Monday, 12 May 2008

this is the BBC

We were interviewed by Clare English on BBC Radio Scotland's Book Cafe, this lunchtime. Richard was in a studio in London, and I was in Bristol's Whiteladies Road studio, which was a terrifically friendly place; I was invited to a party, I had a nice chat with Peter who looked after me, and when I went into the building I found that they even had one of my photos on the wall. Hey, is this fame or what?

Or what, probably. There was a display of photos from the BBC My Bristol Flickr group, so I saw a few familiar names among the credits; and this was my contribution...

Richard did well; I faltered, and then faltered some more, but the world didn't end.

Thanks to the miracle of Interweb technology, I was able to cycle home and listen to myself. Ouch. Ouch tiddly ouch.

Must think of something intelligent to say for Wednesday.

Here's the link to the programme, if you enjoy the sound of someone tripping up repeatedly. Our contribution starts soon after 20 mins into the show, if you don't want to listen to Misha Glenny. But why wouldn't you?


  1. Its good to hear someone not being all slick and false.

  2. Sorry if this is a dumb question .. the Midweek programme you refer to, what time, where, Radio 4??


  3. Thanks, Caroline, though I do feel frustrated that I didn't really say some things I thought needed saying; better luck next time, hopefully.

    Midweek's on Radio 4, Wednesday morning, 9:00 - 10:00, F.

  4. Maybe you need to prepare some notes... I never say what I want to say unless I've done something like that... writing them at all makes the difference... you don't usually need to look at them but they are there if you need to... mindmap style is useful... as it stops you sounding like you are reading something.

    And remember most skilled interviewees say what they want to say rather than answer the questions.

    But then what I liked was your honesty in being there and attempting to do just that - so unusual!

  5. Good luck tomorrow :-)

    Notes is a good idea. Have they told you what stuff they'll want to talk about (or is that blindingly obvious...doh Jo!!!)

    I'm nicking your link and telling everyone on my blog too. Some of the readers are out of the UK...I guess they'll be able to get it on the net?

  6. I've made a few notes, as suggested, Caroline; there are a few big issues it would be nice to get the chance to talk about...

    Nope, Jo, no idea; being as how Libby is a keen sailor, maybe we'll just exchange salty seafaring tales.


    Thanks for putting the word out. I just hope I don't put my foot in my mouth. Doesn't make good radio, that. Richard gives good radio, fortunately.

  7. Good luck for tomorrow; I won't be able to listen live but I'll catch up later. You are meeting Libby!!

  8. That was really good. You must have been terrified! Even though you did hesitate, your answers were lovely and well considered.

    I did wonder why you were putting yourself through all this, given your history, but I think you've done us all proud with your honesty, frankness and clarity. Thank you.

  9. Well done Dru - I just heard Midweek. Somehow I don't think you got to use your notes but you sounded much more relaxed on this one.

    It struck me as an interesting group of people... an artist, an actor, a Bambi man and then both you and Richard.

    I thought Richard talked too much though. Had you asked him to? Or was it just his over-protectiveness?

    And I didn't much like the Bambi man. I hope he was better in the flesh... but he just seemed to be self-publicising and then he let on his book was ghost-written! Maybe its because at first I thought I'd really like him, reminded me of an old boyfriend (a poet and forester amongst other things)... I probably formed inappropriate expectations which he then failed to meet....

    I'm still slowly reading your book and enjoying it a lot. I'm especially enjoying that you've consistently refused the easy answers.

  10. I've listened to both now. The second performance was much better; I think I would be a little lost for words having to answer such personal questions. It was great to hear you!

  11. Thanks, Sarah. As you know, this time round we're giving the true version of things, rather than watching helplessly while the papers print whatever distortions they want. And so far, it seems that people are responding positively to that. It's very heartening.

    I made some notes, Caroline, and they did help me get some ideas in order; I don't think I'm ever going to be a radio head though, as you have probably already worked out. Richard is the more ready speaker; I think Libby did the 'over to him' thing to keep things rolling along smoothly.

    Bambi man was nice really. I know what you mean; I had my reservations when I first met him in the warm-up before the programme, but he is genuine.

    Thank you, Anji. I was a little lost for words, too, of course...

  12. Oh Dru ... my heart melts for you, about how it feels to listen to oneself on the radio and there is all that stuttering and umm-ing. You do sound sound real and it is GREAT to hear someone who is not slick. And what you did say came out really well.

    And then you have that added icing on the cake of voice work and keeping your voice in the right registers. As a natal woman I manage to squeak and squawk all over the joint at times!

    I have done some radio interviews, on a particular topic, and it is sooooo scary. And yet, it is a subject close to my heart and should be easy. But it isn't. I think practise makes it easier.

    The funny thing is that if you met up with someone in a coffee shop and was sat back chatting, I bet there would be no problem whatsoever? Something about a microphone and what we think expectations are of us that just distorts (me) into a grunting vegetable! But hey!, with the help of dear friends I am getting better.

    Maybe one or two key points on a slip of paper but otherwise, the best thing is to listen and engage in a conversation. Just like you would with a friend in a coffee shop.

    Hugs to you - and I look forward to popping by on occasion :-)