An ExtraJordanary Host | by Marc Ellis
The ExtraJordanary Show (now in its 30th consecutive week at time of publishing) is a 2-hour Sunday afternoon radio show on Phoenix 98FM – hosted by comedian and TV personality Jordan Gray (BBC1’s “The Voice UK”, ITV1’s “Transformation Street”)
In a sit down interview at the Brentwood studio, Jordan recalls a number of personal highlights from her time on the show – on and off the air.
The Phoenix Family
“I’ve made a nest here and I feel proud to invite guests into this place and see how we do things”
Having guested on the station regularly (as Tall Dark Friend) for just under a decade, Jordan made the case for her own show to station controller Paul Golder when she guested live on air at the Phoenix FM anniversary bash in early 2017. Today, Jordan describes her fellow presenters as a “beautiful bunch of oddballs”.
“Chris Hood comes on after me every Sunday night with “The Orient Hour”. I dragged him in for a natter once and learned more about him in 5minutes on-air than the 30-odd weeks I’ve been at the station” (Ep. #25) “ I might have freaked out Naomi Sayers a bit during the NYE special by pulling her onto the show but she seemed game for a laugh.” (Ep. #27) “We’d never met before that. That’s a very cool thing about radio”
“Occasionally I’ll come in midweek for a pre-record and bump into Keith Rogers (Drive Time) or Michelle Ward (Eat My Brunch) who trained me on the desk – amazing woman. Love her. Sometimes Paul’s in Studio 2 being all mysterious and boss-like.”
“Every Sunday night after my show I sit and edit in Studio 2 and wait for Nigel Fitzmaurice (Stepping Out) to come in and ask me to wipe his memory stick. I guess I couch teach him how but it’s nice to have these little rituals.”
Girls of The Voice
Star of “The Voice Kids” Jessica Richardson appeared live on the show (with Mum in tow) the day after her audition aired on ITV 1! Joining them in-studio, Jordan’s fellow 2016 Voice contestant and personal friend Lydia Lucy popped by for a surprise “ello”. (Ep. #4)
Jordan tells us she plans to reach out to more of her fellow 2016 contestants to join her in-studio later this year.
“I miss them a lot – especially working together. Not just hanging out. It would be nice to see them again but it would be even better to invite them on-air and catch up like “professionals”.”
Send in the Clowns
It’s no secret that, amongst the many stars of stage and screen to grace the show, The ExtraJordanary Show is a platform for new emerging comics. Prevalence is awarded to regulars of the weekly G&B Comedy nights – hosted by Kyle Wallace at The Royal George (Soho), Arch One (Canning Town) and N8 (Hornsey).
In fact, one third of all episodes thus far have featured emerging comic talent: Daniel John, Andrew Forsyth, Louise Bastock, Stephen Trumble (namesake of the popular recurring feature “You’ve Been Trumbled!” – incepted by fellow former guest and G&B comic Dean Threadgold). The Edinburgh Special (Ep. #12) featured phone-ins with no less than four of comedians who were currently performing at Edinburgh Fringe: Spring Day, Eliot Simpson, Tom Mayhew and Panic Awards 7x comedian of the year Rob Saunders.
Beyond the comic talent, the show has also featured live musical sets from local Essex artists Ren Stedman and Alex Fox.
Burning the Midnight (GMT) Oil
In a chat with fellow presenter Michelle Ward, Jordan recalls sleeping over in the Brentwood studio one night in order to make a transatlantic call to comedian Jim Norton (Ep. #6). Such time-difference issues are par for the course and when schedules clash, phone-ins are the ideal compromise. Hi-NRG star Hazel Dean and Hollyoaks actress Annie Wallace have joined the show “telephonically” (Ep. #3) and when let down last minute, Jordan is not averse to picking up the blower and calling family. Her fiancée Heli, mother Terri and regular listener and #1 Jordanite Allysa Pentolfe have all received ExtraJordanary phone-calls.
But sometimes the distinct absence of a pre-booked studio guest spawns genuine radio magic. These “just Jordan” shows, as dubbed by fans, have led to many of the series’ best moments – including a dramatic reading from On The Road (Ep. #25), an entirely improvised “Autumn Special” (Ep. #21) and a stream-of-consciousness from Studio 2 (Ep. #26).
Episode #6 sees rapper, actor and label boss Scroobius Pip join Jordan in-studio for an uninterrupted hour of chat eclectic chat. Having appeared herself on episode #57 of Pip’s chart-topping “Distraction Pieces” podcast, Pip (a personal hero) was happy to reciprocate.
Later, Jordan appeared on the DP network’s “Hardcore Listing Podcast with Chris & Stu”. Co-host Chris Glasson then popped into Phoenix for Episode #22. Former guest and musical comedian Ria Lina (Ep. #7) subsequently guested on HCListing after appearing on The ExtraJordanary Show. In a conversation with Glasson on air, Jordan says “We do have a tendency to swap each other around like playing cards, don’t we?”
Do you have a favourite catchphrase on the show?
“Oh no, I think there’s like… 2?
- This is Phoenix ninety-eight POINT ZERO F M… nobody ever says the zero… and I’m bringing it back
- My show , do what I want
The second one is pithier”
Favourite episode so far?
“All of them. Except some of them.”
“We make them up as the show happens. “You’ve Been Trumbled!” is a classic, now. “Lists of Fury” is just me being a typical radio person and reading from lists that other people have made about random stuff. I’m not particularly furious when I do it”
Dream guest, living or dead?
“I’ve always really wanted to grab a busker off the street on my way and bring him onto the show. I’d hope he was alive by the end. I would feed him.”
Would you rather interview Trump or Piers Morgan?
How do you spell Phoenix (without looking at the logo)?
“P. H. O. E. N. I. X… like a human would spell it”.
Jordan interacts with listeners live on Twitter the show (@Talldarkfriend) and you can listen to the show live at www.phoenixfm.com or by tuning in to Phoenix 98.0FM on the dial.
You can re-listen to every single episode on the official Mixcloud playlist: https://www.mixcloud.com/Talldarkfriend/playlists/the-extrajordanary-show/
by Marc Ellis |