KEENY - "On The Air
- MARK KEEN on Mercia FM
LEAN, HE'S MEAN - HE'S MARK KEEN"
I first heard Mark Keen on MERCIA FM in Coventry, where he worked from
1989 to 1995. I found his amusing late night programme from 10pm
to 1am, called "The naughty Late Show", a very refreshing listen,
nothing 'worthy' just fun, good music, amusing jokes, silly serials
such as The Hamster Of Oz, Lady Godiva's Nibbles and Lady Godiva's
lots of tittle-tattle
with listeners on the phones between 11pm and midnight. One of
Mark's jingles proclaimed
"He's Lean He's Mean He's Mark Keen". Another jingle announced that
Mark was "On The Air Everywhere".
During the phone in section of the show, Mark would always entice his
audience to ring up his show with the phrase ' Stick your finger in the
dial and talk to Keeny for a while". And many did - he had a
loyal band of regular callers - some were a bit mad but all were very
funny and Mark had great banter with them.
Mark liked silly names and always referred to the station's boss (I
think it was Stuart
Linnell at the time) as 'Lord Mercia' - who would make regular
appearances on the show, and his many callers had some
nicknames such as Bob The Sheep - I think he listened to Mercia FM in
Birmingham, Chippy The Word Pervert, The Pervy Traffic
and Mr Boring. Kingsley, a caller from the area, would
also make regular, and sometime incoherent, appearances.
about a year between 1992 and March 1993 his
Late Show was also broadcast to the lucky late night listeners of
Leicestershire on LEICESTER SOUND which belonged to the same radio
company (Midlands Radio plc) as Mercia FM. At this time 'Lord
Mercia' morphed into 'Lord Radio'.
After March 1993 Mark was moved to the drivetime programme on Mercia
Sound during the week, but still presented the Sunday Late Show, which
was carried on both Mercia FM and Leicester Sound. Keeny
presented the Sunday Late Show until August 1993 when the station moved
him to the Breakfast Show.
During this time Midlands Radio, which owned Mercia FM and Leicester
Sound (among others) was sold to Capital radio plc, who later sold on
Mercia and Leicester to GWR who changed the format of the stations and
moved Mark around the schedules. Mark left Mercia in 1995.
Mark was (and still is) famous for his bald top, and he wrote a book
which included many cartoons called 'The Bald Book'.
After finishing work with Mercia FM in 1995, Mark moved to another
based station, KIX 96, but here he presented the breakfast show for
two years, after which the midlands lost his talents for a while as he
moved to Wigan to launch a new station called WISH FM. Mark was
only in Wigan for four or five months though, as in September he moved
back to the East Midlands to present the late show from 10pm to
midnight on a new regional commercial station in that area called RADIO
106. Many of
Mark's MERCIA FM callers rang in - RADIO 106 could be heard over a wide
area including Coventry and much of the northern part of Warwickshire -
Bob The Sheep was back along with new names such as Matt The Brummie,
Yorkie Man, Mrs Muppett, Crazy Lady and Chocolate Girl. The
seemed to be as popular as ever and the running time was eventually
extended to 1am.
(Although Mark's phone ins were great, just like the ones on MERCIA FM,
RADIO 106 itself was underperforming and was re-launched as 'CENTURY
106'. Later the station got bought by Capital Radio plc and was
relaunched (again) as '106 CENTURY FM'. In 2005 because Capital
merged with GWR, who also own radio licences in the East Midlands, the
Office Of Fair Trading told the newly merged GWR/Capital company - GCAP
to sell 106 CENTURY FM. The station was bought by Chrysalis who
rebranded it as HEART 106 FM. But I digress!!)
With the changes at RADIO 106, it was a great pity that Mark had left
the station at the end of 1998 - Chistopher Alloyisious Ashley (Chris
Ashley) took over the late show and the phone in. Chris Ashley
later went on to work mainly for BBC Radio Shropshire on weekday
afternoons, and BBC Radio WM
at the weekends for several years, until retiring to southern Spain at
end of May 2005 - but I digress again!
After leaving RADIO 106 Mark went on to work for RED ROSE RADIO 999, in
Preston & Blackpool, where he again presented the late night phone
in show. Whe RED ROSE was relaunched by EMAP plc as MAGIC 999 in
2000, Mark was moved to the afternoon/evening show, which was the last
time I heard his programmes. He was later given the breakfast
show, but in late 2003 was back on the 10pm to 2am late show.
Below is Mark's presenter profile on the reverse of the Mercia FM photo
card which is shown at the top of this page:
Religion - REM
Gurney (Mercia Sport) at Video Games
with the animals, but I already do that on my show
Mark finished work with
999 in January 2005 and has done some work with Hallam FM and Talk
Sport in the interim period.
In October 2005 Mark was on Talk
Sport every Sunday evening from 8pm to 10pm.
Simon Parry informed us that in September 2008 Mark was working at Wire
FM in Warrington doing weekday mornings and Saturday afternoons 2pm to
Later - 2009 - Mark went on to work for Central Radio 106.5 in Preston.
Central Radio launched just before recession gripped the UK and the
station's owners, UTV Radio, decided to close the station on 24th
December 2009 due to financial losses.
So let's hope Mark and his
unique talents always remain
"On The Air Everywhere" - somewhere!
Hear Mark Keen on the air on the
Mercia Sound Audio Files page - Here >
"..I hope you
the Mark Keen Page...
UP AND GET ON WITH YOUR WORK !!!! "