Steve Hart is the host of the Just Jazz radio show that’s heard on dozens of FM, DAB, and digital stations worldwide.
The former professional DJ started out on the mobile circuit as a teenager in 1980 and within a few years landed his first residency in Southend-on-Sea in the UK.
He went on to DJ at top nightclubs across Essex, London, and Kent, including the iconic Nero’s 2000 in Ramsgate; Woody’s, Sheerness; The Haystack, Canvey; and in Southend – Electric Blue, Zhivago’s, The Zero 6, High Society, plus Benfleet’s The Sam Lords as well as countless others…
He kept the dance floors filled with his choice of soul, house, garage, New Age and EDM in a career that spanned 15 years as a resident club DJ. His fun half-hour set was legendary!
Spotted DJ’ing by a Top Shop manager in 1982, Steve was offered a job at Radio Top Shop (see below) where he was a ‘station manager’ and daily show host for five years.
“You want to pay me to DJ in a shop full time? How much! Where do I sign?”
Steve had a short stint at stand-up (until he was asked to sit down) and was once seen on Channel 4 TV (as the interference).
Steve volunteered at Southend Hospital Radio for 10 years, hosted breakfast at Basildon Radio, and was heard by listeners of BBC Essex and Essex Radio before segueing into a career as a reporter for his local newspaper– leaving the music behind for a decade.
With the advent of podcasting he saw an opportunity to get back behind the mic and hosted numerous business-related podcasts before mixing in music and launching 80s dance music show The Pleasuredome which Steve started in 2013.
Before Just Jazz there was the Cool Nights show which ran for three years. Starting out as a news and music show, it morphed into a jazz programme and prompted the show’s name change in 2020.
When he’s not working as a writer and podcast editor he reads non-fiction, sips Whyte & Mackay (no ice), and plots his revenge.
Radio Top Shop
Radio Top Shop was an instore ‘radio’ service heard in various Top Shop / Top Man fashion retailers in the UK during the 1980s and 90s.
Originally the ‘stations’ only featured in the company’s biggest stores, and thankfully Steve lived near one of these. The lucky shops were fitted out with studio gear and the broadcast would only be heard within that particular store.
However, the exposure, and the opportunity of hosting shows to thousands of shoppers helped sharpen up plenty of presenters who went on to work in both commercial and BBC radio (among them being Paul McKenna, Steve Collins, and others.) There were plenty of instore live events too!
Steve says it was the best job in the world.
“Record companies couldn’t send me their new releases fast enough and the exposure led to lots of opportunities – particularly on the live circuit,” says Steve.
Years after he moved on, Radio Top Shop was centralised to a piped service across all the stores. However, Top Shop is no more, having been closed down in 2019 by Arcadia.
Thanks to internet streaming instore radio stations have started to surface again…