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Tags:   StayingAlive,   DJs,   Radio,   Career

By The Swag Team   -  February 11, 2015

For nearly five years BEN GLOVER built up a loyal following of radio listeners on two radio stations, but has now been gone from the ariwaves for some time. Where did he disappear to? SWAG got on his trail.

So Ben, where are you and why aren't you in Malta anymore?


I am back in my homeland – the UK. I live on the south coast of England in a place called Hampshire. There are plenty of Maltese who live here so it’s like I never left! In fact I work with two of them.


Why did you decide to go back?


My wife was diagnosed with Lupus – an auto-immune disease – that affects the blood in the body. It can lead to fatigue, clotting and all sorts of nasty symptoms. Sadly there is no treatment for it in Malta and we thought it was best to come back home. My medical career had also progressed and so I wanted to study here too.


You had built up quite a loyal audience... are you still being heard at all in Malta?


I think people may recognise me as the voice of 'the balls'… I’ve done quite a few adverts for the Grand Lotto from my studio in the UK. As regards radio I made the very hard decision of leaving 89.7 Bay at the end of summer last year. The Maltese audience really embraced me and I am eternally grateful for that. I would love to get back into Maltese radio – in fact I have had quite a few offers since I left! I'm going to think about it.


Remind us – what's your original connection with Malta and how did you end up here?


My darling wife has Maltese family. Her mum has Maltese parents. Is that good enough? Seriously, we got married in the Balluta church in 2010 and we pretty much stayed on the rock. Charlie is half-English and I got the best of both worlds right?


Tell us a bit about your radio experiences here – how did they evolve?


I first started at XFM doing mid-mornings and the Saturday Sport show. I wasn't very good at the sport bit but the music was good! Then I was approached by 89.7 Bay. I started doing weekend shows and filling in during the day time before bagging the 'Brunch 2 Lunch' show. It gave me a place on many advertising billboards and in the hearts of housewives all over the islands. I also joined Prive’ promoters, playing at their party nights and open air parties by the sea and inland. Awesome stuff. It was a great life and I felt on top of my game.


What were your most memorable – and forgettable – moments on Maltese radio and on the nightlife scene?


My Maltese. Without a doubt. I was excellent. My colleagues at the time were laughing at me but I think I was s**t hot! Your language is so complex that I often got in trouble for saying place names wrong and people’s names too. One of my first shows on XFM I played a track by Thea Saliba and pronounced the 'h' as we would in English. Her mum called me up and gave me stick! At least she was listening.


There is some amazing musical talent on the islands and I was totally in love with it. I was also the powerhouse behind the social media drive, pushing great ideas and content for the radio station. I was proud to have been part of the set up for the legendary 'Like Me All Over' parties and gaining over 50,000 likes to the Bay FB page.


My other high point was DJing for 50,000 Maltese and international ravers at the Isle of MTV festival. I remember one year being stood at the back of Il-Fosos and I told my wife, 'I'll be on stage next year DJing.' Low and behold I was, via 89.7 Bay. My last IOMTV I was part of the medical team helping those that had 'overdone' it!


I loved the interviews with the celebrities that came to the island. You lot have such a passion for Malta and I truly adored that. So when I asked Jessie J on camera if she had tried 'pastizzi' her reply with a very strong Essex accent went viral from the 89.7 Bay FB page – seen by over 3 million people.

Also, the Bay Music Awards were something special for Malta and in my opinion very underrated. Huge planning went into every event and I could never understand why the crowd were sometimes not jumping about with hands in the air. You go to festivals and gigs in the UK and it is a sea of euphoria. That said, the crowds were awesome and I looked great in make-up stood three feet above everyone else! 


Will you ever come back?


Never say never! When the kids have moved out and the wife has inherited her money from her fairly well off mother we'll retire. I do pop back now and then to train new ambulance drivers for the Malta Red Cross and to top up the tan!


What exactly are you doing in the UK?


Well a bit of a career change! After 20 years in radio and TV I have decided to progress in my goal to be a paramedic. It has been something that came about from volunteering in the Malta Red Cross. I have had to work my way in from the bottom of the ladder to get to Emergency Care Assistant with South Central Ambulance Service – I'm basically a paramedic's right hand man.


I had to study for eight weeks including gaining a qualification in blue light driving. Qualifying was harder than I thought and I wasn't really that brainy at school! I am now in an advanced position to life save and be part of the accident and emergency team. And I love it! I've kept my hand in with a bit of radio here on-air with Fire Radio in Bournemouth.


How can people keep up to date with your activities?


Dial 999! No don’t do that – unless it is an emergency of course. You can catch my Twitter feed @GloveBoxGlover. My FB page is now private as I didn’t have many fans on it, ha!


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