atomic down the Cowley Road, which had a few pennies of mine before my taxi business took off!

What about Oxford has inspired you or helped your creative process?

As soon as I met the team I was going to spend many years working with, I knew I would enjoy being on the radio here. I will let you in to a little radio secret too; a consultant once said to me that the station I was working on at the time needed to embrace the local area and champion the cause of the city.

With that in mind I knew that would be extremely easy to create. I could not broadcast in a place that I did not love, and of course there is so much to adore from the banks of Isis to bustle of a walk down Cowley Road.

What's the worst or least attractive thing about Oxford?

The traffic has to be the downside of moving around Oxford. Of course I am lucky to be driving to work at 5.00 in the morning.

Yes, can zoom (within the speed limit of course) down from Peartree to Wolvercote in about 15 seconds. But every morning at Jack we hear the frustrations of our correspondents and their gallows humour on their journey to work.

I know much has been written and said about the plan for the future and if you listen to the show you will know that I am a big fan of a monorail connecting the City and towns on the periphery together.

I know they are much maligned in this country, but if you google that method of transport you will find that it is a growth area of transport around the world. If ever the job of Mayor came up in Oxford I would stand on that basis!

Do you have an area, street or village in Oxfordshire that is special to you?

That is really tricky, but ultimately I would have to say the so called 'Dumpiest Building in Oxford' on the Woodstock Road...

Yes, the home of Jack FM and Jack 2 is a special place for me. It is always covered in graffiti, a couple of rats have applied to the council for planning to build an extension for their growing family and I have had 17 punctures over the last 8 years from the broken glass.

But despite all that a special team creates amazing groundbreaking radio. From being the first commercial radio station to broadcast in Afghanistan to getting a couple of strangers to get married that hadn't even met each other AND raising £35,000 for Helen and Douglas house earlier this year, it is an extraordinarily creative home.

Someone once likened us to tomatoes, because they like to grow in manure and that is what it is like...

 

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