Our very own Group Managing Director of Radio Dee Ford was there to present him with this incredible achievement last night at The Radio Academy Festival 2014 in Salford. Dee’s speech covered Ric’s career and contribution to the industry with some excerpts on the man himself below.
“Ric has worked for BBC Radio and BBC TV, as well as Commercial radio and television, and in the record industry itself. Music is in his DNA and he continues to go that extra mile for everyone he works with from his programming teams, major artists and new talent to music executives, advertisers and indeed the Radio Academy, where he willingly and tirelessly delivers time after time.
Whether Ric is producing sessions, chairing judging panels, galvanising celebrity support, advising on music artists, he is always there.
Ric instinctively knows his music. When he was a fresh faced producer on Radio 1 in 1989, he immediately knew that heavy metal icons Iron Maiden had a hit in “Bring your daughter to the slaughter”. Now all he had to do was to persuade the powers that be to make that particular song single of the week on Simon Mayo’s Breakfast show. He did just that and sure enough, the track became Iron Maiden’s first ever UK number 1 single.
While he was working as executive producer on Top of the Pops, he was flown over to Berlin to have a private audience with Michael Jackson to try and talk him round to appearing live on the show. He knew he had to come up with a conversation opener so as an ardent Gunners fan he had an Arsenal shirt made with Jacko’s name on it, and gave it to Michael which made for an easier and friendly conversation.
At Top of the Pops, Ric was the only one trusted to talk to Madonna (known to be a bit tricksy), about the rough edit of her comeback show and first live appearance for 10 years.
He didn’t just produce Top of the Pops he PLAYED on it… as stand-in guitarist for the Wildhearts…on the song ‘I Wanna Go Where the People Go’.
So with a career spanning Radio 1, Capital, 6 Music, Top Of The Pops, SM:TV, Q, Heat, Kerrang! Radio and Planet Rock his influence and legacy continues to live on.”