Mearns FM has an army of people involved in the station’s day to day running with over two dozen presenters broadcasting shows to satisfy a multitude of musical tastes. It’s a merry band of committed individuals gladly offering their services from the station’s studio on Ann Street or from their own home, but occasionally there’s a glitch in the system, a technical issue that grinds things to a halt. That’s when someone has to step in to right the ship and that person is Gavin Harper, our focus this week as we continue a series of profiles on the people running our local radio station.
Were you involved in radio prior to Mearns FM?
I had a brief stint with Heartland FM in Pitlochry since I used to live in Perth. I also ran an internet radio station for a while.j
What do you do beyond presenting?
I look after a number of things at Mearns FM but predominantly programming, finding and training up new presenters, website management, streaming and transmitter maintenance. I suppose I’m at my happiest when at one of our transmitters fixing things (I’ve been known to go into the Laurencekirk transmitter cabin in beautiful sunshine and emerge six hours later with the hill covered in snow!)
What do you enjoy most about Mearns FM?
I adore music and I love the service a local radio station gives its community too so both dovetail nicely. Radio is fun and exciting, receiving requests and dedications is rewarding and makes it all worthwhile.
And what do you enjoy least?
When things break! Often it’s just a button on the mixing desk that needs pushing but other incidents can be quite major. A low point was definitely the flooding in the old studio but we soon bounced back.
What kind of show do you present and how often?
Over the years I have presented Sunday nighttime shows, Drivetime and evenings but due to my day job I have only recently taken on a full time show again, every Saturday at 2pm. My show’s a mix of anything that takes mine or the listeners’ fancy! I love being on air and with us being on DAB across the North East now, the requests just keep coming which is brilliant.
What’s your favourite band and gig?
I have seen the likes of Oasis, Steps, Vengaboys, Alison Moyet, Tori Amos and Cher, an eclectic mix for sure which probably says it all about me. I’m not sure I really have a favourite. The best gig I attended was Tori Amos, it had a limited audience and the intimacy of it all stood out.
What’s your day job?
I’m a bus driver in Aberdeen. Formerly I worked in the office (customer services) but due to the Covid virus I’m driving again for the foreseeable future. I do enjoy it though, you meet loads of different people every day which keeps life interesting.
If you’re interested in presenting a show, Gavin is the man to contact. Just email email@example.com