Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Sandi Jones Request Show

Good to see the British press celebrating the successes one of the BBC World Service’s shows. This article from the Daily Express is undated but my guess is I cut it out in 1979.  It reads: “One of the world’s most popular broadcasters is British, works in London and yet is virtually unknown in this country”.

It goes on to say “Sandi Jones a 34-year old housewife from Fareham, Hants is the unassuming hostess of one of the most popular radio programmes in the world.

Each Sunday the BBC World Service broadcasts live the Sandi Jones request show, a 45-minute musical mixture ranging from classical to pop, with the accent on golden oldies”.

Oh dear! “Virtually unknown”. “Housewife”. Well only if you ignore the fact that Sandi had been broadcasting for the previous decade and had hosted one of the most popular and longest running shows on British radio. Why she even had her own jingle!
Sandi Jones

Sandi had been in the Women’s Royal Naval Service before joining the British Forces Broadcasting Services team in Cologne. As part of the team working on the evening music and speech programme Time Out she soon graduated to hosting the German end of Family Favourites back in 1970. By 1973 she was the main presenter at the London end, taking over from Michael Aspel. Alan Grace’s history of the BFBS in Germany takes up the story:

Sandi can still recall her first Family Favourites link: “I didn’t have time to be nervous because Mike was so easy to work with. He had a wicked sense of humour and we just bounced off each other.” Later when Sandi met Michael in London, he said, “Do you know there are little old ladies across Britain who think you and I are having an affair!” The BBC were impressed with Sandi’s style and she was asked to stand in for Michael when he went on leave and this led to her taking over the programme when she moved back to England.
 
Whilst still hosting Family Favourites, she left the programme in 1976, Sandi became one of the main presenters of the World Service’s Request Show that started in late 1975. Also on the roster were Brian Matthew, Don Moss and later Tony Myatt. Sandi’s request show ran for the next ten years or so. In the meantime she was also working for her local BBC station, Radio Solent where she was regularly on air from 1978 to 2001. After hanging up her headphones Sandi worked as a guest courier with a tour company.

I've no recordings of Sandi on the World Service - if you have please contact me - but here she is with a Family Favourites revival from 30 July 1995.
Two-Way Family Favourites


4 comments:

Chrissy Brand said...

Great post Andy. Sandi Jones was a DJ I remember fondly on BBC WS, her and Sarah Ward were two WS stalwarts. Sarah's still on Jazz FM's Dinner Jazz but I guess Sandi is retired?

Ben said...

As a true follower of BFBS Cologne I recorded every possible music show from the mid 60s on, and the "Sandi Jones Show" resp. "Sandi's Folk" were among them. She began end of 1970 with her show, and had a variety of muisc styles!- So it's great to see a photos of her after all these years....

Andy Walmsley said...

Cheers Ben. I don't suppose you have any of those tapes do you??

ci70 said...

here's her voice...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgimKiSdf1Y

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