Stefan Borge on curious news and charity work.
A fresh and friendly voice bubbling with natural Yanito lilt without sounding vernacular, Stefan Borge is the young radio face that keeps Gibraltarians home and abroad entertained between weekdays afternoon news bulletins. With his lively selection of music, social media gleanings, banter, and competitions, Stefan involves his audience on the school run, at work or at home, in fun and games to wind down the day or gear up for a beach par-tee. “Unlike the news that has to be concise but informative, radio is what you make it, whether that be serious or light-hearted, and I like to keep my show a varied and casual blend of information and entertainment,” 29-year old Stefan says about his programme.
Having started his broadcasting career as a reporter, when ‘no two days were the same’ and when he attended NO6 press conferences as much as sporting events, Stefan has switched to the lifestyle of studio presenting while still enjoying the occasional live interview on radio and some Newswatch presenting on TV. Some twenty months on, his role is well measuring up with Paul Grant’s legacy which indeed left big shoes to fill, but Stefan has revamped the ‘afternoon show’ format, personalising it to his fun style and introducing new interactive segments with his colleagues.
Floating presenter Glen Thomson barges in the studio every day just before 3pm, declaiming ‘Fact or Fiction’ (with an echo, of course), presenting Stefan with three curious facts which he must pick out as indeed facts or cheekily made up on the spot fiction. “Usually, the more bizarre they are, the more likely it is they have actually happened somewhere, but there always is a twist,” Stefan says. “We also comment on quirky news that may stir audience’s participation or just put a smile on their faces. Once we commented on some revellers trying to break the record for drinking beer in as many countries as possible in the shortest time possible, so we came up with the suggestion of doing something similar in Gibraltar, Spain and Morocco, with the added intercontinental bonus.”
Stefan’s busiest times are 3:15pm-4:44pm, when the phone lines overheat with contestants in his ‘3 at 3’ game, a competition inherited from Paul Grant’s show, and ‘People, Places, Things’, which is Stefan’s invention and is rising in popularity, partly because of its attractive prizes, and partly because it is way easier than the morning’s competitions!
‘3 at 3’ requires participants to think out of the box and to pay attention to the three off-playlist songs played consecutively, in order to suss out the connection between their titles or artists, often so cryptic that it harvests only a handful of correct answers, but more often being so obvious to turn tricky.
Stefan debuted on the radio in February 2017, on a Saturday morning show when he recalls he was very nervous, but he managed to keep his voice confident and steady, also thanks to the comforting assistance of head of radio Ian Daniels. In hindsight, his first show may sound ‘cringey’ but he has come a long way since, with plenty of live and road shows under his belt, usually paired with Lucinda Snape, with whom he worked at last Literary Festival and Museum open day coverage. He also covered National Day with Michelle ‘The Rouge’ Rugeroni, sitting just outside Waterport Gates.
Previously to his GBC stint, English Literature graduate Stefan enjoyed a one-year internship at JP Morgan in New York: “I was actually in New York when I applied and was interviewed for GBC, because my student visa was about to expire. It was my mother who alerted me that a vacancy had come up, and I should’ve considered a career in broadcasting journalism.”
Later, he filled in for Christine Clifton-Psaila on the Breakfast Show – and in fact he still covers for Ben Lynch when he is off paired up with Kelly-Anne Borge, aka Captain News, in an alternative show that has been quickly dubbed as ‘Breakfast with the Borges’. He points out that the homonymy is merely coincidental, as he and Kelly’s husband are not related. When reporter Michael Beltran fills in for Kelly, then the Borge-Beltran duo becomes the ‘B Team’, a modest play on the usual breakfast time Ben’n’Kelly ‘A Team’.
Charity events often see Stefan’s keen participation whether in his personal or presenter capacity: “Last year I was a compère at Cancer Relief’s Walk for Life at the Stadium with other GBC presenters. I had to introduce the Zumba segment and join the dancing group on stage in front of everybody. That was out of my depth… but it was all for good fun and charity!”
Personally, he was involved in a fundraising sporting event in memory of a friend who passed away: “The Maurice Coelho Trophy is a five-a-side tournament happening this September, in aid of Gib Sams, so I would like it mentioned in the media.” He also supports the Kili Crew, who is climbing Mount Kilimanjaro this October in aid of Gib Sams too.
But it isn’t all song and dance for Stefan, who’s ready to don his reporter cape and mic, when mid-afternoon breaking news call for an urgent update: “Last winter, when heavy rains caused a serious rock fall, I interrupted the program to set up a live link with Jonathan Sacramento who had dashed on site to keep the population informed about damage to property and traffic arrangements.” It was a dramatic yet proud moment for Stefan, who claims that people in the street still don’t recognise him as a presenter, except a couple of occasions when he was out partying on Friday nights and his voice was picked out by drunken co-patrons.