I am writing this because you are so important to me, my little radio enterprise and my life generally.
After three years of hosting The Mystery Year on Andover Radio, next month it will come to an end.
As Neil Sedaka sang (year, anyone?), “This Will Be Our Last Song Together”.
As a listener, you have been an important part of my life. On occasion recently, you have given me reason to get up in the morning.
Despite various ways of trying to make the programme continue (and trust me I really have tied), I now have no choice but to say, ‘all good things must come to an end’.
What is basically a 45-minute daily radio show takes almost 12 hours a week to deliver. That’s really quite a lot of time that in these difficult circumstances I really should be spending more effectively elsewhere.
Please allow me to explain:
You may have noticed that I really tried to keep the programme on-air during lockdown last year, with its ups and downs – and despite all the right intentions, no solution really worked.
So, I am sad to invite you to take part in our last song together on April 9th this year. I think this will be a visual performance, not just a radio programme!
Moreover, I won’t forget you. You have all, individually, been so really important to me and my life.
In fact, I would like to invite you to a ‘last hurrah’ Mystery Year quiz event at the Queen Charlotte Inn (my home) – when we are ALL allowed – so we can meet, have fun and hopefully hand out actual Mystery Year Chufty Badges for eternity!
I know that the programme has created its own ‘community’, a group of people – even if you haven’t met each other – who feel ‘part of’ something. I am honoured to have been part of this.
Each morning when I host the show, I adore watching the comments come in. Even if I haven’t met you, I genuinely feel that I know you all personally. I have certainly met some lovely – and truly amazing – people in the past three years as a result of this programme.
If you don’t know, I have a bit more responsibility for Andover Radio than just being a voice. I am its Managing Director (and its associated companies), with the team at Love Andover I orchestrated the launch of a FREE newspaper (The Love Andover Observer) last year – this was to try and source alternative routes to help pay for the raft of free services we already provide.
Together, we run this ridiculously powerful Love Andover website, we provide the #LoveBus and all its connected community projects, we’ve printed books and calendars, we created the £25,000 giveaway Crack The Code, we run mentoring and training sessions, we home the Poets’ Meet and we have supported over 520 local events, activities and non-profit organisations since March 23rd last year.
You may also be aware that my wife (The Most Beautiful Girl in the World) runs the Queen Charlotte Inn on London Road. I hope you can understand how hard the past year has been for us – for anyone in the hospitality sector – and it’s with this very much in mind that I hope you understand my insistence on giving as much help and support to my family as I possibly can.
The last programme will be Friday 9th April 2021.
Before you hear it elsewhere (Layton!) I would like you to know that I am launching a Salisbury ‘approximation’ of Andover Radio. Salisbury Radio (@LoveSalisbury) will launch within weeks. So, please allow me – after three years of hosting the Mystery Year – to stand down, support my business and my family and thank you from the heart of my bottom for all the fun, the sensible and funny comments and all the interaction and support you’ve given me since April 2018.
I adore you all.
I will let you know about a Mystery Year special VIP gathering in due course.
David Harber, BA (Hons) FRSA, MRM
The Mystery Year
2018 – 2021