Love Bites: Radio Polyamory

During a period of exceptionally limited options, here's how our Art Editor accidentally fell in love with former BBC 6 Music host Shaun Keaveny

Article by Adam Benmakhlouf | 27 Sep 2021
  • Radio

“God / Another bloody breakup / I’m gutted! / Will rly miss my husband” – the one-line shock texts I sent back back when my pal sent the news. BBC Radio 6 Music host Shaun Keaveny had been axed. A beautiful nationwide polyamorous romance with this glass of tall, semi-attractive Northern English water was over. And so the dream of love was dead.

Shaun came into my life as I was gearing up to spend lockdown as a lowkey divorcée. Freshly single, this was as new to me as it was uncomfortable. I was off the back of six years of the LTR lifestyle.

Broadly from the same chunk of Northern England I’d imported my last romances from, Shaun was my nicotine patch against another bout of romantic cathexis. Or maybe he was my Rochester. Me: a simple Jane battling through life’s struggles. Him: gruff, a bit witty, aloof.

It was the logical conclusion of finding unavailability attractive. I’d text him and nothing. Whether or not I showed up, he didn’t really mind. I’ve always been a good listener in relationships, anyway. 

I fancied him for his love of music, food and pranks … “HA!” he’d abrasively laugh-cough after a few seconds of dead air after a track. How annoying and loveable, what a raffish eejit. It’s true what they say, you never see it coming when it comes to Stockholm Syndrome. 

About a third of his show was just reading out the best lunches people had that day. Which was why in the last week, he finally read out my third-last text to him about bolognese and marmalade. I was carrying my food waste up the street, him in my ear, just like we’d always walk around. It ended: “Thanks for helping me laugh through the last year!! No small feat. You’re the best and most beautiful broadcaster in the land xx” He left out the last bit because he’s humble like that.