Bionic Van UK Tour Week 1

21st March 2021

The BionicVan is back on the road visiting UK radio stations and its been a HOT HOT week!  (Thankfully the kit is kept cool with onboard aircon!)

Here's what we've been up to so far...

Last week we visited a few stations close to our satellite office in Manchester, trying to break the kit, or, close to home to make sure our "snagging" list was small. Lucky for us, everything worked sweetly, and we had successful visits with Hits Radio, Greatest Hits, Bay Trust Radio, Tameside Radio, Roundhay Radio and York Mix Radio. It was so good to finally see our Bionics "friends and family" at their place, be it, home, studio or hotel carpark! That's the beauty of the BionicVan.

This week during our visits in Cornwall and Devon we found out that the van is kind of comfortable for the traditional British summer, but we don't have that this week, and though we have lovely air conditioning for the kit so it doesn't overheat in the "business end of things", it appears to be lacking in the cab! When we couldn't find the button for the aircon on the dashboard for climate control we just rolled up our sleeves, opened the window and tried to enjoy the English Riviera with temperatures exceeding those in holiday destinations in Greece! At least by sharing the driving, we'll both end up with both arms evenly tanned/red/blotchy!

We arrived at Pirate FM in time for lunch, and they recommended steak pasties - these were stuff of legends… and they liked the kit on the van too. Next, we drove onto Landsend (for the photo op) and then back for a lovely hour and half with Dave from Coast FM in Penzance whom I (Kirsten) accosted in the Wharfside car park. Luckily his bright, logo'd shirt meant I wasn't approaching random men and calling them "Dave"! Phil's "nose" for a great car parking space did not let us down and hey-presto without any effort at all, found us one in a shaded, secluded corner (with the delicate aroma of a public toilet!). Nevertheless, that didn't dampen the mood, and Dave was a real gent, and we learned so much about his lovely station and his friends in the community stations locally.

We finished our long day off with CHBN in Truro at the hotel car park. Time for beers and tech - the perfect end to a really enjoyable day.

Sadly, we were unable to make a couple of our appointments because of the dreaded virus (wishing those poorly and self-isolating all the best). It's something we'll have to become used to as we travel around the country and of course we've done risk assessments and are doing whatever we can to protect ourselves and our visitors.

We were really grateful to The Voice in Barnstaple who were total heroes and saw us a whole day early. The hours flew by as we were treated to a tour of their very impressive studios, and chatted about all things Caller One, Camera One, and Shout.Radio.