This website is not a vanity project, and Richard Innfield is not his real name. 'When you work in radio and in some fields of journalism, it's often wise to keep your real name out of it,' he says. 'Quite a lot of journos and broadcasters do. There are some very sick people out there!'
For most of his working life Innfield has been on national network radio as an anchor and as the presenter of a popular daily three-hour music and talk show, as well as being a busy freelance journalist and voice artist doing commercials, documentary narration and the like. But those days are gone now, and so Richard has taken a new direction with this website and podcast.
Of the podcast, and broadcasting in general, he says he has never believed in the dictatorial, declamatory and high-handed national public radio style of broadcasting that tries to force its views on the listener ... 'This is what I think, and therefore this is what you should be thinking.' When someone switches on a radio, they are inviting you into their home, he says.
A radio is not a megaphone through which you can stridently bellow your views. 'It is an ear, and it has an "off" switch and a tuning dial.If the listener doesn't like what you're doing, they can switch you off or tune you out. There are plenty of other stations for them to go to,' says Innfield.
'It's a bit like having a meal in a restaurant. Very few people, if they have a bad experience, will complain. They'll just never come back, and they'll tell all their friends to avoid your restaurant too,' he says. 'The restaurant owner can never know just how much harm those people are doing, or how many there are.'
'Radio never ever gets out of your blood,' he says. 'Once you've been exposed to it for any length of time, it's in you for life. You have a very special level of contact with a radio audience that you can never have on TV, and radio doesn't have the same sense of being a manufactured product that TV does. You form bonds with radio listeners, even though you never meet them. Especially if you do a late night programme.'
Innfield's time in radio included a stint with a major national public broadcaster. 'No; not the BBC ... but it was an organisation very much like it in culture and size,' he says. 'The parting of the ways came when they sold some of their more popular stations off to private interests.
During a consumer slot, he happened to give a piece of shopping advice. 'I think it's very valid advice,' he says. 'I said that you should never go to the supermarket on an empty stomach. Always have something to eat before you go out to do the weekly grocery shop — that way you'll resist the urge to impulse-buy all round the shop when you see all those yummy, brightly-packaged goodies piled up conveniently at eye level.'
After all those years, this was a career-ending move. 'The MD of the biggest supermarket chain in the country, which was a major advertiser on the station, happened to hear it. He phoned my boss, who was a disagreeable brute at the best of times, and nailed his ears to the wall. I got the chop for that.'
Since then, Innfield has been Station Manager and anchor presenter for a couple of independent stations since then, as well as leading what he calls 'a very special community station' for a time in South Africa.
Apart from the new podcast, Richard is still a busy writer and 'picks up the odd voice gig from time to time,' he says. 'The podcast came about purely as an extension of my time in mainstream radio. I just felt I had to do it. It was the closest to radio I could get. I still think I'll get back into radio one day.'
'It might be a bit of a struggle getting people to listen to the podcast at the beginning — but I hope they'll warm to it and we'll have some regular listeners before long'.
Richard Innfield's writing style leans toward the satirical and tongue-in-cheek, as can be seen in a selection of his writing in the Blog section of this website.