Nick Ratcliffe
Nick Ratcliffe
10.00am - midday
email Nick Ratcliffe:
Send Mail

1. What attracted you to soul music in the first place, and does this still apply today?

It was the only music that really moved me – and it still is today.

2. What are your top five favourite soul tracks?
In no particular order:

Phyllis Hyman – You Know How To Love Me;

Jean Carne – Don’t Let It Go To Your Head;

Change – The Glow Of Love;

George Benson – Love x Love;

Quincy Jones – Somethin’ Special.

2. What are your favourite three record labels




3. Who are your favourite five artists
Again in no particular order:

George Benson;


Earth Wind & Fire;

Ashford & Simpson;


4. What are your top three soul clubs of all time?

I was always working in clubs so never really had time to go to many socially. I loved the clubs I worked at but won’t list them here as the best soul clubs as that would be a little conceited!

5. What radio experience did you have before you joined Solar

I started in commercial radio in 1985, taking over Steve Walsh’s Saturday night dance show on County Sound in Guildford, and worked continuously as a presenter on County Sound, Mercury FM, Star FM, Eagle Radio and others until the early 2000’s, when I moved to BBC Radio 2 to do some music programming work until 2004. During this period I was also Programme Controller of Star FM in Slough, Head Of Music for the UKRD Group (15 stations across the UK), did programming consultancy work for Atlantic 252, Ritz 1035, First Love Radio in Lewisham and Sveriges Radio in Stockholm, and was a visiting tutor at Lambeth College, lecturing on the HNC Radio Production course.

6. What is/are your main criteria in choosing records for airplay

I look for the song & tune first, and the artist second. If a new tune sounds instantly familiar, you can be sure it will also appeal to our listeners and become an classic that always sounds good – no matter or large or small a “hit” it becomes.

7. Why would you recommend Solar to a listener

There is simply no other station available that is like Solar – professionally run and programmed, but with all presenters having free choice, and all of them (with the notable exception of me!) being absolute experts in their field. The enthusiasm of the presenters and their love for the music they play simply jumps out of the speakers at you.

8. Which other DJs do you admire and why

Once more in no particular order:

The Late, Great Les Adams (of course) for his superb technical ability and professionalism;

Marc Collins (and Ravishin’ Russ) for their programmes’ combination of great music and terrific humour;

Paul Newman (Your Saturday Soul Provider) – a true radio professional and polished presenter;

Tony Monson for his absolutely unmatched encyclopaedic knowledge of our music;

Angus “Guissie” Kemp – a good old friend, simply lovely guy, and the reason I am lucky enough to be on Solar at all;

And really – all the Solar presenters for their commitment to, and obvious joy in sharing, our music.

9. How would you like to be remembered by a listener

As a friendly voice who played a few good tunes and helped to brighten up a couple of hours of their life.

10. What do you do to relax

Eating out, listening to music and spending time with my wife (who is an old soul girl), children (5 of them!), and grandchildren (4 of them so far, and counting….)