Voice of the airwaves is setting off for pastures new

ONE OF Guernsey’s best-known voices is heading for a new home as he swaps Island FM for Devon.

Island FM presenter, journalist and St Peter Port douzenier Richard Harding will be leaving Guernsey to live and settle in Plymouth. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 29692846)
Island FM presenter, journalist and St Peter Port douzenier Richard Harding will be leaving Guernsey to live and settle in Plymouth. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 29692846)

Richard Harding arrived in Guernsey in 2005, anticipating he was only going to spend five years in the island. 16 years later he said it was hard to tear himself away.

‘It’s been fantastic,’ he said.

‘Guernsey is a wonderful place to live, it’s low stress, low crime, there’s a wonderful quality of life. I’ll miss the people the most, and the scenery, the fantastic coastal walks on the south coast, especially around Jerbourg. I also like L’Ancresse and Pembroke and the north coast as well, but my favourite is around Jerbourg – the view of the other islands and the French coastline when the visibility is good is spectacular.’

On arriving he threw himself into island life, even learning Guernsey French, managing to win the intermediate category in the Eisteddfod several times.

For nearly seven years he was a St Peter Port douzenier and he topped the poll in 2016.

And he met the love of his life, Bev, who helped to anchor him to Guernsey.

Things he will not miss in Guernsey are the inability to drive over 35mph and the house prices.

‘One of the downsides of Guernsey is that the price of housing is sky high, so we couldn’t afford to buy a house over here, so we bought a little house in Plymouth and we’ve rented it out over the last few years and now we’re going to move there,’ he said.

‘But we’ll be back from time to time, you haven’t got rid of us that easily.’

Mr Harding has worked in radio for more than 30 years, starting on a pirate radio ship off Israel in the Mediterranean called The Voice of Peace, which aimed to ease hostilities between the Arabs and the Israelis.

Then he moved to another offshore station, Radio Caroline, and after that there were lots of

land-based stations across the

UK.

On Island FM he has presented the breakfast show, daytime and drivetime, and he has headed up its news desk.

Apparently, a tape of the best bloopers exists – and Mr Harding was not too proud to admit that he features on it.

‘I was hosting the final of a competition and the prize was the holiday of a lifetime to the Caribbean, and I’d said to the boss at the time, “you know my maths is terrible, but if you think I can

do it then fine I’ll add up the scores”.

‘And I announced live on the radio that so-and-so has won the holiday of a lifetime and then I finished the link and someone said “I think there’s been a mistake and I think you’ll find I’ve won”. And of course we added it up again and he had won, so I had to go very sheepishly to the boss and we had to organise another holiday of a lifetime for the runner-up.’

Bloopers aside, radio is in the blood, and after unpacking all the boxes in Plymouth Mr Harding hopes to find a new opportunity back on the airwaves.

He leaves the island this week.

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