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Dudley radio DJ is spreading smiles on the airwaves

Most of us return from holiday with souvenirs and a suntan but not Heidi Wilkinson.

Heidi Wilkinson presents Heidi's Happy Hits on Red Lamp Radio
Heidi Wilkinson presents Heidi's Happy Hits on Red Lamp Radio

She came back from Fuertuventura with her own radio show.

While staying on the oldest island in the Canaries, she was offered a job as a presenter on Red Lamp Radio.

She now presents Heidi's Happy Hits on Saturday afternoons for the station, which has studios in the UK and Spain.

It all came about after a chance meeting with the station's manager, Craig Dean, in a karaoke bar, explains Heidi, who lives in Quarry Bank, Dudley.

"I went on holiday with my daughter and one night I fell over and cut my knee. I was given first aid in a little karaoke bar and we ended up singing in there all week.

"We got talking to one of the locals, who turned out to the station's manager, and he offered me a show. It was all very strange because if I never would have found the karaoke bar or spoken to Craig, if I hadn't fallen over and cut my knee.

"But you never know what doors will open and I believe you have got to take every opportunity you get."

Heidi says her aim is to play music that brings a smile to people's faces

Red Lamp Radio, which is named after the iconic red ‘on air’ lamp that signifies a studio microphone is switched on, plays a wide variety of music, 24 hours a day.

The station, which was founded in January 2019, can be listened to live online and shows are also available as recorded podcasts.

It was set up to not only entertain listeners but to also offer broadcasting experience to radio newcomers.

Although its primary audience is in the UK, Spain and Ireland, it also attracts listeners in more than 50 countries around the world, including the United States, Mexico, India, the Maldives, and Cyprus.

It operates a ‘broadcast from home’ structure, so presenters need access to a quiet space with their own computer, microphone, headphones and music library, along with suitable broadcast software, a stable internet connection, and a regular time slot to broadcast their show. All styles and genres are welcome and full training is provided, if needed.

Heidi, who started presenting her show on March 19, says her aim is to play music that brings a smile to people's faces.

"I'm all about positivity - whether it's my hair, colourful dresses or my music, I want to make people happy. All the music I play is real feel good music. I love Abba, Queen and anything cheesy. I love music that makes you want to dance around your living room.

"Music has always been my saviour, it’s there when times are good and it’s propped me up when life has got tough, no matter what has happened, there’s a track to soothe my soul.

"My motto in life is to spread smiles and that’s what I’m hoping Heidi's Happy Hits will do."

Heidi, who also runs her own craft business and has recently started a new job in the care industry, has been working in the entertainment industry for nearly 30 years.

Heidi was offered her radio presenting job while on holiday

This has included singing at Pride events and festivals and has also hosting DJ nights at pubs clubs and parties in England and Spain.

Heidi and her partner, Mark, also work as the DJ team - Mark and his Technicolour Dream Wife - and specialise in playing music for all ages, from the 60s through to the present day.

As well as regular disco and karaoke nights with Mark at The Victoria Inn in Dudley Wood Road on Friday and Saturday nights, which they've hosted for two years, Heidi also entertains guests at weddings and other celebrations.

"I really love what I do. I love meeting new people and sharing their special days. We've done a few weddings and they are always amazing. Everybody is dancing away. I just feel blessed to share these special moments with people," says Heidi.

Every week, she presents her Red Lamp Radio show from her craft room at home, which has been dubbed the Rainbow Studio.

"At first it felt really strange because I have a much larger audience than when I'm DJ-ing at an event, but I don't have them in front of me. I just tried to do the same thing I do when I'm DJ-ing and it's been going well," Heidi tells Weekend.

She has been delighted by the positive response to her show, which is broadcast from 3pm-5pm every Saturday, and she has also been enjoying receiving requests and dedications from listeners.

"It's been really positive so far and all good fun. It's all about making people smile. It makes me feel better when I'm making other people feel better," says Heidi.

To find out how to listen to Heidi's Happy Hits show or download the podcast, go to redlampradio.com/how-to-listen

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