Posted in Writing

My Latest Appearances on BBC Radio Gloucestershire

New post about my two most recent appearances on our local BBC radio station, BBC Radio Gloucestershire

Showing off, moi? Yes, that’s not one but two radio appearances that I’ve notched up since coming back from holiday, both on our fab local BBC Radio station, based in the county town of Gloucester, 20 miles north of my home.

Photo of Debbie Young and Chris Baxter in the studio
With Chris Baxter in the BBC Radio Gloucestershire studio (with thanks to David James for snapping us on my phone)

The Chris Baxter Show (27th August)

The first was on Wednesday 27th August on the Chris Baxter Show. I’d been on his Mid-week Mix before, which involves bringing in three local people to discuss the issues of the day. Having booked you in for a specific day, the producer, Dominic Cotter, emails you the night before the show with a list of the topics likely to be on the agenda, in case you want to read up on them beforehand. He reserves the right to throw in last-minute topics on the morning of the show, and if that happens he provides a quick brief while you’re in the waiting room before going on air.

This time I was in the company of two lovely chaps – David James, a former BBC and ITN cameraman now running, his own film-making business in Tetbury, and the Reverend Canon Paul Williams, Vicar of Tewkesbury. The advance topic list for our trio was very mixed:

  • the age that sex education should begin in schools
  • the same-sex kiss on the latest episode of Dr Who
  • the ice-bucket challenge and no-make-up selfie social media campaigns
  • our tributes to Richard Attenborough
  • the right age to start preparing for old age
  • regulations re e-cigarette smoking in public
  • nominations for pop stars to come out of retirement to do concerts

Mentally prepared for all of these (though with more enthusiasm for some than for others), I had to think fast to respond to a new topic on the morning: a retiring female judge’s pronouncement that if women drank less alcohol, there’d be a higher rate of rape convictions.  As the only woman on the panel, I was the first to be invited to speak – yikes! I think all of us were much relieved when this was followed by discussion of ice-buckets, Attenborough and pop-stars. (We all had more ideas of which singers should go into retirement, rather than the other way around.)

Skilfully hosted by the always pleasant and fast-thinking Chris Baxter, the hour whizzed by, and before long I was outside on the pavement chatting to David James about common interests, including our enthusiasm for writing – he’s planning to write a book inspired by his experience filming in Afghanistan.

Photo of studio exterior against bright blue sky
Unlikely Mediterranean sky over BBC Radio Gloucestershire’s Gloucester studio this morning

The Anna King Show (8th September)

The second invitation came via Twitter, where I’d recently followed Anna King, when she was doing an afternoon slot. She was intrigued by my current 160-character Twitter profile, which begins “Cheerful indie author with butterfly mind”.

Being of that persuasion herself, she asked me to come in for an interview about what it’s like to have a butterfly mind, and so we enjoyed a ten-minute chat in the studio this morning, in the first of her new morning shows. (They’ve just juggled the schedule: Chris Baxter’s moved to the 3-5pm slot.)

We agreed on the optimist’s definition of a butterfly mind: a healthy, wide-ranging interest in the world about us, and a tendency to flit from one exciting opportunity to another, gathering nourishment along the way. She did rumble me, however, on my bad habit of ending up with too many plates spinning in the air at one time, over-promising and under-delivering.

The show’s researcher Gemma kindly agreed to email me an .mp3 file of the interview, which I’ll post up here as soon as it’s available. In the meantime, if you’re in the UK, you can listen to the interview any time during the next seven days via this BBC iplayer link:

Photo of Debbie Young leaving the studio
Flitting away from the studio after Anna King’s interview about butterfly minds
Cover of Quck Change flash fiction collection
Emerged from its cocoon on National Flash Fiction Day 2014