Main photograph by David Myers Photography
Radio is booming these days and with that boom has come a range of new stations the latest of which, Boom Radio, will be broadcasting from a front room near you later this afternoon.
At 2pm every Saturday Hastings’ very own Jenny Hanley takes to the Boom airwaves for a two-hour show that has a playlist – like that of the rest of the station – that targets the baby boom generation – those in their mid-50s and older.
Baby-boomers give the new station a potential audience of around 14 million and it has a line-up of familiar radio names; personalities from the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s, including a weekday breakfast show hosted by Graham Dene who woke up London for a generation, the familiar voice of David Hamilton from midday, Nicky Horne in the early evening and Diana Luke late at night.
The station’s schedule will be spiced by a soul show with Greg Edwards; and apart from appearances by Jenny there will be other familiar names like Kid Jensen, Esther Rantzen, Amanda Barrie and Anna Raeburn, who returns with Talk to Anna, recreating the programmes she hosted generations ago but now targeting those same listeners who’ve grown into what the station describes as “different life challenges”.
Boom Radio was founded by radio industry heavyweights Phil Riley and David Lloyd. The pair have worked together for more than 20 years for major radio stations including Heart and LBC.
Jenny has had a long and distinguished career which saw her, in her modelling days, on the covers of top magazines like Vogue and Harpers and Queens; as a Bond Girl in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and one of the three main presenters of childern’s TV show Magpie in the late 1970s and on top of all of that she has spent a large part of her career behind the microphone, working in radio, for broadcasters including the BBC and SAGA.
“I go back a very long way in radio, I presented a programme sponsored by Max Factor from the pirate ships in the 1960s,” she says.
A shy teenager Jenny didn’t plan a career in show business: “I wasn’t just a wallflower I was practically lichen,” she says. She wanted to be a nanny and governess and went to study in France. Good with children and animals – talents that would stand her in good stead for her time on Magpie – she went on to study child psychology at night school before the lure of the spotlight proved too strong, she took a modelling course and never looked back.
She’s loving her Saturday show and being part of the Boom revolution. From 2pm until 4pm every week she broadcasts from her home here in Hastings.
“I don’t do the history of the music, or who did it when, there are far more knowledgable people who can do that, I just sit there and chat to my listeners,” she told Hastings In Focus.
“In theatre your audience is the whole building, on TV it’s the people in the room but radio is a much more intimate medium, you are talking to a single individual,” she says.
With lockdown in place she admits she misses the buzz of going in to a studio to do her broadcasts, misses the cameraderie of being part of the team and just misses meeting up with her colleagues and she has know many of the Boom team, like David Hamilton, for decades.
She is enjoying the music she plays and while much of it is set down by the producers at Boom she does have the opportunity to suggest some tracks and was particularly pleased when she challenged them to find a track by 60s artist Françoise Hardy and they found it.
Jenny says she’s not thinking about the future, what comes next after restrictions end, hopefully in early summer. In the meantime she’s enjoying the music she plays, enjoying being part of something new, enjoying getting to know her listeners and enjoying being able to share once more the famous Hanley’s Handy Hints.
You car hear Jenny on Boom every Saturday between 2pm and 4pm.
How to listen to Boom Radio
- Across the UK on your DAB radio – just scroll through the stations until you see Boom Radio.
- On your smart speaker! If you use Alexa, simply say ‘Play Boom Radio‘ for Google just say ‘OK Google, talk to Boom Radio’.
- There are various apps where you can find Boom Radio on your smartphone – TuneIn or Radioplayer app for example.
- You can also download the Boom radio app. Just search for Boom Radio in the app store or Google Play.
- Listening on a laptop or PC is easy – just click the Listen button on our website in your browser