Ryan Dunlop and HitzRadioUK

Ryan Dunlop is a name that appeared out of the blue one day and began presenting shows under the title “HitzRadioUK”.

Ryan was a nice enough guy and seemed genuinely enthusiastic and keen, so much so, he immediately offered to do a daily breakfast show and asked me to create some posters and promotions.

Over the course of the week, true to his word, Ryan did a daily show from 8 til 10 from his professional studio somewhere in Scotland. Ryan’s producer manned the shoutbox and each day they ran a call in competition where the prize was an Amazon Gift Voucher. In amongst the music and banter, he also had some live interviews. These were slightly odd and sounded like they were pre-recorded responses to his live on air questions. Nevertheless, it was an interesting show with great tunes so I let this minor point go by without comment.

As the week progressed, each show was a revelation. Despite the shoutcast server only registering 2 or 3 listeners each day, Ryan spoke of receiving texts from people in their cars, congratulation messages from celebrities and live reports from his street team who were being accosted by total strangers saying how much they were enjoying the show. More and more guests were being lined up for future shows. TV chefs, band members and tv celebs were all apparently desperate to appear on 1Radio.

Surprisingly, despite the popularity of the show, there were no takers for the competition and by Wednesday, he upped the ante and would be offering a cash prize of £10,000 on his Friday show. This is when I thought Ryan Dunlop needed further investigation. Or therapy.

Once again, Google delivered the goods and I discovered that Ryan was a one time media darling in his native Scotland where, as a 15 year old schoolboy, he’d launched an internet radio station with over 250,000 listeners. He was a bit of a media mogul. His station was so successful, it had 40 people working for it and was aniticipating revenues in excess of a million pounds after its first year of trading. Wow.

Digging further, I found many forums where other web broadcasters were disputing the claims made by Ryan. If nothing else, the cost of Shoutcasting to thousands of listeners and the resulting royalties would be immense. I read that PRS had been duly contacted and claimed they were unaware of HitzRadioUK and would be getting in contact over unpaid royalties. Needless to say, Ryan was questioned endlessly about his fledgling broadcast empire and bold claims about listener numbers and was ultimately found to be lacking in credibility. And truth. Ryans empire was housed in a shed in his dad's garden.

For my part, I was still excited to see who might win the £10,000 giveaway on Friday and so let him continue broadcasting til the end of the week. 

Disappointingly, Friday came and the competition wasn't even mentioned. However, they did have a “live” interview with some Doctor or Dentist or someone, which I managed to track down as originally aired on Breakfast TV months earlier. I did question Ryan about the competition over MSN but he suddenly claimed he was not Ryan himself but Ryan's producer and was unable to respond to the various challenges I put to him.

"But aren't you sitting beside Ryan as you both have the same IP address?"
"Err, no. It's a big building!"

Sadly, Ryan and his breakfast show failed to appear the following week. I fear they may have blown their show budget with the £10k giveaway. Sad face.


Posted by Tim on Sun 23 Jan at 16:36 and viewed 577 times.

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