Cambridgeshire's DJ Jack broadcasts 200 radio shows
Music superfan Jack Merridale has hosted his 200th weekly radio show from his bedroom in Weston Colville.
The 22-year-old, who has cerebral palsy and lost his eyesight a few years ago, broadcasts live on One Harmony Radio every Thursday from 8pm to 9pm.
Passionate about most types of music, Jack plays tracks from all genres and for all ages. He also does interviews, features and takes requests.
DJ Jack said a friend of his stepdad’s, who does an internet radio show, introduced him to One Harmony Radio in 2016. For his 200th show (on Thursday, February 11), he doubled the usual length to two hours.
“I’ve been musical ever since I was born,” he says. “I like every type of music – not so much classical or rap but everything else.”
The 60s, 70s, 80s are his preferred eras and ELO, Ed Sheeran, Queen and Rod Stewart are among his favourite acts. Jack featured “lots of shout-outs for people” on his 200th show.
“It was just representing everybody who has supported him,” says Jack’s mum, Belinda Poulton, “because Jack’s not had things easy. It’s been quite difficult for him getting to this stage.
"It’s been hard work as you don’t get a lot of support, but it’s all to do with contacts and Jack’s quite a confident person.
“James, his stepbrother, is very good and he supports Jack with all his shout-outs and things. Two hundred shows was a big milestone for Jack.”
Jack has listeners all over the world – as far afield as Jamaica, since One Harmony Radio tends to play a lot of reggae music.
Jack said he has got “really good feedback” and has followers from BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, which he first visited as an Impington Village College student. Jack has also been to visit the studios at BBC Radio Norfolk.
“It’s really taken off and we’re really proud of him,” said Belinda.
A genuine aficionado of radio, Jack names Tony Blackburn, Johnnie Walker and Simon Mayo as three of his top DJs. Belinda says: “He picks all these radio things off his iPad and he finds radio stations I didn’t even know existed!”
And what of future ambitions? “I’d like to go to the BBC,” says Jack.