The Magic of Radio

Those who know me well know that radio takes up most of my life – I’ve been listening to it for years (my radio is switched on more often than not), I’ve been studying it at uni for almost a year and a half now, and I’ve been presenting on local radio for 6 and a half years now.

So you can imagine that, when the opportunity came to go and sit in on BBC Radio Gloucestershire‘s Breakfast Show, I jumped at the opportunity.

That visit took place today, and I quite enjoyed it. The visit was possible thanks to Corinium Radio‘s Geoff Carr, who managed to organise for about 8 of us to go along this morning (though I think only 6 made it in the end… I didn’t count).

The last time I was at the BBC studios in Gloucester, it was when they had the old studio equipment there. That was also when things were very quiet at the other end of the day (in fact I think a pre-recorded programme might have been on at the time).

So it was very interesting to have a very rare chance to be sat in the production area during the station’s flagship show – those in the production area working to get guests/contributors lined up over the phone/ISDN line, and with lots of people calling up to give their comments on the lead story of the day (relating to the NHS story from Tuesday).

It is producing like this which I will have to do when we make a 30 minute magazine show for uni, as part of the Radio Magazine module. There’s 6 of us working on that, and I, as well as being the producer, will be the ‘tech op’ and drive the desk from the production studio, with my presenter on the other side of the glass (that means I’ll be able to talk to her through the studio talkback, and put her off whilst she’s talking on air).

We did get a chance to go through to the studio as well after 8:45, which was a great opportunity to see the studio itself in use. Once Mark’s show had finished, we were then interviewed for the Community Radio Show by Lee Stone (who is also the BBC Wiltshire Drivetime presenter). I’m not sure when it’ll be broadcast, but I will let you know as soon as I know. I’ve been going through the Corinium Radio archives this afternoon and editing stuff to fit the required time length, writing a couple of cues as well.

So… Lots of interesting stuff (and I’d love to use those studios to do my Tone Radio show from at uni) – a great insight in to what work has to go in to producing an all-speech Breakfast show.

Thanks go to Geoff Carr for organising the visit; to Mark Cummings for inviting us; to producer Simon and BA Zoe who managed to keep on working whilst 6 community radio people sat behind them watching every button they pressed; to Lee Stone who interviewed us; and to the boss – Mark Jones – who looked after us well and knew rather a lot about radio – I think the technical term is: ‘radio nut’. As I said to Liz when we left, that’ll be me in 20/30 years time, showing people round whichever radio station I’m in charge of at the time!

I’ve got my Greek lesson tonight… I’ll be back on the radio for my monthly 1Radio show tomorrow afternoon at 14:00. You can also hear me presenting on Tone Radio every Tuesday afternoon from 16:00, and as part of Tone Radio’s news team, you can hear me reading Tone’s news bulletins every Wednesday.

(And maybe some time in the future the BBC might let me have Desmond Carrington’s show on Radio 2).

Have a good weekend,


Fred Hart

Stock Controller and Radio Presenter/Producer

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