A post about my recent appearance on That’s Oxfordshire TV
Just before I went away for my summer holidays, I had the pleasure of taking part in a television chat show for a local cable TV station That’s Oxfordshire, thanks to the kind invitation of my author friend Clare Weiner, who writes as Mari Howard.
I’ve known Clare/Mari for several years, we read and enjoy each other’s books, and she’s been a staunch supporter of the Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival, where she’s spoken on panels and read from her novels and her poetry. We were therefore able to talk on the same wavelength (if you’ll excuse the broadcasting pun) when interviewed by presenter Eve Ahmed.
Eve was keen to know all about writing, (self-)publishing and book marketing, and with well-targetted questions enabled us to cover a lot of ground within two fifteen-minutes slots without ever feeling rushed – a real art.
What I Learned About TV Broadcasting
This wasn’t the first time I’d appeared on television, having previously featured on BBC’s Countryfile, interviewed by the very lovely John Craven, but that was done strolling outside together in the grounds of Westonbirt House. I hadn’t done the classic sofa interview before, though, so it was fascinating to see what goes on behind the scenes of TV studio broadcasting e.g. getting miked up, discovering that the presenter operates the autocue for her opening comments with a concealed foot pedal so she can go at her own pace, and noticing that the coffee cups hospitably placed on the table before us didn’t contain coffee, but spare microphone clips!
Other useful tips I picked up from the experience:
- I have the knees for radio (to be fair, I think the camera angle made them look disproportionately large!)
- It’s better to wear outfits that cover your arms and legs
- I should look up more when speaking (it’s a bit shifty to be looking down so much)
- If you try, you can fit a lot of books on a coffee table and sofa (neat product placement opportunities there!)
- Those semi-circular sofas that always seems to feature on such shows are more comfortable than they look
- The stills that YouTube selects to illustrate each video are not what one would choose if asked!
But despite the inevitable cringes that accompany seeing yourself on video, I hugely enjoyed the whole thing, and would love to do more. I knew I already loved doing radio (I’m a regular guest on BBC Radio Gloucestershire’s monthly Book Club hosted by presenter Dominic Cotter), which has the saving grace of invisibility, and was pleased to know that I was no more nervous for TV. What a show-off I must be! (I blam youngest child syndrome!)
Many thanks to the highly professional and polished Eve Ahmed for conducting the interview and to Clare/Mari for inviting me to join her.
Now Watch the Interview
Both episodes are now available to view on YouTube, so if you’d like to see them, just click these links below. Each one is just 15 minutes long.