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Walsall lawyer takes to the airwaves

By Gurdip Thandi | Willenhall | Birmingham entertainment | Published:

A lawyer will be orating to a new audience after clinching his own radio show on a station set up to support residents during lockdown.

Solicitor and former Walsall poet laureate Ian Henery. PIC: Ian Henery

Ian Henery, who is also Walsall’s former poet laureate and a playwright, will present his self-titled poetry and theatre show on Hope Radio every Tuesday evening after being invited to do so by station bosses.

Hope is aimed at the over-50s, particularly those who might be in social isolation due to the pandemic and lockdown that followed.

Mr Henery, whose practice is based in Willenhall, is no stranger to the airwaves as he has presented shows on Black Country Radio, Legal TV and WCR FM.

He said: “I was just chuffed to be invited to front my own show. I got the call from Peni Whelan out of the blue asking me to be part of Team Hope.

“I felt like I had won the lottery. Radio is the most intimate form of communication. It’s just you and the listener.

“When you present a show you have to remember to smile all of the time because your listener will pick up on that in your voice.

“It’s a real responsibility because you have to constantly remember your listener comes first and you are representative of a community radio platform.”

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Hope Radio is not for profit and provides FM programmes, aimed at listeners aged over 50 in Birmingham who are isolated and have no internet access.

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Community radio champion Peni Whelan said: “With just an FM radio our audience has the technology to get the latest advice, to get involved in local projects, to know how and where to get help, to request songs for their mates and family, to say happy birthday, to say thank you or goodbye, to feel involved, to be part of life, to feel hope – and that is what we all need right now – hope.”

She added staff and alumni at Birmingham City University has been helping them with media production and content.

She said: “If we had no support we would have no station. Funding is already in place from Selly Oak Neighbourhood Network so a big thank you to Karen Cheney and the team.”

The Ian Henery Show broadcasts on Tuesday evenings between 8pm – 9pm every week on Hope Radio, which broadcasts from Birmingham on 87.9 FM.

Gurdip Thandi

By Gurdip Thandi
@Gurdo

Local Democracy Reporter covering Walsall.

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