“If I walked across the Gozo Channel my enemies would still call me a bad swimmer!”
In recent years I have re-established contact with these islands through business and a few personal contacts.
During 2006 – 2007 I was developing digital content plans for the then recently appointed DAB radio contractor.
Although our plans were strong the project was beset with problems negotiating suitable broadcast deals with the platform licence holder. The talks and negotiations went on for 18 long and frustrating months and I have to say that the exchange of emails between myself, the licence holder and my lawyer in Malta make dramatic and fascinating reading. We pulled out of our plans for DAB Maltese language content in Malta towards the end of 2007.
Recently I have been talking to the Maltese with a view to utilising an unused frequency to transmit international DRM stations from a site on Malta. These talks are still open and the results will be compared with other counties in Europe who have been made a similar approach. These are quite exciting times and hopefully we will be able to strike a mutually beneficial deal for all parties … but don’t hold your breathe!
I still have a strong relationship with the islands, their culture and way of life. Today its a relaxed pleasure to be able to express myself in an open manner which I wasn’t able to do back in 1988. I am still in touch with former colleagues and a few friends with whom it’s always genuine pleasure to meet up with.
I have been accused by a few Maltese of “always being negative” towards Malta. Nothing could ever be further from the truth. I have always given enormous support to these Mediterranean islands, even when the odds are stacked against them. I always show respect and encouragement especially to the creative sector through out-and-out support with their drive to lighten current censorship regulations.
Whilst these days I do not actually live on the islands I feel I have a right to constructive comment, much the same as towards any fellow European country and as much as Maltese can constructively criticise the UK. This is the world we live in … strong through communication and closer through genuine understanding.
As with all relationships – this one has always been passionate if a little up and down at times!