PE radio chief Jay proud to be on judges' panel at awards

PORT Elizabeth radio personality Alfie Jay is one of nine judges adjudicating this year's MTN Radio Awards.

The annual awards celebrate the best of South Africa's on-air and behind- the-scenes radio talent.

Jay, operations director at Algoa FM, will sit on the panel with judges from several other radio and multimedia organisations including Natano Brache of SABC and Nick Efstathiou of OFM.

"The MTN Radio Awards are highly regarded and I thus feel very honoured and privileged to be chosen as an adjudicator. Clearly I must be doing something right if I'm respected enough to judge the work of others and I am sincerely looking forward to it," Jay said.

Jay, 46, has been in the radio industry for 24 years and presented a slot on Algoa FM between 1991 and 2006.

But his love affair with radio goes back even further.

"As a child I used to marvel at this small square box called a radio and how it all worked. Before 1986 I loved listening to Springbok, Capital and the old Radio 5. I was inspired by such great talents as Martin Bailey, Peter de Nobrega and my favourite DJ, Alex Jay," he said.

"I found myself wanting to share their experience. This, together with an immense passion for music and people, drove me to pursue a career in the radio industry and I feel privileged to say I have never looked back."

And while he may have never looked back, there is one embarrassing incident – while presenting a late night request programme – he would rather forget.

"A listener called in to dedicate a love song to his new fiancée. In error I read his dedication live on air before playing Roxette's It Must Have Been Love  [a break up song]. I did apologise but to this day I cringe just thinking about it," he said.

MTN chief marketing officer Brian Gouldie said they were pleased with the "substantial excitement" ahead of the awards.

"We truly appreciate that adjudicators volunteer their expertise and their talent, thus giving back to the industry.

"With entries being adjudicated by a knowledgeable panel of industry experts, I am confident the standards of radio are constantly being raised," he said.

The awards are being held at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg on April 12.