Richard Park (broadcaster)

Richard Park (broadcaster)

Richard Park (Born on 10th March 1948 in Kirkcaldy, Fife) is a Media Consultant and broadcaster in the UK. He is best known for his appearances as the 'Headmaster' of BBC TV's "Fame Academy" programmes.

Professional career

Voted most influential person in the music industry by Record and Radio Industry Executives in 2001, Richard started his career as a Pirate DJ on offshore station Radio Scotland in 1966. Later he joined the fledgling BBC Radio 1 network presenting such programmes as The Radio 1 Club and Round Table show.

In the mid 1970's, he joined Radio Clyde specialising in music and sport programming working his way up to be Head of Entertainment. He also hosted a show named 'Doctor Dick's Midnight Surgery'. Park also became the station's regular football commentator, working alongside summariser James Sanderson.

Richard moved to London in 1987, to become Programme Controller at Capital Radio. He was instrumental in breaking new talent including Pete Tong, Tim Westwood and Neil Fox. He was responsible for hiring Chris Tarrant on Capital, which became one of the most successful breakfast shows in the UK.

In 1996, Richard formed Wildstar Records, uniting Capital and Telstar Records. As Director, he was responsible for signing Craig David. In 2001, after 14 years with Capital, he left to set up his own consultancy company, Park Management. Two years later, he set up Park Records, a joint venture with Universal Music.

He is also Radio Consultant for Emap, working on Magic and Big City networks.

In 2004 and 2005, Richard appeared on London's LBC 97.3 as presenter of their Weekend Breakfast Show and stood-in for James O'Brien on the mid-morning weekday phone-in. In the Summer of 2005, he also presented a series of Saturday sports shows on talkSPORT discussing a wide range of sporting topics including football, cricket, rugby and tennis.

He also appeared as himself in the 2005 Christmas special of "The Catherine Tate Show".

In 2007, after joining Global Radio, he controversially removed the entertainment programming from LBC 97.3 to turn it into a topical talk station. For example, the popular straight-to-air part of Clive Bull's show was stopped and replaced by a newspaper review.

"Fame Academy"

Park appeared in both series of BBC TV's "Fame Academy" as the "Headmaster", and gained a reputation for both his harsh criticisms of the students, and his long running on-screen feud with presenter Patrick Kielty. This came to a head during the 2005 series of "Comic Relief does Fame Academy", where his scathing remarks about the contestants, who were all appearing solely to raise money for charity, caused them to threaten a walk-out.

The BBC eventually received 450 viewer complaints after Park made an offensive hand gesture to host Patrick Kielty on live television during the Saturday evening charity programme. The incident, broadcast well before the watershed at 7pm, came after Park criticised Kielty for "sycophantically stroking" the egos of the contestants. As the camera cut to co-host Cat Deeley, Park was pictured in the background mouthing the word "wanker" before making the accompanying gesture. The BBC issued an apology, and said he had not realised he was on camera at the time. []

"Fighting Talk" performance

As of Saturday the 3rd of March 2007 he was the most successful contestant on BBC 5 Live's "Fighting Talk" according to host Colin Murray. Park has played 15, Won 12, Drawn 1 and Lost 2 (one of the losses was fixed to allow journalist Mick Dennis to win). On Saturday 20th of January 2007 (the week prior to Murray entering Comic Relief Does Fame Academy) he won the heat with a score of 75 points, almost twice the typical winning score.

External links

* [ The Richard Park Company]
* [ Fighting Talk website]

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