I must admit first and foremost that radio is fast becoming my passion. Indeed I have an interest in it, since beginning my work with the wonderful Mentally Sound team at Gravity radio, but it has vastly evolved since then, indeed like a Pokemon, into something I am becoming rather fond of. Anyone that knows me knows (or should know!) that I love listening to BBC Radio 4 and Spark FM (of course!).
On Wednesday 19th August, I took a trip to Spark FM to do some radio training for news.
As usual, I was early so I popped to the library to get a book out about journalism, so I could do some prior reading. (I know, I know I’m eager!). Then it was time to hit the news booth. I learnt about the desk and what to do…lots of buttons and colours then I looked at the programmes that are used to create and deliver a news bulletin. It slowly “went in” (into my head) and I started to think of it as something that would just take practice.
I watched the 10 o’clock bulletin from outside of the news booth and it was weird to see. You hear it on the radio, then you see someone do it right in front of you. It was a surreal experience. I then watched one of the news readers do the 11 and 12 o’clock bulletin, which was really interesting as I got to see how everything ties together. I got to see how content was created, how the intro and outro music was put in and got to learn a few tips and tricks. Although the “insert” button was difficult as I kept forgetting that I had to press it on the keyboard. There are a lot of shortcuts to remember.
Then came the surprise. I had been told about it, but I had forgotten as the past few weeks have been a blur. I was to do the news bulletin at 1 o’clock. Me. Little old me. My voice on the radio telling people what was happening locally, nationally and internationally! After some good ol’ chocolate, I put my radio package together (with some help of course!) and did a test run! I was actually pleased with how I sounded through the headphones, little did I know it sounded different on air. I heard it back and I now know that I definitely have a high-pitched voice, even higher when I’m doing the intonations.
I then met the one and only Jay Sykes, a Spark veteran! But I didn’t realise it till now actually. I was concentrating far too much on the task at hand which was to minimise my nerves! 2 minutes on the radio may not sound that long, but it is for someone like me. It isn’t easy as there are other things to think about like buttons and pressing things and timing and well…I could go on.
1 o’clock came and it was time. I pressed the buttons on my right and spoke using the computer in the middle and after three minutes it was over. Done and dusted. Then I was told at 2 o’clock that I was doing EVERYTHING on my own. The buttons, the technical part, the speaking (of course!). It did feel weird to sign off with my name, instead of hearing someone else’s.
Before I knew it, it was 1.55pm and I had just 5 minutes till I was doing it on my own. It was a scary thought! Being in control of something that was going LIVE on the radio. The countdown began and at 2 o’clock, I pressed the first button and away I went. It was nerve-wracking to say the least but I did it. I did it all! It was a big achievement for me as I was shaking afterwards.
I got asked to come back and do it on a regular basis which I was surprised at. It was actually really fun to do and the buzz you get from it is great. It definitely isn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be. I picked it up pretty quickly, so if I can do it then anyone can! I discussed a show idea with the person who was training me and I wanted to get involved so stay tuned for some news!
So, you can now hear me, delivering the news on Spark FM as part of SR News every week from now!
*Disclaimer* – These are my views and not that of Spark FM or SR News.