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Marilyn Monroe once said, “It’s not true that I had nothing on, I had the radio on.”
For many people across the globe, if the radio is on, their life goes on! Radio, a small medium with a big influence, isn’t just a source of entertainment, but also worldwide news and current affairs – and don’t forget the onset of podcasts.
Of course, being live can have its interesting moments. Just ask Indian Link Radio‘s anchors, who all have some funny stories to share about life on-air, and how they quickly covered up bloopers with a smile.
Funniest bloopers on-air?
“I remember how I kept a listener on hold during most of my live show and completely forgot about it!” laughed RJ Manoj, the host of Aaj Dil Shayarana on Monday evenings.
Safarnama show host Charuta’s on-air blooper is a very recent one.
“I was giving Test cricket match updates (during the AUSvIND 2020-2021 series) and realised that I was actually reading an old match update,” she said.
How did she cover it up? “I asked listeners, ‘Batao, yeh sahi update thi ya nahi? (Was it a correct match update or not)’ They called up and had fun in this.”
Good Morning Australia host RJ Ekta still remembers how one of her friends fell off the chair while hosting a live show.
As for herself…
“Many years ago, I was conducting a Bollywood tune contest where people had to identify the song being played. Suddenly, I realised I played the answer for the contest by mistake instead of the tune,” she shared.
“I covered up by saying, ‘Aaj to gana baj gaya . .ab aap log tune bata do!” (I played the song, now you tell me the tune) It turned out to be a total fun contest for a change.”
But perhaps the most common on-air blooper of all: leaving the mic on.
RJ Swati, the newest member of Indian Link R adio team, remembers taking a phone call from home… without muting her mic.
“I was on the phone with my family, tracking down my children’s school uniform, and the search operation was broadcast live,” Swati laughed. “One kind listener called up, joking that he would also be able to track my kids’ uniforms at my place now, with the on-air inputs.”
At least the incident taught her to always switch the mic off – and re-check.
For Sagar, an Indian Link Radio anchor since 2008, a lesson for a studio newbie turned into a lesson for himself.
“I was explaining to the newbie the importance of switching off microphones when not on-air, then realised my own mic was still on,” he confessed. “In a second I got a call from a listener saying ‘sirji, apna mic toh band karlo’!”
RJ Meenakshi, who hosts weekend shows from Melbourne, still laughs to this day about her on-air blooper.
“After coming to Australia from India, the very first day at the Studio was quite memorable. In a jiffy and out of sheer habit from my last job, I mentioned the old companies name on-air! Thankfully, I quickly corrected myself. Of course, there is so much to learn from these mistakes too. You are much more cautious and prepared every time you go on-air.”
Frequently asked questions by callers
- #1 question remains: “What do you do when the song plays?”
- “Itne saare gaane kahan se late ho fatafat? (From where you get so many songs so quickly when requested?)” The answer: Every radio station has a song library
- “Do you take all calls live? Or go recorded?”
- “Wow! You are paid to talk. How cool is that. Do you script what you talk?”
- “Have you also interviewed Amitabh Bachchan? Can we meet him too?”
- “Do you have contact details of all the celebrities?”
- “In long 3- 4hour shows, do you also eat and drink in between?”
- “I sing quite well. Can I become a radio host?” (Turns out, ‘singing’ and ‘hosting a show’ have no connection)
Thanks to Indian Link Radio listeners for tuning in – happy World Radio Day!