We had a White Dee special - and it was radio gold
Posted on the 26th Feb 2016 in the category sport

Last week’s Steve Zacharanda Radio Show was a special one – A White Dee special.

We have had some great people share our studio, from lapdance club owners to the deputy leader of the Labour Party, and the shows have been great fun. We’ve never deviated from our stupid selves no matter who is sitting with us.

But we have only let one person pick all the music on the show – Dave Smith on our Blacklisting Special.

I provide the weekly chat and Gurdo is the music man, even I don’t dare ask him for requests now our show has been cut to an hour. So asking The Thin Brown Duke to play someone else’s song choices is akin to have asked Bowie to appear on Loose Women.

One of my daydreams, along with taking a documentary crew around Perry Barr (which I did), is appearing on Desert Island Disks so I know to entice someone on the show the offer to pick the music is a dealmaker.

Ever since Dee Kelly was introduced as “White Dee” on Benefits Street my ears picked up because when we used to knock around the Little Crown there was a White Chas and Black Chas, it is a wonderfully Brummie epithet.

Her hilarious foul mouth, blatant honesty and heart of gold meant she was the star of the biggest reality show this decade. I knew we knocked around the circles and remembered her from Stan’s Café on Oxhill Road.

So whenever I saw her get abuse on Twitter I got right involved trolling her trolls. I was prompted to write a Benefits Street blog after reading a beyond shit piece in the Express and Star which included such white middle class cuntishness as “she doesn’t look depressed” and “how can she afford to smoke so much.” Mine went viral, probably because of the novelty of a journalist being working class and admitting to seeing everything on the programme with my own eyes.

I urged White Dee to run for Parliament and offered my services as a spin doctor, I hoped she’d read it as she favorited my tweet. Well as the years passed she has gone on to star in Celebrity Big Brother and carved out a niche media profile many pros would kill for.

I’ve missed her at Simmer Down, missed her when she was 100 yards from work and seemed destined to only be a tweeter not a meet-her kind of guy.

But a couple of Tuesdays ago I plucked up the courage to ask her on the show, thinking it would agents this, managers that, restrictions on questions etc – what all slebs do these days.

But she followed me straight away so I could message her and after a couple of DMs it was all agreed she would come on the show and pick nine songs.

After I announced she would be our celeb guest my phone was red hot, suddenly all kind of people were asking if they could pass by to see her or whether they could get a shout out from her.

Gurdo was delighted White Dee would be on the show but I could see trepidation about letting someone pick the songs he would have to find and play.

Now, I started to worry, what happens if she picks wall to wall shite, Gurdo wouldn’t play any of it. It could easily be Take That, Robbie Williams, The Spice Girls, Blue followed by Justin Bieber.

When Dave came on me and Gurdo both said Billy Bragg would be there and we right and with Dee I was convinced The Ubes would be on there, or Shabba Ranks  - In Love With a Man Twice My Age.

I was wrong, the big day came and the songs came through – I wanted to keep the tension going and texted Gurdo “first song Tupac - phew” – “which one you prick” came the response.

Then “just send the whole list you knob” – I did, and then came the response – “Jesus Wept.”

He found six of the nine songs and even liked some of them, but I learnt that he despises Mariah Carey and Boys to Men with a passion only he can muster about music.

Now all we had to do is pray she turned up because if not I’d be left with her songs and a seething Sikh to make radio magic with.  

But was fantastic, from the moment I met her in the pub, I’d begged £20 off someone to buy her a drink of pop beforehand and just made it on time because she was late. From the barman’s face when I said “has White Dee been in here” to when she was being snapped a few hours later leaving the student pub it was obvious she is famous, properly famous.

After calling me Andy and then asking where Steve was it was obvious she’d never heard of me or the show, and why should she?  But it took us five minutes to realise we had loads of friends and experiences in common which hopefully made her realise she was among friends.

The show was great, flew by and I wished it had been two hours. We had so many listeners the Scratch Radio website crashed! There was no script and I tried my hardest to ask the questions to get the best out of her, as well as cracking the stupid jokes our listeners would expect but keeping my ego in check because people had tuned in for her.

Dee is a radio natural, I’ve seen so many people who are hilarious before and after the show but go mute when the “Live” light goes on. But Dee is quick-witted, funny and really warm, someone should snap her up for her own show. Seeing how many people asked her for selfies was an eye-opener to 21st century celebrity, some that made me realise I’m a z-lebrity.

I’ve listened to the show a couple of times and can say it was a success, the numbers prove that but it was a big night for me and I don’t mind admitted ballsing it up, clashing with Dee or getting the wrong tone had crossed my mind.

But even Gurdo complimented me in the pub afterwards, which meant a lot and I got a few messages too saying I had “real talent for live radio” which massaged the ego.

I’m proud of The White Dee and Blacklisting specials, it proves me and Gurdo can produce great radio, perhaps we should take the Steve Zacharanda Radio Show more seriously, then again perhaps not!

Listen to the White Dee special here - www.mixcloud.com/stevezacharanda/the-steve-zacharanda-radio-show-white-dee-special 


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