The driving force behind community’s radio station

AFTERNOON banter with the host of a local radio show has become something of the norm at the Herts Ad office in recent weeks. Natalie Dearman went to the Verulam Radio studios recently to meet the man behind the mic in person and find out more about his West Herts Drivetime show…

Danny Smith has been presenting on Radio Verulam for nearly three years.

His popular West Herts Drivetime show is broadcast every weekday from 4pm to 7pm and features interviews, a great range of music and hot topics, as well as local news and events.

Danny, who lives in St Albans, confessed that presenting at the station was something he fell into.

He said: “I was doing some work experience just to get a feel for a working environment and the opportunity arose.

“Someone was off for a while, so I did a bit of work covering for them and it ended up leading on to a regular slot.

“I started off doing an early afternoon show and then moved onto the Friday Drivetime slot, before being asked to do it everyday.”

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But despite being the front man, Danny says the show is a real team effort and he is regularly assisted by Chris Aikman, Elizabeth Herridge, Jackie Johnson, Marie Kemplay and Ian Rogers, as well as a number of correspondents covering areas such as films, wildlife, business and interior design.

During my visit, we headed into the studio around 20 minutes before the show was due to start to make sure everything was set up and ready to go. I perched myself in the corner to get a good view of what was going on but also made sure I was far enough away not to break anything!

As the clock struck 4pm it was all systems go and my biggest challenge for the next three hours was to try and hold in my frequent fits of laughter. Whilst the show does cover some serious issues, one of its biggest appeals in my opinion is the humour and feel-good nature it provides to its listeners.

As a community radio station, the show is run entirely by volunteers and makes sure it keeps the community at the heart of everything it does.

Danny continued: “One of the main things I love about the show is the privilege of doing something for the community.

“We try and get a wide variety of guests on and we’re always happy to help local groups and organisations where we can. Even if we had A-listers queuing up to be on the show, I still feel it’s important to have a prime slot for those who are local.”

The next two hours consisted of more regular features, such as celebrity birthdays and the community notice board and I was even allowed to choose some songs associated with the theme of the day.

Before I knew it, the show was over and it was time to vacate the studio ready for the next group of presenters.

I very much enjoyed my first radio experience and it certainly cemented my status as one of West Herts Drivetime’s biggest fans.

You can listen to West Herts Drivetime everyday from 4pm until 7pm on 92.6FM and online. You can also follow the show’s blog at