Mike Shaft is a broadcaster of some repute in the North West. He was born in Grenada in the West Indies and has lived in the North West of England since 1968. He began his broadcasting career as a freelance presenter at Piccadilly Radio, Manchester in 1978.
Mike remained with Piccadilly for 8 years after presenting a weekday show and becoming Head of Music in 1993, during one of the most successful periods in the history of the station. Mike presented shows of every type, but was probably best known for his soul show ‘Takin’ care of business’ and his late night romantic show ‘Love can be fun’.
After leaving Piccadilly, Mike Joined BBC Radio Manchester as a soul music presenter in 1987. While working at Radio Manchester, Mike was offered a job on BBC Television co-presenting the BBC1 daytime programme ‘Open Air’. Also this time Mike was offered a daytime slot, presenting the afternoon drivetime show. While at BBC Radio Manchester, Mike set up the Sunset Radio group which applied for and won the Incremental Licence for Central Manchester.
After more than two years at GMR as it became known, Mike left the BBC in 1989 to set up Sunset Radio and take up the post of Managing Director and Programme Controller. The station was aimed at the ethnic minorities in Manchester, playing soul and dance music during the day and featuring specialist ethnic programming through the evenings. Mike had been planning such a station for a number of years and the success of the station was amply demonstrated when Sunset Radio achieved a 10% reach in it’s first JICRAR.
The station’s programming was generally accepted as one of the most exciting on radio in the North West and according to local listings publication City Life:-
“Sunset Radio is still by far the most interesting station in the city”.
Mike Shaft left Sunset in 1990 following a fundamental disagreement with some members of the Board about the direction that the station was taking.
Mike then worked at a number of stations in the North West and North East. These included Marcher Sound, Piccadilly Gold, Piccadilly Key 103 and Wear FM. During this time, Mike also co-presented a television series for Central Television, Birmingham called ‘One World’.
In 1993 Mike was approached by Julian Allitt to join the Bay in Lancaster as a Presenter and Head of Promotions.
Mike was part of the management team that achieved one of the most successful launches in Independent Radio history. After some months on air, Mike then became Head of External Affairs.
It was in this role that he applied for and won ‘The Commonwealth Relations Trust Bursary’ for 1994 to visit the Commonwealth Games in Victoria Canada. Mike worked for a month at the number 1 rated station in Victoria Canada, C-Fax 1070, assisting with their games coverage and sending reports back to the Bay.
Read about Mike’s exploits at the Victoria Commonwealth Games.
During his time at the station, The Bay achieved a 47% reach across all age groups and Mike’s morning show was the highest rated on the station. Since leaving The Bay, Mike has worked at Jazz FM North West and in 1996 he was invited to become involved with Reach FM, the Christian RSL broadcast in the Bolton area.
Mike presented the morning show on the first Reach and produced the programme ‘The Final Word’ which was entered into the Andrew Cross awards for Christian broadcasting. He was delighted to receive an honourable mention from the judges.
Mike resigned from the steering committee before the second RSL but presented the morning show and set up the playlist which ensured the daytime sound of the station.
While working at The Bay, Mike was approached by Sky Television to be the lead commentator on their programmes of British Basketball.
He continued to be lead commentator for three and a half years before parting company with the Sky.
At the end of 2000 Mike moved to Newcastle where he was Series Editor of the Dream on TV for the Christian Channel / the GOD Network. After over 100 live and recorded programmes Mike left the God Network in 2001.
During the summer of 2002 Mike was invited to present Breakfast and to look after the music at BBC 2002 – Commonwealth Games Radio in Manchester. He was also invited to perform at the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 17th Commonwealth Games held in the City of Manchester.
Following the success of the Games, Mike successfully applied for a post as Assistant Editor of BBC GMR.
He continues to present the Multi Faith Sunday Breakfast show on BBC Radio Manchester, as it is once again called. Mike also continues to present play-by-play for the Sheffield Sharks, and Cheshire Phoenix, two of the top teams in British Basketball.