Marek Niedźwiecki for Opinia
An interview with Marek Niedźwiecki, for many years a vivid personality of Programme 3 Polish Radio. Nationally recognised as the voice of the weekly Programme 3 Hit Chart show. Currently a presenter at Radio Złote Przeboje, the designer of a record series Smooth Jazz Cafe and the author of books ‘Lista przebojów Programu Trzeciego: 1982-1994’ and ‘Lista Przebojów Trójki 1994-2006’.
Marek Niedźwiecki, polish music journalist, studied at Łódź Polytechnic in the Department of Land Construction and Architecture, where he was engaged in Student Radio ‘Żak’. He has been a presenter on Polish Radio in Łódź since 1979. Joining Programme 3 in 1982 presenting the morning and afternoon shows ‘Zapraszamy do Trójki’, ‘W tonacji Trójki’, but most notably – ‘Programme 3 Hit Chart’ – ‘Lista Przebojów Programu Trzeciego’. He used to have his TV programmes and makes regular appearances as a presenter and hosts concerts and awards shows. He is the author of record series – ‘Smooth Jazz Cafe’, ‘Chillout Cafe’, ‘Lista Przebojów Trójki’ (‘Programme 3 Hit Chart’).
He has been hosting his shows ‘Złote, słodsze, najsłodsze’ and ‘Top Wszech Czasów’ in Radio Złote Przeboje since December 2007. Starting a new Chart Show with them in January 2008.
How did you come across the idea of the Hit Charts on Polish Programme 3?
MN: When I was a child, it was at the end of 1960’s I used to listen to Hit Chart of Studio Rytm. That was Radio Programme 1 and the name of the programme was ‚Afternoon with youth’ hosted by Andrzej Turski, and then by Piotr Kaczkowski. The programme was run only till 1972, but that time has definitely altered by life. I made a decision that when I would be an adult I wanted to be Mr. Marek from the radio and I would run my own hit chart. Most desirably in Radio Programme 3. Then it was just the matter of making the dream come true.
Many people find working in Radio addictive and magical. Do you?
NM: It is simply very addictive. But this is nothing unusual if you treat your job as passion, hobby, fascination, and thereafter at the end, as a job. Recently I have been working a bit less. I used to come to the radio at 9 in the morning and leave at 7 in the evening. It has change because I also need time for a normal, ordinary, grey life, which I love as well.
Were you aware from the very beginning of your career that you would be permanently tied with the radio?
MN: I knew that if I had managed to start working in the radio then I would stay there forever. It was not at all easy to start at the end of 70’s. There were only public radio stations – Programme 1, 2, 3 and 4. Apart form that 18 regional stations. I won the competition for the radio presenter in Łódź and that was the beginning. Before that time, there was obviously student radio, which is called ‚Żak’ – ‚Scholar’ and operates on Łódź Polytechnic.
You once stated that the longer you do your profession the more adrenaline you feel before going on air, and you enjoy the challenge of difficult situations when you need to break the silence caused by technical difficulties. Can you describe your most challenging incident to date?
MN: There are ways round from any incidents, because I make live programmes. I love such challenges. Definitely the biggest incident was when I got confused with the surname of my guest. On one occasion I hosted Edyta Geppert in my programme and I introduced Edyta Górniak. Blessing is disguise that I know both of them very well and none of them felt offended. Since that incident I always put down names of my guests on a piece of paper, even If I have a visit paid by Kora and Basia.
Working with Polish Programme 3 you had permission to produce your Friday hit chart from different places. What was the most memorable place you did the show from?
MN: I have always had an impression that there was no point in doing them because such programmes are attractive only for people who participate in them personally. What about the rest of the audience? They are bored listening to greetings over and over again. On the contrary, there were many incredible programmes made away from the home studio, for example Sydney in Australia, Hotel ‚Las’ in Piechowice near Szklarska Poręba, Łeba, Muczne in Bieszczady Mountains, Sopot. It would very long time to name all of the places. Apparently, we made the most of the programmes from Szklarska Poręba, completely unplanned.
Where do you get your inspiration for the programmes?
MN: From life that surrounds me, from emails that I receive. From anything I can. When I am in a bad mood I talk about it on air. I don’t pretend anything. I am the same person in my programmes as I am normally in my private life. That might be the reason why so many people listen to my radio.
You travel a lot around the world but Australia seems to be your favourite place on earth. Why?
MN: It wasn’t planned, it happened itself. I used to fly to Corsica every year. Since 1995 I have already visited the Antipodes 10 times. Australia and New Zealand have just attracted myself so much. These are my places, like Corsica or Izerskie Mountains. I like to come back to my favourite places, so I do that. Australia is an incredible place on earth. Gorgeous. I fly there to trek the whole continent, I have been to most of the places, but still some of them are waiting to be discovered, like Kimberley, for example. Now I explore these places virtually and I have fallen in love with Australian Shiraz.
Last year you made a brave decision to change your employer after so many years. What was your personal motivation to make the move?
MN: It was just life. I thought that it might have been the last moment to make such a life decision. I have dedicated 25 years of my life to Programme 3. In Radio Złote Przeboje I can play music from that period, but what is more important I can play the music of the 70’s, my favourite period. In my opinion all of the most beautiful music of the world was composed then. Programme 3 has changed and I have changed myself. It was a good moment to make such a move, like ‚throwing yourself in at the deep end’, and I don’t regret my decision.
We have pleasure now to enjoy new hit charts in Radio Złote Przeboje. Can you describe what a typical week is like for you?
MN: Normally. I get to the radio station every morning to remind people on air about voting for the best songs on the chart. At 9.45 I play top 5, at 12.45 I present one of the new songs entering the chart and I leave the radio at 1 pm. I have my station Smooth Jazz Café on www.tuba.fm since 27 March. It is a lot of fun, but also a hell lot of work. I listen, add, take away from the data base and Simply spent my time on that. I wake up early in the morning on Saturdays to play the programme ‚Złote, słodsze i najsłodsze’ live on the radio.
What inspired you to create the diary from Antipodes – Marek’s Blog?
MN: The diary has been initiated to save all of that beautiful places I am privileged to see. I have started the diary on the Programme 3 website, But when I was leaving to Australia last year I had already left this radio station. So I decided to have my own website and I wrote there. It has been going on from then because people who listen to my programmes encourage me to write. The Diary is a weekly magazine now, but I don’t think it makes a huge difference to anyone. Not for me, at least.
Thank you very much for the interview.