My Media Week: Neil Fox

This week, Neil Fox, Magic Breakfast show presenter, Magic 105.4, talks about 30 years in the business at The Radio Festival, interviews Robert de Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer, is serenaded by Robbie Williams, and tells us why it nearly came to fisticuffs when Daniel Radcliffe's security met Britney's at Magic Towers.

Neil Fox: presenter of the Magic Breakfast show
Neil Fox: presenter of the Magic Breakfast show


Today starts with the usual 4.15am call. I'm a morning person, but that time is clearly a struggle because it's just not natural. I'm gearing up for a busy week – but then that's becoming quite the norm these days.

The breakfast show fun starts at 5am, so there's literally no time to chat or warm up. Straight on to  meet my producer Paul (known fondly as Lord Allotment) and Magic 105.4 managing director, Steve Parkinson, for our daily post-show update.

We don't hang about, because Robbie Williams is on his way. It's always nice to have Robbie on (I've known him since he was 16 – he’s now nearly 39). We chat about his new album 'Swings Both Ways' and he treats us to a live performance of his new single 'Go Gentle' (about his baby girl - cute).

Talking to movie stars is a big part of my job and clearly it helps if I've seen their movie. So it's a quick run to Soho for a screening of 'The Family', starring Robert de Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer. Film done, I jump on my motorbike to The Dorchester to interview the stars. To be fair, Pfeiffer was the more charming of the pair that day, but De Niro is a living legend – it's always nice to meet him.

I jump on the 5pm train to Manchester for the Radio Festival 2013, where I'm a keynote speaker on the Tuesday. After dinner with clients, I crash.


The Radio Festival 2013 is held at the glorious new surroundings of BBC's Media City, where clearly no expense has been spared. It's nice to see where all our money's gone.

The big theme of the event is change – specifically how technology is changing our industry. I'm aware that when I give my talk on 30 years in the business, I don’t want to make it all about me, as nobody really cares. In keeping with the theme, it's far more interesting to offer my view on 30 years of change through my eyes.

Talk done, I start the journey via train (or mobile office, as I see it) back to London.

This is an exciting year for my charity work, as I've been appointed chairman of the board of patrons for Pump Aid – a charity that builds and installs pumps in Malawi. We’ve just secured a £3m grant from the Government for overseas aid, so myself and chairman Stefan Allesch-Taylor are fired up discussing how to best use it.

Then it’s a quick dive back into town for 5pm voiceover gig (I do a lot of voiceover work – God bless Soho) – and back home to Fulham at 6.30pm in time for tea with the kids.


4.15am alarm call and here we go. Today it's a Magic Brighter Breakfast. As ever, it's a fun show.

Daniel Radcliffe is on to talk about his new film, 'Kill Your Darlings', with very cool co-star Dane DeHaan.

We share our offices with sister stations Kiss, Planet Rock and Kerrang!, which makes for an interesting mix of cultures. It works though – we all get on well and take the mickey equally out of each other. This morning, one of the world's biggest stars, Britney Spears, is in talking to Kiss.

Apparently, there was a bit of a roadblock when Daniel Radcliffe's bouncer accidentally dared to touch Britney's security. Daniel is on good form, in fact he's in hysterics regaling the story of the near fight that ensued.

Next up, into the City to do some recording for The Family Hero Awards which I'm co-hosting with Emma Forbes next week. The night honours the nation's unsung heroes – people who've looked after kids and somehow made their lives better.

This afternoon, I’m at Megan's coffee shop on the Kings Road – aka my Fulham office. I'm meeting Steve Havers and Mark Baker, who have a production company, to thrash out ideas for a new game show I'm launching, probably in the US.

Tonight is a much-needed night in and a chance to catch up on 'Homeland'. I have to say I was obsessed with the first two series, but I wish it had ended at that. I haven’t felt too much excitement this time.


The usual 4.15am wake-up for today's Magic Brighter Breakfast show, before dashing over to Whitfield Street to meet Broad Bean Media

We're developing a show for terrestrial broadcasters in the UK called 'Building Britain', it's a fascinating show focused on social enterprise. Watch this space.

Every Thursday, I like to take my youngest, Martha (seven) swimming. It's our weekly tradition and I love it.

Tonight I'm off to the Theatre Royal Haymarket to see 'One Man Two Guvnors'. It's enjoyed the longest run of any play at the Theatre Royal – and tonight we're celebrating its success and a new cast.

The show is hilarious, I mean hold your sides and cry funny. I'm sitting next to Masterchef's John Torode. I tell him that people often mistake me for him (I don’t see it) and am astonished to hear that he gets asked a lot if he is me!

I can confirm that we are separate people and we post a joint selfie to Twitter as evidence. On my other side is the legendary Nicholas Parsons who, I can confirm, absolutely loved the show.


Today's 4.15am alarm call is the hardest of the week, thanks to a few red wines last night. Straight after the breakfast show, I'm talking to James Corden about his new movie, 'One Chance'. James couldn't be a bigger Magic FM fan – he listens morning, noon and night.  We've actually tested his Magic FM knowledge and he truly knows everything

Show done, I head off to my favourite London hotel – the Soho Hotel – to meet Cameron Mackintosh Productions, our marketing team at DeWynters. 'Miss Saigon' is returning to the West End! Magic FM does a lot of partnerships with West End theatre, and we talk through promotional options. There's much to discuss, which takes us up to a juicy brunch – the Soho Hotel’s full English comes highly recommended.

I squeeze in one more meeting to discuss Magic's Sparkle Gala – an intimate Christmas bash at the Indigo2, where myself and a  female co-host (yet to be announced) will introduce the likes of Gabrielle, McFly, Jamie Cullum and The Overtones performing their biggest hits and a Christmas number or two.

My day's work done, I pick up my wife on my motorbike to go and watch Martha play netball. This weekend is all about family and relaxation. As soon as the kids finish school, we head to our beach house on the coast. Now that's magic.

Age: 52
Favourite media: radio clearly...followed by movies
My biggest inspiration: The Apollo space programme in the 1960s – I was glued to the TV as a young boy when it happened and remain obsessed
Dream job: Spaceman
Not a lot of people know this about me...I can juggle while unicycling – a great one for radio


Have your say...

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Media Week Jobs
Search for more media jobs


Watch the first YouTube clip, nine years on

Watch the first YouTube clip, nine years on

This week marks the ninth anniversary of the first clip uploaded on YouTube, a 19-second video of YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim at the San Diego Zoo.

Yahoo hosts exclusive X-Men: Days of Future Past films

Yahoo hosts exclusive X-Men: Days of Future Past films

Yahoo has partnered with film distributor Twentieth Century Fox to create a global content hub on its Yahoo Movies platform for new release 'X-Men: Days of Future Past'.

My Media Week: Stuart Taylor

My Media Week: Stuart Taylor

This week, Stuart Taylor, chief executive, Kinetic UK, is inspired by the new tech coming to market and how wearables and smart cities will impact on OOH.


Get news by email