When radio presenter Derek Webster looks out of his home every day he sees the Winter Hill transmitter which broadcasts his daily show to millions throughout the North West.

Derek, 49, from Withnell, presents five evening shows a week on popular Smooth FM and is a champion of both contemporary artists and older classics, particularly soul music.

His 6pm-9pm show has been a hit with listeners since the launch of the station 18 months ago and includes a daily 'soul seven at seven', which takes listeners back to the great songs of Motown and Stax artists.

Derek combines his presenting role with that of head of music for the station. His time is spent devising the playlist and scouring new releases which suit the station's laid back, relaxing style.

He said: "There has been a upsurge in interest for this type of music in recent years. Just look at the massive album sales for artists such as Norah Jones and Katie Melua and the fact that people are buying increasing amounts of music as they get older.

"I think a lot of radio stations have aimed at too young a market and the success of stations such as Smooth is due to the fact that more people want to hear a variety of tuneful and interesting music."

Derek's first experience of working in radio began when he was involved in a super hero style radio serial called Captain Flash, which was performed and recorded at his Widnes home with two mates.

While neighbours reacted suspiciously to the strange sound effects emanating from the small bedroom, patients at Whiston Hospital, outside Liverpool, found the manic adventures broadcast on hospital radio to be an odd but diverting tonic.

Derek quickly got the radio bug and began a full-time career in radio when Preston based Red Rose Radio was launched in 1982.

As well as Red Rose, Derek has worked on various local stations including Radio City, Century Radio and BBC Radio Cumbria.

Derek, originally from Widnes, moved to the Chorley area in 1990 with his partner Jill.

"I love living in the area and it has been very handy for all the jobs I've done.

"Having the Winter Hill mast overlooking the area makes it feel like the centre of North West radio," he said.