The 14 year old Bob Lawrence.
His time at sea came to an end in 1980 when Radio Caroline's ship sank. By this time he had already started the pioneering cable community radio station in South-East London, Greenwich Sound. Here he presented the mid-morning show, was Head of Music and made the commercials. He also "put his toe into the water" of television for the first time and for three months during 1980 he produced and presented a weekly rock music show on Greenwich Television on the South East London cable system.
In November of 1981 he headed to BRMB Radio in Birmingham, ditching the "Richard Thompson" name. Primarily working in the Commercial Production department he also did “swing” presentation on most of the shows. He took a year out in 1984 to tour the country as a commercial voice artist before going back to head up the newly organised Commercial Production department and, once again, provide relief presentation. In February 1987 Bob ventured further up the M6 motorway to Wolverhampton and Beacon Radio, managing the company's production arm with a staff of six. He also enjoyed weekend mid-morning presentation.
In December of 1989 he was asked to become Programme Manager of the company's easy listening station, W.A.B.C Radio. He left the station with a 15% reach in February of 1991 and headed back to Birmingham to Buzz Fm, the ill-fated Black Music station, presenting the Sunday to Friday Mid-Morning Show. He also picked up his career as a voice over artist, a career which has continued to the present day. During one morning show he answered the studio phone to find that the Programme Manager from BRMB was on the line asking him if he wanted to come back. Initially he was hesitant until he found out that they actually wanted him to play album artists, the lure of playing Tom Petty and Steely Dan records on the radio again proved too strong. In April of 1992 he went back to BRMB to present the station's newly created "adult album shows" on Friday and Saturday and the Sunday Rock Show, leaving weekdays free to continue as a voice over. It was an ideal situation in Bob's eyes but, of course, it didn't last, following Capital Radio's purchase of the station his slots were changed to Love Songs so, once again, Bob looked north and Signal Radio in Stoke on Trent provided a temporary home for his presentation work during 1993.
Between the summer of 1994 and the summer of 1997, it was back to BRMB again, still at this time owned by Capital Radio, this time to the am service XTRA am on both the Birmingham and Coventry transmitters. In the winter of 1998 a brand new radio station was starting in Leicestershire, just 15 minutes from where he was living. He accepted a 12 month contract to help launch Fosseway Radio. Weekdays were still taken up with his successful voice over career and Saturday mornings he presented the breakfast show and then the Sunday afternoon Oldies Show.
In 1999 he received an e-mail from Radio Caroline asking if he'd be interested in coming back to present a weekly show broadcasting, not only to Europe via satellite, but his programme would also be transmitted to the French and Italian Riveras in FM stereo. He had no hesitation in accepting. By now Bob was married with two young children and the family decided to move away from the Midlands to Kent. One day, out of the blue, he received a call from ex-colleague Roger Day. Roger was programming Millennium Radio, a station based a quarter of a mile from the house in South East London in which he grew up. Knowing the transmission area like the back of his hand the offer of regular swing presentation work on breakfast and three months on Afternoon Drivetime was very tempting but, being a lifelong supporter and season ticket holder at Charlton Athletic Football Club, the offer of taking over the weekly football phone-in show "Charlton Live, The Charlton Fan's Phone-In", made it impossible to turn down. He stayed from February 2002 until May 2003 when the station's new owner arrived.
In September 2003 he accepted a short term contract to present afternoon drive at KM-fm in Canterbury and set up a programme production unit, training up a producer to run the facility making programme elements and trails for the whole group of Kent stations. In 2007 he accepted an invitation to be a judge at the prestigious PPI Radio Awards in Ireland. He judged the categories "Station Imaging" and "On Air Competition/Promotion"
Bob currently presents his Album Collection programme which is broadcast on several stations including Fantasy Radio in Devizes, where he is also a non-executive Director. Since 2008 he has maintained close links with the pioneering DAB broadcaster Zenith Classic Rock in Ireland.
He remains a consultant to Radio Caroline and devised and managed the station's “Fair's Fair” campaign to gain a medium wave frequency to broadcast to the south east of the UK. When the campaign started Ofcom told him that there were no frequencies available and even if there were they would not advertise them. Having gained the support of 70 MPs, and some three years later, Ofcom are now on the verge of advertising medium wave frequencies. Bob regards this as a successful campaign and whilst he has now stepped down from his campaign role, he continues to advise the station.
He owns and ran the internet oldies station CCRN before being invited by the CEO of Gibraltar Broadcasting to programme the service specifically to operate on their 1458 am transmitter. The station ran as an experiment to gain listeners in both Gibraltar and ex-pat Brits across the border in Spain.