Life Stuff with Shaun Keaveny – BleepBleeps

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Radio DJ Shaun Keaveny presents the breakfast show on BBC 6 Music every week day morning. He is also dad to two boys - Arthur and Wilfie. In this edition of Life Stuff, Shaun tells us about his day and about how, by running around like a whippet, he manages to fit in all the life stuff required of him as a professional broadcaster, parent and human person!

Over to you, Shaun... 

Eh, let me think... What time do I get up? Body - 5.05am. Brain - 6.54am. 

As far as morning 'must-dos' go, I MUST remember that I am a worthwhile human being and I MUST banish the negative thoughts that pervade my early morning lizard brain at 5am!

The rest of my family are still snoring when I get up for work. I am as silent as a sprite. I drift through the house like a cat's parp.

I cycle to work, providing it's not bucketing down. I do enjoy the tranquility of the ride. Except for that time two guys got out of a van and chased me down Prince Albert Road for um, 'waving' at them on a roundabout.

Photo: PJB Management

I'm on air from 7am 'til 10am. Work, like most things really, you take the rough with the smooth. Essentially though, the 6 Music Breakfast Show team - Matt, Fire Warden Phil, Joe and I are ringleaders of a merry band of mirth-miners who love to look at life sideways while listening to amazing tunes. You get that the merry band of mirth-miners is the audience, right? 

Arthur and Wilf are used to me being on the radio now. They've never known me to do anything different so they are totally cool with their dad talking through the box in the kitchen. They've been on the show a few times. They describe what I do as, 'Daddy talks rubbish and gets paid for it'. 

Photo: BBC 6 Music

After the show, if I haven't got any voiceovers to do (Stephen Toast, I'm on to you!) I usually bog off home for a half-hour sleep. Then I'll hole up in a cafe to do some work before I pick up the kids, give 'em tea, get them to bed. Then I try to avoid trouble. Trouble usually comes in the shape of a mischievous friend with a pub-based agenda. 

Bedtime for Arthur and Wilfie varies. It varies for all small people, I guess. My boys are pretty good at going to bed these days. We paid our dues when they were little, when they rarely bothered to kip much, considering it a terrible waste of time. Now, after homework and any number of after-school clubs or lessons, I wind 'em down with a bit of Adventure Time and a bath. Being well-versed, middle-class West London hipsters, they insist on a little foot rub before sleep. I think they are taking the mickey. 

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I don't think anyone in the modern urban world really balances anything and I think we're a slightly ailing society because of it! But that's our lot, innit? I think as long as you find pockets of time to relax, you're ok. When I'm not running about like a whippet after the kids or a deadline, I like to knock a few tunes out, loud, on my guitar, or just have a read in the park. Niiiiice.

The boys are probably in bed about an hour before I have to hit the sack too. They get a sound sleep - but I don't! 

Thanks to my turntable and to Spotify and to the twelve guitars and the drumkit at my place, there's a lot of music about at home. I am training Arthur and Wilf to be respectful DJs - never killing a tune before the end and always cueing up stuff the whole audience (basically us three in the car) will like. 

Photo: BBC 6 Music

Shaun + fellow Breakfast Show team mate, music journalist, Matt Everitt 

They are well indoctrinated in the classic sounds of Bowie, Queen, Led Zep, Nirvana, Foo Fighters and the like, but they also have a healthy interest in the pop stuff kids should like. They do a word-for-word version of The Script's 'Hall of Fame'. Arthur plays the drums to that one now too. 

If Arthur and Wilf were in charge of my free time, they'd have me at the cinema, in the park playing football, playing Xbox, having a go on the Emirates cable cars and having tea at Wagamama... Actually, they are a bit too sophisticated for my liking. What's up with the chippy?



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