Catch Me On The Radio Today

19 Jun


Here it is!

I received an email out of the blue, inviting me to read a poem of mine on BBC Radio Merseyside.  It’s going out at 13:55 GMT today.  You will hear me calm and steady.  I hope.  Because what I really am is trembling and nauseated.

Roger Phillips has the lunchtime show and he contacted me on Wednesday, to say that all of today’s programmes are being broadcast from alongside the Mersey under the banner heading, Turning The Tide.  They found my poem about living near the Mersey on The Healthy Waterways Trust website, and asked if I’d be willing to read it for the show.  Did Shake have a speare?  Of course I agreed!

Once I told everyone I knew that video didn’t actually kill the radio star, reality – i.e. absolute gut-wrenching terror – set in.  As many of you know, I am a member of Write Out Loud, the country’s largest poetry organisation, dedicated to getting us all reading our poetry in company.  That means I read out a minimum of two poems once a month to a tolerant audience.  I also give regular poetry readings at Walthew House, Stockport’s charity for the blind and hard of hearing (the latter seem to be my best audience, if I’m honest).  I read to other community groups and last year I did a grand tour of two Stockport churches, sharing the War Poetry Canon to commemorate 1914.  I even read the lesson in church from time to time.  So no biggie, right?


A follow-up email from Roger about calling me this morning at nine ‘after the news’ had me reaching for the (carefully lined with a plastic bag and toilet paper to stop splashback) sick bucket.  Did that mean I’d be live on the BBC?  To thousands of Scousers who might find my accent wanting (I’ve moved a lot).  What if I messed up?  What if I threw up?  What if the dogs barked and yapped and yelped and yipped while we were on the phone?  Would Mr Phillips pass the recording of me bludgeoning them with a bucket to the police?  What was I thinking?!

That’s when I gave thanks for Hairy Boy, my first-born child, my clever son, my current favourite offspring, because he had the good sense to fall in love with Hairy Girl.  If Hairy Boy is Mountain Man, Hairy Girl is Mountain Dew: beautiful and smart and – the best thing ever about her; I can’t believe I never saw it before – she works for another BBC local radio station

I sent off a frantic email: Help!  I’m going to be on the radio!  I’m going to snatch my three minutes from Andy Warhol (we have just come out of a recession) and I might make a fool of myself because I only have eight years’ experience of performing poetry! and followed it up with a frantic text: Sent you an email!  Read it!  Today!  Now!  Are you well?  We haven’t seen you in ages xx

She talked me down off the ledge with sensible advice and an admonishment to have fun.  Has she met me?  Fun is my middle name, as in Tilly Illhavefunifitkillsmelikethistensionangstanxietyprobablywillbeforelong Bud.

So Rog phoned this morning (having spent four minutes in conversation, I think we’re close enough friends now for me to give him a diminutive) just after the news (a man of his word) and I recorded my poem, (feeling like Marilyn Monroe, in a breathy, high-on-drugs way; not a breathy, sexy-in-white way, unless you count the zero colour in my face), holding on to my breakfast, grateful to be unlive, and then dancing a jig around the living room when we were done.

Radio – I think I’ve found my medium.  I can sit in my pyjamas, cuddle my sick bucket, and read poetry to the world who, because my poems are for the most part short, won’t have time to reach for the off button before I’m done. 

Next stop: hospital radio; a mostly unconscious audience.  They’re going to love me. 

25 Responses to “Catch Me On The Radio Today”

  1. jmgoyder June 19, 2015 at 10:52 #

    Oh my goodness!


  2. McGuffy Ann June 19, 2015 at 11:17 #

    Thinking of you!


  3. sharechair June 19, 2015 at 11:33 #

    Would you give us a link to it if the reading appears somewhere on BBC’s webpages? Or put the recording here on your own blog? I’d love to hear it!!! How wonderful!!


  4. Patrecia (with an E) June 19, 2015 at 12:47 #

    Oh Ye of Little faith…you are Wonder Woman of the Maltesers you can do anything and do it well….
    A whole family either connected to media or to the stage …what talent.
    I would not have heard your poetry but I bet it was a wow ( here in Bulgaria we cannot get that branch of BBC.
    Break a leg lovely and go sock it to ’em


  5. Grannymar June 19, 2015 at 12:52 #

    Have the programme on now and listening as I do some handsewing!


  6. judyt54 June 19, 2015 at 12:54 #

    I suspect by now, here in the States, your poem has been aired and admired and applauded–if you do have a recording of the recording, I’d love to hear it. heck we all would.


    • judyt54 June 19, 2015 at 19:36 #

      ahh just heard it, Tilly, bravo, bravo. You didnt sound nervous at all, but calm and collected and so practiced at speaking in public (or on the radio) as if you ‘d been doing it forever. Color me very impressed. Thank you.


  7. Grannymar June 19, 2015 at 13:53 #

    Two more minutes to wait …..


  8. Grannymar June 19, 2015 at 14:02 #

    Wonderful! Well worth the wait and glad your Blog got a mention too!

    Whooppie! I know someone famous.


  9. laurieanichols June 19, 2015 at 14:56 #

    You had me on the edge of my seat, I wish that my kitchen could be transported overseas to your neck of the woods so I can hear your poetry reading in person. I had visions of you at the radio station in the booth, but reading in the comfort of your home is much better, I love p.j’s as my casual daily wear from time to time 😀 Congratulations!!


  10. June 19, 2015 at 15:27 #

    Wowee. I’m glad you kept your breakfast. A splendid opportunity which may lead to your inclusion in the Liverpool Poets Hall of Fame! Bravo.


  11. List of X June 19, 2015 at 16:06 #

    Speaking of Shakespeare, did you know no one ever even once invited him to read his stuff on the radio? 🙂


  12. thehutts June 19, 2015 at 16:14 #

    Well done Tilly. Sally


  13. Elaine - I used to be indecisive June 19, 2015 at 18:13 #

    Excellent! Clever you, and no sign of nerves in your voice. 🙂


  14. colonialist June 19, 2015 at 21:15 #

    Wail! I can’t get that station, and I’m too late, anyway … waitaminnit … update? Click the arrow … Yay! Well done, Linda! May goodness and Mersey be with you all the days of your life!


  15. sanstorm June 20, 2015 at 20:27 #

    Congratulations TB.


  16. SchmidleysScribblins June 22, 2015 at 17:45 #

    Good to belong somewhere. Like most travelers your accent is cosmopolitan. Good Job. Hope you are well again.


  17. beeblu June 27, 2015 at 03:59 #

    You have a beautiful voice, Tilly.


  18. Musings June 29, 2015 at 08:03 #

    Oh wow! It was really wonderful to hear your beautiful voice sharing your fabulous poem, Linda! And yes, I remember Gerry and the Pacemakers. I loved that song Ferry Across the Mersey and used to sing along so many, many years ago. You did GREAT! You are a STAR!


  19. Tom Merriman July 5, 2015 at 19:32 #

    Well done, Tilly! A radio star in our midst!


  20. Janie Jones July 21, 2015 at 16:12 #

    Awesome! Congratulations!


  21. sarsm July 22, 2015 at 10:28 #

    How exciting!!!!! Congratulations!!!!


  22. David J. Bauman August 24, 2015 at 21:01 #

    Oh how delightful to finally hear you reading!


  23. judyt54 August 24, 2015 at 22:33 #

    Two months and not a word, Tilly. Is everything okay?


I welcome your comments but be warned: I'm menopausal and as likely to snarl as smile. Wine or Maltesers are an acceptable bribe; or a compliment about my youthful looks and cheery disposition will do in a pinch.

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