BFBS - Nick Steele

Date: Wednesday May 22, 2019 at 11:03am

Having been asked to write a few words for you dear reader…I’ve spent a few nights lying awake, thinking how to start, where to begin, do I start with BFBS Radio?  Growing up in Germany? Being Mentally Ill? The list goes on.  I then came to the conclusion to give a quick intro…and see where that takes me.  

My Dad served 23 years, first with the Royal Engineers, then RLC as a postie.  As a result, I grew up in Germany and it was awesome! I miss the food, the Rhine Army Summer Show, the food, the Autobahns, and the Food.  As a child, all we had to watch was SSVC TV, and to listen to…BFBS.  Seeing the team on stage at the RASS and other events, it sparked something inside me - I no longer just wanted to be an Astronaut…but now a DJ. 

Unlike Tim Peake, and to the recommendations of a few teachers (all) at Windsor School, JHQ,  I had to put my Astronaut dreams to one side…and focus on something I was good at - Talking!


Fast forward 16 years, and here I am writing to you, all whilst Tim Peake prepares for his 2nd Space flight grrrrr.  To be fair…what 16 years it's been.  Travelling the forces world and presenting radio shows to those who share the same sense of humour.  I’ve been to Kosovo, Bosnia, Falklands (3 times…I know), Iraq (twice), Belize (still recovering), Canada, Gibraltar, Germany, Northern Ireland, Cyprus, and now currently at Catterick.    

Highlights include trying to enter the Guinness Book of Records for bean flicking, Being quietly ‘spoken to’ about contacting the White House and Downing Street about my concern over the squirrel population and sharing my theory that they are planning to overtake the human race, and the one thing most people will remember me for - Hide the Banana, all for the sake of good entertaining radio! 

On the serious side of radio - My absolute highlights would be covering the Somme 100 and Passchendaele 100 Commemorations in France / Belgium.  Getting emotional on Facebook Live at the Menin Gate, taking time out to reflect at the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing, walking amongst the graves at Tyne Cot Cemetery - all places I recommend visiting.  I can’t help but think of those pristine Portland Stone Headstones, and the names on the memorials and wonder what those heroes would think of the world we live in today - I can’t imagine it being positive.  I think part of my mission in life is to make sure they didn’t make the ultimate sacrifice in vain…something I think everyone should honour. 


I’m also, as you may have seen earlier, mentally Ill.  I suffer PTSD and have done for 13 years as a result of an incident in Iraq.  I take pride in my openness about my suffering, often referring to it on air, in an effort to raise awareness of the support that is out there to those who are yet to reach out.  I’m now an Ambassador for Help for Heroes, I go out and about to events, and talk about living with Mental Illness, something that won’t be cured, but with the right tools - controlled.  Let’s be honest - all demons can be soothed and controlled (you may argue that…but have you at least tried?), the biggest step is asking for help on how to.  Reaching out is the ONE thing I am most proud of in life, and if you’re suffering, at the very least - please consider taking that step…It’s not easy, I’ve been there, but admitting to yourself ‘I need help’ is already a big part of that journey.     

As I prepare to hang up my headphones and try something new in the big big world outside of the MOD Bubble…I find myself in the same shoes as countless others who are ending their careers, maybe even yourself reading this magazine - what next?  I’ve attended BFRS Careers Exhibitions, spoken to most of those present…there is soo much out there it’s ridiculous!  As a teacher once told me ‘It doesn’t take a good education to get far in life, but 100% effort, determination and good manners.  Using that advice…I’m still waiting for NASA to get back to me after sending off my CV.  I’ll keep you posted.  


» There aren't any comments for this post yet. Why not be the first to comment?

Leave a Comment

Your Name  
Email Address  
(kept hidden)
So that we can check that you are a real person (and not a crafty computer), please answer the simple sum below:  
What is 20 - 3 ? Your Answer