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This Week • January 25 2004

The big boy switches

It’s that voice again, Carlo Borg Bonaci’s will now be waking up the nation on Xfm. The affable radio presenter has been acting as an early morning alarm clock for a good part of Malta’s radio listeners. He has been a staple character in the radio landscape for the last 12 years and now Carlo Borg Bonaci takes his talent from Bay Radio to Xfm. Here the big guy opens a window on himself.

Carlo Borg Bonaci’s breakfast show on Bay Radio was synonymous with how the radio landscape was fashioned. What motivated you to move on to another station after all these years?
I felt like I needed a change and to grow and try out new ideas - 12 years at one station is a long time! I was initially attracted to Xfm by its format and the organisation's objectives towards becoming Malta's number one music station.

Waking the nation’ is your stated mission. But who or rather what does it take to wake up Carlo Borg Bonaci in the morning?
Early mornings have now become a part of my every day routine and I have got used to it now. However, leaving home in the middle of a storm at 5am is no easy task! Breakfast is not like any other show - being the wakeup caller for many out there really excites me!

The airwaves are flooded with radio stations. Are they all jukeboxes playing the same music?
Some stations are nothing else but a repetitive jukebox with a minimum level of broadcasting expertise. I agree that the country is over populated with radio stations and I think some will close down in the near future - it will be like ‘natural selection,’ the survival of the fittest.

Do you feel comfortable with television as much as radio?
Radio is my first love, television is a very different medium. I have quite a lot of experience with television, it is a very powerful tool to market yourself. The fact that I was used to being exposed to audiences in clubs has helped me gain confidence in front of the camera. But if I had to choose it would have to be RADIO!

Do you consider yourself to be a Disc Jockey, or does it go beyond that?
I like to think that I'm just like the ‘guy next door,’ but I work in Radio. When I'm on the Radio, I talk about things that happen to everyone and I think that comes over and allows listeners to identify with me better. The skill is knowing how to best communicate the ideas you have so the audience ‘get it’ straight away.

What is the biggest on-air embarrassment you have had to suffer?
Thankfully, it hasn't happened yet!

You are renowned for the candid radio spots that targeted well-known personalities. Will candid radio make an appearance at Xfm?
Well, if it does, you might just be one of our first victims!

What makes you laugh and cry?
A good joke, any British comedy and Paolo Bonolis shows on TV are definitely a good source for a laugh. I'm a sensitive person so any story that touches the heart makes me shed a tear or two.

What do you think is required to improve the standard of radio stations and programmes in Malta?
Fewer Radio Stations and better broadcasters! We have to remember that most of us are self-taught and we don't have any professional organisation on the island that offers us the chance to improve or even measure our talent - apart from a five year Communications Degree at the Uni' which is too academic!


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