On the BBC with Ruth Barcroft and Carl Wheatley

Link to Saturday 5th March 2011 Breakfast Show with Ruth Barcroft BBC Radio Humberside

http://www.bbc.co.uk/i/p00f63fd/ 2:13.40 and 2:35.30 feedback MOST welcome

A month ago at Fresh Ink open mic I was asked by the BBC Radio Presenter Ruth Barcroft whether I’d be interested in coming on her show to do the Saturday morning paper review. I of course leapt at the chance and promptly listened in that Saturday to see how it was being done locally. That week the band Circus Envy had been asked to look at the papers and select stories I quickly realized it was quite an informal thing, the tone of the show was upbeat and essentially informative but fun.

A few weeks later I was given a date by Ruth 5th March so now I knew it was definite. The week before I started taking note on what was in the news even more than I do already. I was buying print products instead of using my usual online resources, BBC World Service, Question Time, Radio 4, paper.li, Twitter, FB and others. Ruth had said to me that being a digital journalist student I could source my stories from anywhere so I scoured the news sites on the net, social networks to see what the hot topics were what was trending and of course the printed word. Out of interest the papers that I bought in the week leading up to my brush with broadcast radio were The Times, The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph and The Hull Daily Mail (for local news) the list of websites is far larger. So with the thought in mind that I would be talking about stories from the week I prepared a whole range of stuff to discuss from a wide variety of sources.

I had three natural history stories: sperm whale, birds of prey and spiders. Then there was Blade Runner remake and negligent Chilean mine owners, World Book Night, Platform 2011 and Japanese Streetstyle.

So in the interest of mixing up my sources I’d planned to begin with a VJ piece by Claudia Sermbezis. It’s a good piece with some startling shots of the washed up sperm whale 14m long. I was going to connect it to the famous Thames Whale and my eye-witness story from 2006 published on thisisull. Then to the Birds of Prey piece: early in the week I’d seen the image of the Golden Eagle carrying off a sheep on the Isle of Mull. I did my research and found it was from a piece by David Boffey and Jane Simpson of the Daily Mail. Read Article Here. On the BBC website there was a follow-up story by Tom De Castella that attempted to the broaden the angle a bit. He asked the question Are Birds of Prey Back? I had facts and figures about song bird decline from a group called Songbird Survival –  down 48% song thrush, 51% skylark and 89% down on tree sparrow numbers. Dramatic reading if taken alone. I also was going to bring in the reasons why as described by Keith McDougal those being intensive farming, a drier climate and increasing numbers of predators including cats, crows, foxes and birds of prey) There was also a great quote about the U.K. not being the Serengeti Plain. The arachnid story came from a tiny piece in Friday’s Guardian paper Incy Wincy causes recall at Mazda. I loved the use of the nursery rhyme in the title. This story sat alongside another brief paragraph about the owners of the mine in Chile – made internationally famous with the successful rescue of 33 miners after three months of being underground – and the fact that the two main owners have been found guilty of negligence.

My Twitter story was the one about Blade Runner and the proposal to produce another movie either a sequel or prequel. Warner Bros were in final stages of acquiring the rights. Ben Child on the Guardian film blog suggested bringing in Ridley Scott who directed the original 1982 film. He goes on to say referencing the new Tron movie that, we live in era where cult films which never looked like potential franchise material are resurrected and revamped decades later, whether it is wanted by the fans or not.

Added to these I had a few local stories from HDM (being aware of the listeners locale) I was going to mention Val Woods at Waterstones her book signing and the wider story of World Book Night using Gaby Wood’s Comment piece from page 22 of Fridays Telegraph. I would have also mentioned the Japanese Street Style exhibition on Humber Street here in Hull which I attended on Thursday evening. (Excellent. I may get to do a short piece on that soon) And when asked what I was currently involved because they always do I was ready to talk about Platform 2011 and Hull School of Art and Designs involvement with that. In Fridays HDM there was picture on page 34 and a write up with mention of Hull University but nothing of HSAD. So it would have been perfect opportunity to talk about HSAD and their connection with the Digital Gaming Event March 27th at K.C Stadium.

So that was my preparation leading up to my brush with broadcast.

In the end I only talked about the stories that were in that mornings papers. I arrived at seven am on the Saturday morning and promptly met the paper boy dropping of the papers. The BBC seem to get every title and of course with all the weekend supplements I had a mountain to climb.

Grabbing the Guardian I plumped for the poetry story; Tennyson to Inspire Athletes. That was fine I had my first story, I found the line of verse, and some stuff about the selection process. Next I found the Eric Clapton story in the Daily Express. Two down. (Funnily enough next to Clapton was a piece about poor old Phil Collins quitting music, little did I know but the song that would precede my paper review would be Easy Lover by the ex-Genesis front man.

The Times had the Cashmere story (I later wanted to drop this due to the fact I’d lost the page with it on Carl however hadn’t realised so all the dead goat stuff is complete ad-lib) and there was a great cartoon by Peter Brookes on page 23 ( I’d heard someone on Radio 4 when reviewing the papers mentioning the cartoon so wanted to do the same – apparently images that sort of thing don’t work on radio) My salvation came when I saw the two page spread on the Congolese musicians Staff Benda Bilili. A story about a band of disabled and able-bodied musicians scraping a living on the streets of Kinshasa and how they were had achieved world acclaim for both their uplifting story and passionate music. A heart warming tale from the Democratic Republic of Congo a very rare thing indeed. Great for me though.

I loved the turtle pic in both The Independent and The Times: the baby loggerhead reaching out with a bewildered look. As back up I had a piece from the Independent called Dark Side of the Bloom (more music) that was actually about the new trend in black and nearly black flowers. In the same paper there was an intriguing story about Amelia Earhart’s plane possibly having been found in Papua New Guinea with gold bullion on board.

Locally I would have mentioned Ian Midgley’s festival guide in the HDM. If you listened to the show you will know which ones I eventually did cover. Please let me know how I did, how I could improve, be more interesting whatever. If I can get hold of a recording I’ll post on here.

Feedback so far:

The voice was your real voice that’s a good thing. Delivery a little slower than the professional presenters. If you are going to use a quote don’t be so clichéd and if you must reference the quote, “poetry is the new rock n roll” was first written by Dominic Cavendish

Came across as having a wide base of cultural interests. ad-libbed and adapted where necessary – thought on your feet. Covered well and found good words to answer on the spot non- rehearsed questions.

I got to choose the stories and go over the order with Ruth. I prepared more stories than needed. I chose a mix of serious and fun stories. A feel good story to finish. And used the bit where I talked about me to talk about local stories including Hyperfruit.net

http://www.bbc.co.uk/i/p00f63fd/ 2:13.40 and 2:35.30 feedback MOST welcome

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  1. June 8, 2011 at 11:04 am

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