Paul Golder writes for the Brentwood Gazette
We’re saying goodbye this week not just to one of our most popular presenters but to a legend of the Essex airwaves in Keith Rogers.
Keith joined our team in October 2014 and has been presenting our Drive show for the last three years. But I remember Keith when I was a teenager, listening to the launch of Essex Radio in 1981. Keith was one of the original team when the station (now Heart Essex) launched with other well known DJs including Jon Scragg, Dave Gregory and Tim Lloyd. I’m pretty sure I saw him larking around on a stage at the back of the Dolphin Leisure Centre in Romford on one of the station’s famous roadshows the following year.
What I didn’t know is that Keith was already well known to listeners as a DJ from the old pirate ships. He joined Radio Northsea International in September 1970 at the age of 23, which broadcast from the Mebo II, a ship moored in international waters five miles off Clacton. He was on board when the ship was attacked by a rival pirate radio station in 1971 which led to a bomb exploding and the ship being abandoned!
After this Keith came back to land and appeared on a number of commercial stations including Ipswich’s Radio Orwell throughout the 70s, before landing the Essex Radio show which kept him busy for the best part of another decade.
Keith had been retired from radio for some time before our daytime presenter Scott Ross persuaded him to give it another go for old times’ sake – and 662 shows later he’s finally hanging up his headphones to take a well-earned rest from the airwaves.
Keith isn’t completely taking it easy though – he’s been enjoying life as an actor for the last 20 years or so, having played many lead roles with The Southend Shakespeare Company, and he’s appeared in acting roles in a few films too including the role of former SAS commander Dr Nigel Carter in the action/thriller “The Liberator”.
Along with all of my colleagues we wish Keith all the best (and hope to tempt him back for the occasional show from time to time).