Saturday, 26 January 2013


This afternoon I'm on BBC Radio Leicester as a guest of Ed Stagg. Ed (photo above) hosts a weekly panel show, broadcast live from 1200-1400, discussing news stories from the past seven days. Rather like "The News Quiz", but without the benefit of a studio audience.

The other guests are Kaitlynn Mendes (Senior Lecturer in Journalism at De Montfort University) and Elaine Pantling (comedienne, actress and writer who performs as the one-woman Laurie Lorry Theatre Company). None of us know who'll be in the studio until we turn up ten minutes before the show goes on air. I've met Elaine before, but don't know Kaitlynn. In the photo below, Ed is flanked by Kaitlynn (left) and Elaine (right).

I've been on Radio Leicester's Saturday afternoon show twice before (see blog entries for 14 July and 3 November 2012), when the show was hosted by Damien St John. It's interesting to see how Ed has put his own spin on the format - what he's kept and what he's changed. Ed hopes "to create the atmosphere of a relaxed and fun 'coffee-table' chat."

A couple of days before the show we each receive an email and phone call from Ed, briefing us on the forthcoming show. We each have a question to which he'd like us to respond, then encourage us all to discuss - and for listeners to email, text or tweet about. Our questions are as follows:

  • "Are some people more equal than others?" (for me)
  • "Should we encourage our children to watch the news?" (for Kaitlynn)
  • "When is it too late to change?" (for Elaine)
  • "What should you never leave the house without?" (for everyone)

Each of us gets to choose a piece of music. Under the previous regime, we each got to nominate a song and Damien would pick one of them. Ed asks us to keep it "radio-friendly" and preferably something that relates to our specialism, our question or something that fits the week. Mine is The Loving by XTC. I hope hearing that song brightens up someone's Saturday afternoon as much as it brightened mine to pick it.

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