presenter Mike Shaft is back in town as
the rise n'shine man on the the BBC's dedicated
Commonwealth Games radio station. Mike will
be presenting the station's Breakfast Show,
kicking off the station's output at 6.30am
on Monday, March 4th . . . and each weekday
morning from then on until the end of the
Games in early August.
and the team will reflect the five-month
build-up to the Games, taking in events
such as the Spirit of Friendship Festival,
the Volunteer Programme and the Queen's
Jubilee Baton Relay. No problem for the
versatile Shaft. After all, he's no stranger
to Greater Manchester, nor to the Games
three years he was the drivetime presenter
on BBC Manchester, then BBC GMR, being one
of the bedrock staff at the station's launch
back in the 1980s. Before that, he spent
eight years at Piccadilly Radio in the city,
presenting nearly every music show going,
as well as being the station's Head of Music.
effervescent personality and his love of
life and people has been his hallmark throughout
- and now he brings the "Shaft style" back
to the North West, where he was brought
up and where he carved out his broadcasting
career. He brings first-hand knowledge and
expertise about the Commonwealth Games too,
having covered the pre-Games build-up and
the event itself when they were held in
British Columbia on the West Coast of Canada
top of all that, he was born in the Commonwealth
country of Grenada before his parents brought
him to live in Tameside as a young man.
Mike - once known as the "Soul King" of
Manchester - aims to put his art and soul
into 'BBC 2002' 97.7FM.
says: "It's great to be back. I want to
make people feel good about the Games and
to feel part of it all.
going to be a lot of fun for everyone in
the North West who embraces it. I saw what
a great time everyone had around the Games
in Canada. Now it's Manchester's turn.
don't think people have quite realised what
kind of super event it can be and just how
the next few months will liven people's
lives in Greater Manchester.
2002 aims to provide that vital link of
entertaining people, reflecting and showcasing
the range of things going on over the next
five months and the personalities involved.
morning from 6.30am to 10am, I'll be doing
my own thing to kick off the day for listeners.
I'm truly excited by it all, not least because
it's happening in my home city."
certainly a long way from Mike's childhood
days at Two Trees School in Denton. After
leaving school, he worked as a counter clerk
for the Post Office. It gave Mike "the chance
to meet people" all over Greater Manchester
- I worked in Whitworth Street, Longsight,
Gorton, Levenshulme, Withington, Manchester
city centre . . . you name it I've been
the evening, he was crafting his DJ skills
at clubs like Rafters and Pips. Then one
day, he saw an article in a paper which
said "Andy Peebles Goes to Radio One." The
long and short of it is that within 45 minutes,
Mike was knocking on the door for Andy's
old job in Manchester - and he got it. Mike
says: "It was a dream come true for me.
My great love is music and I was able to
combine business with pleasure from then
on. On top of that, someone came along and
asked me do commentary on my great sporting
love, basketball. What could be better?"
still does his basketball commentary, taking
in the now-defunct Manchester Giants, Sheffield
Sharks, Birmingham Bullets and Newcastle
Eagles. He was a prime mover in setting
up the UK's first black music station, Sunset
Radio in Manchester and sometime later he
won a Commonwealth Trust busary to go and
work with the Commonwealth Games in Canada.
in working for The Christian Channel as
a series editor and you have the multi-talented
Mike Shaft, now taking on a new task with