HOW TO BE A REQUEST LINE CALLER
by Clare McCann - Spice Jock
A good time to call a radio station and ask to be put on the
air is either during a chart countdown, a continuous music sweep,
or slap bang in the middle of a news bulletin. When you are told
you can't go on air, act surprised.
In preparation for your on-air performance, gather several friends
close to the phone and make sure that they shout loudly each time
you are asked a question, rendering you incapable of answering
anything first time.
When you are put on-air, greet the DJ by name...preferably someone
Start the conversation by saying that you phoned three months
ago. If the DJ fails to recognize you, add other pointers such
as the song you requested or the friend you had with you at the
time. Continue to do so until the DJ sounds wholly convinced that
he or she knows you.
If you phone a DJ at the beginning of their program, remember
to say you've been listening to them for "the last couple
of hours," particularly if the program before them was wildly
different or presented by someone of the opposite sex
With weekend DJ's, it is important to mention that you listen
to them "every night," even though this is clearly not
When asked where you are calling from, be as localized as possible,
stating either your road name or the room which you are in. One
word replies like "work" or "home" are good,
Alternatively if you are calling a local radio station and you
are asked where you are phoning from, be as general as possible,
encompassing the whole of that station's broadcast area or the
county you are in.
When you are asked what you've been doing all day, a nice, brief
reply like "nothing much, just listening to the radio"
won't make you sound sad, lonely or boring.
Remember, if it is possible to answer a question with either
a yes or no, do so.
Always state the song you want, clearly and precisely, but using
a slightly different title. For instance, if you phone to hear
"BodyShakin,'" ask for "BodyPumpin.'"
If the artist you are requesting has moved into music from acting,
proudly request the song by using the name of their character
and the last program they appeared in, e.g., "that one by
Beth from NEIGHBORS."
If possible, request the song that has just been played or is
actually on the air as you phone. Act surprised and wounded when
you are told it's already been on.
If you're phoning for a dedication for your partner, try to
speak in cliches. Say "I love her more than words can say"
or "he's made the last few months the happiest of my life."
If you have a conversation off-air about which songs you can't
have, make sure you relay this to the DJ again once you are on-air.
When they ask what you'd like to hear, reply along the lines of,
"Well, I was going to ask for Elvis Costello, but
you said I couldn't have it."
Make sure you ask the jock what happened to a DJ that was on
the station several years ago, particularly if the departure was
connected to some kind of scandal.
Remember it is your right to say "Hi" to your friends.
Respond unenthusiastically to anything the DJ asks until he allows
you to mention your "boyfriend Jack and best friend Me-Shell."
If you can, make sure you fit into your list at least one friend
who lives 30 miles or more away from the outer broadcast area.
"Hello to Katy, she's in Inverness" should do it.
If you are a caller under the age of 12, remember that saying
hello to your friends also includes your pets, every member of
your extended family, and any pop idols who may be listening.
If you win a contest, your response must be in inverse proportion
to the size of the prize. For example, if you win a Mercedes SLK,
a simple "Yeah, that's really great" will suffice. But
if you win a CD worth £ 12, start hyperventilating and shout,
"Oh my God, I can't believe I've won!" Declarations
of undying love to the DJ are also appropriate here.
A great line to add just as the DJ appears to be wrapping up
the conversation is, "Can I just say one more thing?"
Wait at least five seconds before following it up, allowing the
DJ to panic a little about what is coming. Finish with something
completely out of character from the rest of the call, like, "Just
want to say to my pal Dave that I know things have been tough
for you since your mother died, but I'm always here for you."
There is no real point in talking to the DJ before he starts
your song, so try to cram everything you want to say into the
30 seconds or so between the song starting and the vocals coming
in; treat it like one of those games where you have to say as
much as possible before the clock runs out. Listing things is
fun here. If you've already said "Hi" to your friends,
try listing all the DJs past and present that you would like a
signed photo of or alternatively use this time to enquire about
why you haven't received the CD you won on a contest last April.