RADIO STAR CRCfm Manager Angela Faull, who also hosts the popular Chatroom show on the Castlebar station.
I’m up in the morning by 7.30am and one of the first things I would do is check the CRC Facebook page. I manage that with Niamh O’Kelly. I would be sitting at my desk at work for 9am and, as I have my show, The Chatroom with Angela Faull, between 11am and 1pm, I need to get through a lot of different things before that, as well as getting ready for the show.
So I would be talking with sales and accounts and seeing what is ahead for the day. You’re on the phone as well with people ringing and in a place like CRC, everything comes through the manager so you find yourself dealing with a wide variety of issues.
I got into radio just by pure accident actually. I qualified as a solicitor and I had my own legal practice for 15 years, latterly in Castlebar. I decided to close up shop a few years ago. Costs were rising, the recession had taken hold and I felt everything was over-regulated.
I was looking for a new challenge and as I was a computer dinosaur, with little IT experience, I decided to upskill and did a computer course.
At the end of the course I was offered two weeks practical experience at CRC and I did it, it was a leap of faith. I did those two weeks and ended up coming on a show to do a book review and I got the radio bug from there. I’m here three years this month.
My show is a two-hour long interview style show and it is a big responsibility speaking to six people every show about a variety of issues. It is important to give the listener something that is interesting whilst being conscious of making the interviewee, who might be nervous, at their ease and not saying something they don’t want to, all the while ensuring you are complying with broadcasting regulations.
At 1pm then I take lunch and I always try to take the hour because it is important to disconnect. I’ll either eat at work with colleagues or else go out and disappear somewhere on my own.
I’m back in then at 2pm and all the afternoon is taken up with the management of the place. I could be accused of being a micro manager but I like to make sure people know what they have to do before they do it.
We have a huge amount of volunteers here. We have very limited resources. I’m the full-time, paid manager and we have three Pobal positions which we divide in half so we have six people working half a week each.
We stress the importance of a certain standard here – people cannot just get their own show and do what they like with it. We have to make sure it conforms to certain standards. To be honest people in Castlebar probably don’t know how lucky they are to have a station of their own like this.
The fabric of the town
We are doing a lot more outside broadcasts and trying to reach into the fabric of Castlebar more and more so people in the town will see CRC as the place to come to for issues that matter in Castlebar.
I think we do struggle because there is a perception throughout the country that community radio is amateur radio, hobby radio. I see us as a social enterprise. On top of that staff have gone onto commercial radio from here because of the standard of training they received here, however opportunities in the west being so limited means that we have a lot of highly qualified people here, who we are very lucky to have. To be honest I think CRC is the best kept secret in town.
I’m the station’s first female manager and I was assistant manager before that so I wasn’t completely unaware of what the role would entail.
With my legal background, having awareness of the importance of proper governance is a good help. But when I was working in law, you had someone there who was fielding a lot of your queries. In CRC, the day is gone in no time, it is a whirlwind of people, issues and technology.
I end up working a lot of evenings and at the weekends – in this role your phone always has to be on so it wouldn’t be for everyone. I try to be gone by 6pm. Myself and my husband John live in Castlebar and our two daughters are grown up.
After a long day I like to unwind by going for a walk with my dog. But you are never fully off either. Radio is something like a disease and I definitely have the bug. It ticks all the boxes for me. I loved law but not as much as I love radio.
Name: Angela Faull
Occupation: Manager, CRCfm
If money was no object, what would you do all day?
Tell us something about yourself we don’t know?
I was a very good Irish dancer in my younger years.
What’s the most unusual thing you’ve eaten?
Where’s your favourite place in the world?
Bertra Beach for a walk.
What makes you angry?
Cruelty to children and animals.
Name three things that are always in your fridge?
Milk, melon and tomatoes.
What makes you nervous?
Going to the dentist.
Favourite TV show?
I’m not a huge TV fan but I enjoy watching Graham Norton.
Who’s the most famous person you’ve met?
Michael D Higgins.
Edinburgh, an amazing city.
What do you miss most about being a kid?
Being able to hand your troubles over to someone else.
What’s your most prized possession?
My dog. He’s a Collie/Spaniel cross.
Best advice you ever got?
Nothing lasts forever.
Describe yourself in three words?
Fun, sincere and a woman of substance.
How do you unwind?
By heading off and walking by the sea or candles, the stove and a glass of wine.