Tag Archives: Radio

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. 

A Radio Star Is Born

25 Feb
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Sorry to those of you who missed Tory Boy’s radio show.  Not his, exactly: he co-hosted because the usual host was out.  It’s his second time filling in.  It’s just a little campus station but he assures me last night they had as many as thirteen listeners.

Special mention goes to slp’Slip’martin for being the show’s only American listener.  Probably ever.  And to Flo for giving up Monk.

If you missed it, you can catch it on the podcast when it appears online sometime in the next decade.  I’m still waiting for the podcast of his debut a couple of weeks ago.  We only heard about it after the event because he’s, well, Tory Boy and that’s the way it works.

I know how disappointed you must be to have missed him so I have put together Tilly Bud’s DIY Guide To Re-Enacting The Activities Of A Complete Stranger’s Son:

  1. Have a son.
  2. Wait twenty years.
  3. Send him to Lancaster University, eighteen years in.
  4. Wait by the phone for the calls that never come.

Hang on a minute; that’s a different guide.  Here you go:

  1. Pretend to be a twenty-year old student male.  Unless you already are one, in which case, pretend to be yourself.
  2. Get a pair of Eighties’ earphones, the great big ones that look like Princess Leia’s hairdo encased in plastic.
  3. Have a huge amount of curly hair and a distinctive laugh.
  4. Talk into a microphone to thirteen of your closest friends and relatives and your Mum’s friends.
  5. Babble a lot about whatever comes to mind (required element).
  6. Play some records (they should be some sort of computer files, not records, I know; but anyone actually acting upon this guide is forty-something with no life and a massive record collection, so why waste it?).
  7. Laugh at every opportunity (good advice in general).

And that’s it.

I thought he did pretty well once he got into it.  I’m proud that he even tried: I like a kid that will grab every opportunity.  I think I’ll keep him.

The highlights for me were when he looked particularly daft (I didn’t get to be the mother I am by not enjoying my sons’ foolish moments to the full).  The other host put on Booker T & The MGs’ Green Onions but didn’t say what it was (quote the source!  Always quote the source.  Don’t they teach you anything at uni?).  I sent a message while it was playing, saying ‘green onions booker t & the mgs’ (I lost the ability to use the Cap button in my excitement).  The song finished; the hosts chatted a little; then Tory Boy said, ‘We’ve had a request for green onions by booker t & the mgs’ (young people never talk in capitals any more), only to be told that that was the song they’d just played.  Co-host was amazed anyone knew what it was called and TB was forced to admit the message was from his mother.  Co-host then co-admitted that the only other person in the world who probably knew the song was his own mother.

The other highlight came when TB read the request from Flo to sing along to a Robbie Williams song (there being some confusion as to whether one or other of the hosts sounded like Robbie Williams and Flo being the only person who agreed with herself that someone did).  All of the people in the studio sang along to a song beginning with ‘F’ (I forget which because I was laughing so hard I couldn’t hear it); not everyone in the studio, however, knew they were live on air.  Tory Boy did, but didn’t care. 

TB is the apple of my pie and I love him dearly but I can safely say without hesitation, repetition or deviation that he will never, ever top the charts, bless him; but his ability to poke fun at himself might win him some new friends.  It works for me.

How Exciting!

24 Feb

Tory Boy is on the radio right now (20:18 UK time) until ten p.m.

If you happen to be visiting me as I post this you can hear him at http://www.bailriggfm.co.uk/live/#

He’s the one with the distinctive laugh and frightening hair (there’s also a webcam feed).

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