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Kiss FM: Voll auf Cokes

kiss2.gif (14897 bytes)After quitting MTV, Ray needed a new challenge and he found it in completely different area: RAYDIO! Many stations were interested in this popular and very funny presenter, but only one station was willing to give him absolute freedom: the very small Berlin radio station KISS FM.

So during the last weeks of 1996, Ray took the plane from London to Berlin to present 'Voll auf Cokes' two times a week. Every Friday (16.00-19.00) and Saturday (11.00-14.00), Ray and his loyal sidekick Nina brought you 3 hours of music, chat and competitions.

Ray took a big chance swapping TV for radio: He had never done an own radio broadcast before! Would he be able to convert his famous faces and visual jokes to sound and would he be as funny as on TV? But the experiment paid off: Ray brought  a very entertaining program once again.

As always the crew had a big part on the show. Remember Richie B (in charge of the phone calls), Sexy Sophie (the news girl), Titus (the helicopter pilot), Siggi (the bodyguard), Crap Krane (the technician), Andreas "Schwarzenegger" (the big boss of Kiss FM), ...

Lonesome Tonight was a dating game in which a female caller had the chance to pick out a boy on the radio and go to dinner with him free of charge. This was a hot game of love. Of course Ray was hoping to receive some juicy stories afterwards about how it clicked and how they would like to continue seeing each other.

Hunt the hi-fi was an action game in which viewers had to find 1.000 DM hidden somewhere in Berlin. They were given a couple of clues about where it was and how the scenery looked like. The listener that found the bag first won an hi-fi stereo worth 1.000 DM.

kiss_open_s.gif (1421 bytes)In the last show Ray did a competition in which 2 fax writers battled it out to win a holiday. As usual it took a long time to reach someone who was home, but at the end they could find a boy and a girl. In true Most Wanted style, the competitors had to identify themselfs by making animal noises. The show turned into an animal farm, but it was great entertainment: It brought back some good memories and it was Ray Cokes at his best!

A day with Roy Cakes at Kiff SM
Written by Thomas Bahls

Yes folks, we joined grandfather Roy Cakes at Kiff SM, the Old People's Berlin Broadcasting Corp. (that's four of Ray's gags in one sentence) on December 21st when he was doing the last ever "Voll auf Cokes" show. Unlike X-Ray Vision, it was a very funny and exciting happening. Apart from Nina and Ray, we met Crap Krane, Richie B ("in the house in the place to be"), Andreas "Schwarzenegger", Siggi the Bodyguard, and Sexy Susi altogether. So that's what and who this story will be about.

I arrived in Berlin on December 20th, 1996 right in time to have a listen to the second last "Voll auf Cokes". So I turned up the volume of the radio in my car and ignored all the traffic around me... At first, they had a new and somehow funny game which sweet and nice but naughty Nina had to go for. They have been weighing one of her breasts in the morning and asked the listeners to give their guess. While listening to the answers, I suspected most of the people not to know Nina from TV. They guessed something around 2 kilo for each. Ooops, did they know whom they talked about ? Anyway, finally it turned out that she's quite a normal girl with 700 g each. Well, now we all know that too. Apart from this game which lasted about 15 minutes at least, they all laughed at a really funny mistake Nina did in one of the last shows. When a call-in didn't know the correct answer to a question, he shouted "Okay, then I'm gonna shoot myself." and Nina, who was obviously not following that game, said "Thanks for calling. Have a nice day." Since then Ray always reminded Nina to listen to listeners carefully every time she took a caller. They won't forget about that ! Eventually the second last show was over and Ray and Nina said 'Good bye' to the Friday's crew of Kiss FM. As a special gift to Sexy Sophie (the girl reading the news at Kiss FM) Ray took his trousers off, something she wanted him to do while she was reading the news... Seems to be funny to make radio shows, doesn't it. However, Ray played You're Gorgeous as Friday's last record especially for Sophie.

And that was it for Friday. The next day should be the great one when I was allowed to take part and watch the last ever show live in the studio. Nevertheless I slept very good but got up early not to miss anything. After some searching I got to the station and found the entrance somehow (recall that Kiss FM is not a big station at all) and got in.

The show had started right before, Ray was wearing his sunglasses yet while mixing some records, Richie B was handling the phone lines, and Nina served herself a cup of coffee. They were apparently not quite awake yet. So I cheered them all, got myself a chair and had a listen to the records playing and looked at what big stars are doing in the morning... (I couldn't get myself a coffee too because there was a party last night and no cups and things were available anymore.)

Ray calling his mum for birthday: "Mum, there are loads of foreigners here in Berlin. Yes, almost all German people around here. There's much more foreigners here in Berlin than at home..."

Some minutes later, Siggi the bodyguard came in to make us feel safe. (Btw, Ray didn't get it at all that his name was Siggi not Singhi as he pronounced it.) Although there were quite no other people around besides Nina, Ray, Markus (aka Crap Krane), Richie B, and Sexy Susi. When I talked to her, it turned out that she's originally from Australia and she was there to get some Warner Bros. stuff she won the day before for singing a song live. Well, she deserved it, she did a great job even when Ray missed Richie B to be mentioned within it, she composed another two verses and sang them out ! And, of course, she was a lovely person.

