George Haffenden

Prior to joining the team here at Meridian FM I enjoyed two successful years on student radio at Newcastle University, being part of the highly successful Newcastle Student Radio team. For the past two years I’ve had the immense pleasure of presenting a weekly music show – ‘The Funk & Soul Revue’ – as well as trying my hand at political/current affairs programming, with a spoof American talk radio style show entitled ‘The Haffenden Factor’.

My shows at Newcastle Student Radio have been well received, with ‘The Funk & Soul Revue’ winning ‘Best Specialist Show’ at the annual Newcastle University Student Union’s Media Awards earlier this year. I have just finished my degree at Newcastle in politics, but will be returning in late September to complete my Masters – re-joining Newcastle Student Radio as co-Head of Music for 2014/2015.

Shunning the sounds my friends enjoyed, I spent most of my teenage years listening to soul music, and for the past decade I’ve spent more than I’d like to admit on soul, disco, funk and jazz records ans concerts. I’ve been privileged and fortunate enough to have seen many of the soul greats in concert, including Stevie Wonder, Al Green, Earth Wind & Fire, and The Temptations to name just a few. Indeed, only this last year I was given the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity through Newcastle Student Radio to interview Otis Williams, the last surviving original member of The Temptations – an incredibly special moment in my life.

There has been a much greater interest in soul and disco music in the last few years, with some great neo-soul and neo-disco tracks reaching commercial success. I hope through my radio shows I can contribute, however small, to restoring this fabulous genre of music to its former glory.