Radio Daze

As you may know, I co-host a radio show on Lincoln’s First Community Radio Station, Siren 107.3FM, calledThe American Dream Team.  Broadcasting live every Tuesday evening, between 5 and 7pm GMT, the show is about everything and anything American.  But this blog post isn’t about the show.  It’s more about me and the show.

The past two weeks I’ve been “driving the desk” as we say in the business, which basically means pressing all the buttons at the right time.  While my co-host and co-founder of the show, Jack Harrison, is having fun travelling around the States for three and a half weeks, I’m here trying to keep the show sounding professional, which is easier said than done.

As you may know if you’ve heard the show, I’m a self-confessed technophobe, especially when it comes to radio shows.  It’s not so much all the buttons that scare me, it’s the fact that I am so rubbish at preparing for it.  You see, Jack normally produces the running order for the show, he researches the news, events in history, famous birthdays and our “And Finally” story and song.  While it may sound like I’m not doing anything to prepare, I’m in charge of getting guests for the show, which does take time when most of them are based on the opposite side of the Atlantic and live in different time zones.  While he’s been away, I’ve had to do all this, as well as drive the desk.  Which would be fine if I was more organised and better prepared, but sadly, this has never been one of my best fortes at the best of times.  In this current state of 30-crisis, I’m even worse at preparing things yet very good at panicking when things go wrong.  On today’s show, they frequently did.  Much like they did last week.  I had problems transferring our phone interviewee, the lovely Jessica Latshaw, to the desk and thus had to figure out another song to play, while trying to keep talking on air, I played songs when they shouldn’t have played and didn’t play songs when they should have played.

The same thing happened to me last week.  And the last time I drove the desk.  I’m not sure what it is about me, but I’m don’t seem to be able to run a smooth radio show.  I guess it’s much like my life.  I could do a better job, if I was better prepared and if I keep calm, But right now I’m not capable of being any more organised I’m afraid.

You may ask why I would want to humiliate myself on the air every week?  Like a glutton for punishment, I keep going back for more.  But you know what?  I don’t mind.  I don’t care if people laugh at me and say I’m a rubbish radio host.  If they sit at home listening and cringing at how badly things are going.   Because I’m willing to put myself out there.  To make mistakes, in front of people, recorded for all to hear.  There was a time, when I was in my teens, when I would have dreaded being humiliated, been haunted by it after reliving it over and over again.  But I know I’m not radio DJ material.  I’m happy to hold my hands up to that.  But doing radio means that I get to have fun, talk to great people on air, and make contacts in the world of media and publishing.

I’m going to close this post now.  It’s been really hard to write.  I started at around 7:25pm and it’s taken me an hour and a half just to write this.  As so often happens with my writing these days, I start but then I don’t feel happy with what I’ve written, and start over.  But I glanced at the drafts I had started since the last time I wrote a blog.  There were about 4.  All started with the same inspiration and intention, but never finished.  So, like the first blog post I ever wrote, I’m going to post this, right now, before I lose my motivation to post this.  It may not be the best blog post in the world, but it IS a blog post.  And whether anyone reads it or not, I’m writing it, and that’s the important thing.

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