David Hendy consults his notes
David Hendy consults his notes

Once every now and again I get asked to do something that I take as an enormous compliment. It’s my job, generally speaking, to do lectures about music, culture and the internet – but to be asked to do a guest lecture about these things at another university is always nice, especially when the person asking you is one of the people who got you interested in the world of academia in the first place.

Back when I started teaching at universities, my role was essentially to show students which buttons to press and which levers to pull in order to make radio come out the other end of the machine. But as the material became more academic, I started reading actual books. One of the first (and most influential on my thinking) was one called Radio in the Global Age by David Hendy.

That’s the point in my career path where I started to think of media as an object of study rather than simply as a vocational practice, and so getting work with David from time to time, and especially getting to know him as a friend has been one of the real pleasures of moving to this side of the world.

Ultimately, all I did today was to just turn up in his class and talk about all the stuff I usually bang on about – but just quietly, I still get a little bit starstruck.

I get to come back and do it again next week too. It’s always nervewracking because you want to do a good job under those circumstances, but it’s also the sort of thing I’ll always jump at the chance to do.