Mark McLaughlin / Mini / DJ Dad Bod
Back in 1994 I was 14 years old when I began to record a mock radio show with just a portable tape deck, a family friend managed to hear it and suggested I wrote to the local hospital radio station to see if I could help out. I joined the station in 1995 and helped out on the Sunday morning breakfast show with Jonathan and Mike Parr (who both went on to become BBC radio presenters). I helped out over the next year and at the age of 16 I did my first solo show. I was hooked!!!
Over the next few years I had many a mentor at the station, they supported me, guided me, trained me, on how to produce and present a professional show full of solid content, when I reached 18 I got my first break as a club DJ.
Paul Johnson who volunteered at station (of CFM fame) DJ’d in a local night club (The Wave) he had asked me to come and help him out one weekend, this was my shot and although the crowd was not particularly big, or interested in hearing me I received a positive reception from the customers and especially the management, over the following months myself and Paul played a series of gigs at various local clubs becoming residents at Club Chameleon, during this residency I was asked to DJ at the Whitehouse in Whitehaven, I soon became the club’s new resident DJ, it was whilst DJing here I was asked if I also wanted a residency at the largest club in Cumbria at the time, The Park Night Club in Whitehaven, over the next 3 years I would DJ in the Whitehouse until closing time at 11pm and then start my set at the Park between 12am and 2am… I did the following 8 years at the Park, every weekend without fail, during this time I was hired by Liquid, a national club brand, to cover their DJ’s mid week when they were off, spiralling from this I DJ’d in various cities. I grew a good name for myself and have somehow managed to DJ’d in some of the most celebrated clubs in the UK, this lead me to a residency at the Mood nightclub in Carlisle.
Although I have done a lot of club DJing I have also worked for other Radio stations including the BBC, Select 107 FM, Egremont FM and now St Bees Community Radio.
At the age of 26 I was asked to help out at a Local Club called North, just DJ for one weekend the manager asked until we find someone good (cheeky bugger) I agreed and then spent the next 10 years as resident, I told myself that Djing was just a phase in my life and that there was no way I’d still be doing it at age 30… My 30th came and went and by that point I then co-owned North, and still DJ’d on Friday and Saturday nights. However by this stage I was/am a dad and worked full time in the challenging nuclear industry.
Something had to give and it was DJing that went, this was so I could have my weekends back to spend with my family, I retired from DJing at 36 and have spent the last 5 years watching the dust gather on my decks.
However with everything that has happened recently I felt I wanted to give something back to the local community, I just didn’t know how or what avenue to go down, when I heard about St Bees Community Radio I knew/felt I could somehow help out with the experience I had accumulated over the years, and as they say the rest is history… I currently host the Mark McLaughlin Happy Hour, Monday to Friday 4pm – 5pm and the more upbeat Park vs North Reunion show on Saturday evenings 5:30pm – 7:00pm.
Obviously I play/played a lot of dance/pop/club music when I DJing in the clubs however my style of music on the Radio is completely different, I play most genres from the 60’s to modern pop.