November 2011

The broadcaster ....

For as long as I can remember – well anyway since listening on my first ‘tranny ’to Radios Caroline and Luxemburg under the bedclothes – I have been a passionate radio fan. As I grew up, the rises and falls of Alan “Fluff” Freeman’s pop-pickers and Tony Blackburn’s (who I recently worked with on REM.fm) breakfast show, were replaced in my affections by a true and abiding love: talk radio and specifically Radio 4 and LBC London's Biggest Conversation.

Through my days as a print journalist and a brief flirtation with local television, I have always attempted to achieve the perfect interview - one that shows the guest in their most interesting light while getting across the salient points and still holding the attention of the listener. I believe that if I am interested and my attention is held, then the listeners will also be entertained.


Outside Broadcasting

Sometimes it is necessary to set aside my personality and opinions in order to bring out the best in my guests and in the interest of good programming. Michael Parkinson has this skill in spades. We are also both good listeners; but I am always aware that for every successful and popular female presenter there will be more than ten men… often with less talent. You don’t believe me… then please check out the ratio on any programming schedule. It is a sad fact of radio life that men are infinitely more popular than women and can get away with far more mistakes without being branded either stupid and giggly or strident and bossy. However I am not bitter; just aware that I need to be much better than my male colleagues to succeed.

Throughout the last fourteen years my voice has been recognizable as a broadcaster throughout Southern Spain and the Costas – first with Coastline Radio, then Onda Cero International and most recently Radio Europe Mediterraneo (REM) where I hosted the daily magazine programme since its inception in 2004. In addition to studio programmes and a classical music show, I have also produced many shows from outside locations – broadcasting from shopping centres, international exhibitions, 5-star hotel beach clubs and even, for one unforgettable summer, a yacht moored in the jet-set playground of  Marbella’s Puerto Banus. Each location has thrown up its own challenges – perhaps the mark of a good broadcaster is how she copes in a crisis!

I am told that my interviewing style is informed yet friendly and comfortable making for fascinating listening (it is difficult to write that about oneself) and that my programmes are essential listening especially among the English speaking population in Spain. My show was described as a “lovely programme” by Jilly Cooper who went on to say in a delightful “thank you” note after a spot on my Book Show,  that I was a “brilliant interviewer” who had done her homework very well!

I once asked Gloria Hunniford if she was ever nervous or felt intimidated by a high profile interviewee. “Only if I feel myself to be under-prepared”, she replied. It was exactly the answer I would have given. Thanks to the help of producer, Hannah Murray, I have been fortunate in being able to interview an impressive list of specialists, writers and celebrities while at REM.fm.

A list of some of the names and a few "listen again" examples can be found here.