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Ambulance driver goes from A&E to the radio studio

Steve Hickman plays music to Hillingdon Hospital patients - often those he has brought in himself

Steve Hickman at the mixing desks for Hospital Radio Hillingdon

Juggling being an ambulance driver and a part-time radio presenter is all in a day's work for Steve Hickman.

The 37-year-old will often finish a 12 hour shift before heading straight for Radio Hillingdon's studios, conveniently located beneath the A&E ramp at Hillingdon Hospital in Pield Heath Road.

Mr Hickman, who lives in Philpots Close, Yiewsley, said: "I often go round the hospital wards asking people for music requests and come across someone who I have bought in earlier by ambulance.

"It is a hospital station so we get everyone involved including staff doing some of the information breaks between songs. It’s a bit of fun for them and helps us out."

The presenter began working at the station as a teenager and was hosting his own show at the tender age of 16.

Since then he has put his hand to everything at the station, from road show manager and fire officer to fundraising co-ordinator and local news reporter.

Mr Hickman, has two weekly shows and is now chairman of Hospital Radio Hillingdon(HRH), which was voted the fourth most listened to hospital radio station in the UK, averaging more than 3,500 listeners a week.

It has certainly come a long way since its roots in 1970 when four trainees from record company EMI - which used to own The Old Vinyl Factory in Blythe Road, Hayes - set some equipment up in the staff canteen to play Christmas songs to patients.

Today, the station broadcasts 24/7 with a range of shows including The A-Z of Pop, The Vintage Years and Mellow Mix. The most popular show is the nightly request show, where patients make requests free of charge from their bedside phone.

Surely Steve has rubbed shoulders with some celebrities during his 25 year tenure behind the mixing desks? 

"I’ve interviewed Bob Holness from Blockbusters and Panther from Gladiators. Does that count?" he said.

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