Meanwhile Richie B (who is from Ireland apparently and who speaks a lousy German when he hasn't his "radio voice" on) was mixing phone calls. It looked like he was entertaining himself having great fun. Sometimes he took calls saying "Radio Energy. Hello." or "100.6 RTL. Hello. - Do you know which one's the money song today ?" When I asked him what people say normally if he tries to make fun of them he replied that most of them like it. Hm, I wondered a bit but maybe that's British humour ? Anyway, Richie was a lovely person too even when he was in the studio mixing records for Ray who was relaxing. Then, he did funny things to the records or played tracks he shouldn't play to make fun of Ray... But they enjoyed it both.

When it was past 12 p.m., they woke up a bit more and had a few games as usual. But on the last edition of Voll auf Cokes, they played different ones. The most crazy one I've ever listened to was to play the beginning of a song and ask the call-ins afterwards which number of words a particular one was. I must confirm that it even was complicated enough for us Germans to understand the rules not to speak of the impossibility to guess the correct number. I wouldn't have won myself and even Susi said that she also didn't understand it. But they played it twice (with no more success the second time) and Ray seemed to like it. So people, be prepared for the next shows Ray will be doing... Another silly thing was to take me on air which I was definitely not prepared for and which I was a bit too nervous for. So all people who listened, please edit that part out off your recordings. Thanks ! :-)

Ray to the audience: "I'm watching MTV Unplugged. That's the only way one can watch MTV. Take the plug out..." [They really have a TV set within the studio, and they were really tuned to MTV. -- Ed.]

However, when it came to the end of the show, the last game was much more interesting. They chose two people out of all who have sent in faxes since the start of the show to answer some simple questions (much more simple to my account at least) and win a fantastic holiday for two. The problem apparently was to get the chosen people on the phone. They didn't get one of them, no one was listening or was even at home. They left a few messages on answerphones, made some jokes and finally decided to call people who had faxed in that day. So they eventually got a girl and a boy to take part. Due the quite unlucky girl didn't answer fast enough, the male candidate got almost all points. (The questions were kinda "What was my most successful TV show at MTV called ?" and things -- really easy I believe) For some reasons, Ray liked the girl to win anyway. At the end they had three envelopes named A, B, and C and one of it was the holiday trip. Unluckily the girl chose the wrong one and won a dinner for two as the clever man on the other line got the desired price. -- I've not quite understood what for he needed the points when she had been able to win the trip anyway. But who cares. It was just funny to hear him shout the correct answers while Ray was worried for the girl and Nina was always giggling.

It was around a quarter to two when the big dying moment came. They couldn't say enough Thanks and We love you's and I got the impression they really meant it from their hearts. They even thanked Crap Krane who did a really fantastic job, much would not have been possible without his help and support. After extra five minutes they left the studio and played again You're Gorgeous, this time to all the audience. As to Ray himself, R.E.M.'s "Everybody Hurts" in the end title of the last X-Ray Vision was a message so we surely can assume that this one was a message too.

Well, that was the last show. When Ray was doing an interview with a German magazine (something similar to The Sun in Britain), I had a talk with Andreas "Schwarzenegger" (as Ray named him), the boss of Kiss FM. We had an interesting talk about why Ray came to Kiss and things like that. Besides our talk, it turned out that he wasn't that scary at all though he is a tough guy originally from Hamburg.

Then, apart from our small talk besides the show, I had the opportunity to talk to Ray exclusively for about 15 minutes. First I thought of bringing it to you as a regular interview but I think that's not the best idea (even in fact I hadn't any voice recorder to report it to you exactly). But of course I asked him about his feelings after a regular finished contract with Kiss FM, how he feels now having succeeded with his radio show debut. I've reported Ray's answers on some other pages here already.

As to more private questions, I would like to mention that Ray told me he generally likes to be recognised as Ray Cokes in the public (i.e. he's not hiding himself when shopping etc.) but he even likes it more that more and more people recognise him not as "Ray Cokes from MTV" anymore but as "Ray Cokes the presenter".

For all the fans of Take That who also like Ray, there is some interesting fact too. Ray again stated that he still likes all of the lads although he's not constantly in contact with all of the formerly members of TT. But in fact he's quite good friends with Robbie, he was out with him for dinner quite a few times meanwhile. And it looks like there is a good chance to see the one or other of the Fab Five pop up in Ray's further shows.

And that was basically four hours at Kiss FM with the Host of the People and Friend to the Stars. The most interesting fact I learned from being with Ray is that he's not only a good team together with Nina but also that he's absolutely brilliantly top in fixing any mistake that could ever happen during a live broadcast. You wouldn't believe what all went wrong and which you didn't notice at all...

So I finally got into my car, taking a few more recordings of earlier "Voll auf Cokes" shows with me (thanks to Christian for recording it !).

More Reading:

Article: Sharing a cab with Ray Cokes
Interview: Naughty Nina
Media Central: Sound Samples

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