It's Sunday, it's eight o'clock
and it's time for...
well Charlton Chat, actually.

‘Charlton Chat was always a really interesting, light-hearted programme; always full of very entertaining studio guests from Charlton Athletic FC playing staff of past and present…and quite frankly it became a Sunday evening ‘institution’ to such an extent that if I was away working on a Sunday evening and unable to hear the programme going out ‘live’ then my son Danny always very kindly taped it for me and I used to listen to it one week later.’

This is an extract from a lovely 9-page letter I received from well-known Charlton fan, Les Turner, in October 1991 when ‘Charlton Chat’ finally came to an end after almost 2 years of continuous Sunday night broadcasts on RTM 103.8FM.   

Les, who sadly died in February 2020, actually appears as a ‘caller’ in the ‘Charlton Chat’ edition when legendary Charlton goalkeeper Charlie Wright was the studio guest and I’m delighted to say that this show (coming soon), together with the ones featuring Karl Howman and Cheryl Baker and the controversial show with Mike Flanagan; have all been saved and feature as podcasts on this site.  

The brainchild of Clive Richardson - who first approached me in late 1989 in my capacity as Commercial Manager of Charlton Athletic to ask me what I thought about doing a Sunday night Charlton Athletic radio show at RTM radio – ‘Charlton Chat’ was something that I instantly knew I wanted to do. In fact, the show’s name seemed obvious to Clive and I as it literally was just that, two hours of chat about Charlton Athletic, interspersed with music chosen by our studio guests  - with Clive always getting his regular soul music track in too!          

At this time, Charlton were playing ‘in exile’ at Selhurst Park and I saw this radio show as a perfect way of communicating regularly to the club’s fanbase. It must be remembered that back in 1990 there was no such thing as the internet or social media and so the only way the Club could communicate to our supporters was via ‘ClubCall’ which was a premium rate telephone call service and the match programme. So, when Clive and I launched ‘Charlton Chat’ in January 1989, the radio show together with my now weekly article in the ‘NewsShopper’ provided the Club with two excellent vehicles for speaking directly to the Charlton supporters.

I am immensely proud of ‘Charlton Chat’, which was unique in that it was the first ever radio show completely dedicated to one football club, and to this day, I still get Charlton supporters telling me how they listened every week and reminiscing about their favourite guests and their memories of the show. In fact, only recently someone told me that each Sunday they would drive from their home outside of RTM’s broadcast area to the top of Shooters Hill, park their car and listen to the show from there!  

Were you a regular listener on Sunday nights from January 1990 to October 1991? If you were I’d love to hear your memories of the show. Likewise, if ‘Charlton Chat’ is something that your parents have told you about, then I hope you enjoy hearing the show for the first time via these three podcasts and, again, I would love to hear your thoughts.

I’ll leave the final word to Les Turner; ‘I would like to thank you Steve and also Clive, for all the entertainment you always provided through the may hours that you presented the programme; also of course, all the other backroom personnel including Chris Parkes, Roy King, Rick Everitt, Jackie Monahan, Anne Payne, Peter Burrowes and Tom Morris’. 

Steve Sutherland

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