Tuesday, 27 March 2012

On the Mic - Surrey Life - March 2012

As promised, here is my first column for Surrey Life magazine, slightly re-written, because I can't leave things alone:

"3.45am. I present the Breakfast Show, six days a week, on BBC Surrey – and in order to be sufficiently present in both mind and body, I have to get up at 3.45am. It’s all anyone ever wants to know.

For the record, it’s okay. I’m used to it. I’m used to the rush of adrenaline that courses round the body from 6am to 9am, followed by the inevitable post-show catatonic trough.

I’m used to stumbling around Walton-on-Thames at three in the afternoon looking like a bag of spanners in the closest approximation to pyjamas I can get away with, assailing unsuspecting shop assistants with a series of half-formed yawns until I realise I’ve forgotten what I was there for in the first place.

But when I was offered the job of Breakfast Show presenter at BBC Surrey, I didn’t hesitate. Who wouldn’t want to present the biggest show on a newly-created BBC radio station in God’s Own County? People who don’t want to get up at 3.45am, I guess. Which is fine. We have a motto at work – sleeping is cheating.

The job itself is a doddle. A wise sage once told me the knack of being a radio presenter is saying something engaging, informative, intelligent and pithy, using vibrant, accessible language that will instantly strike a chord with thousands of people from wildly differing demographic groups and age ranges, every time you open your mouth. As I said, a doddle.

I have had the privilege of sitting in the presenter’s chair at BBC Surrey for going on three years, and the people I end up chatting with never fail to impress, astonish or move. I have also got to know more of the county than I ever thought possible. It’s sometimes very easy just to flit about in your own little bubble, but this job has taken me to all parts, from the urbanised commuter zones of the north, to the wilds of the east and south. For the last five years, I have been happily settled in Walton-on-Thames, with a patient wife and three delightful young children. 

I love this county dearly, so when Surrey Life’s fearsome editor suggested I hop on board, I was both thrilled and honoured. I hope you will find something in this column each month that makes you smile, reach for a stiff drink or possibly weep with pity.

And I do hope I might eventually tempt you towards tuning your radio to BBC Surrey of a morning. We’d love to count you as a friend."

You can read it on the Surrey Life website, too, of course.


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