Week One of the next chapter in my career is over, and as I look back over it, it is easy to see the highs and lows.
Let’s start with the highs. On Wednesday I went to Southwark to investigate a story about a housing block which for the last ten months has had a very limited postal service due to a row between a post officer and a resident who allegedly attacked him. Since October, Royal Mail has provided a delivery service three days a week, insisting that their worker is accompanied by local councillor Maria Linforth-Hall. My piece went out on Friday morning. Hours later I learnt that Royal Mail was to reinstate a full six-day service from Monday. I had a lovely email from Cllr Linforth-Hall thanking me on behalf of the residents of Rowland Hill House for my coverage of the story. A nice end to the week.
There was also winning an award for ‘Newsreader of the year’ at the IRN awards, a fitting way to round off my newsreading career (for now).
And of course, going live with Nick Ferrari is a thrill. Nick is a radio genius who I’ve listened to for years. To become a small part of his show is an absolute honour, and I’m looking forward to building an on-air relationship.
But there have been some, albeit minor, bad moments where things just haven’t gone to plan. It started on Monday morning when I’d gone to find a nursery to speak to mums about a story to do with stop and searches on under fives. The nursery I’d earmarked to go to was no longere there, and was now a printing shop. I arrived at 7.20, needing to speak to people in advance to go on air at 7.50. Mad rush, had to jump in a taxi, find another nursery about a mile away, which didn’t open ’til 8am. Plus it was raining. With no one to speak to, and five minutes to go before I was due on air, I didn’t know what I was going to do. Luckily the manager of the nursery came out, and I managed to convince her to speak to me very quickly. Panic over.
The next manic moment was Wednesday when my cab to take me to Twickenham didn’t turn up. The cab company insisted it didn’t have the booking, so I had to drive to southwest London instead.
Finding people to speak to on the streets at 6am is incredibly difficult. Especially when you are tasked with voxing a specific ‘type’ of people. On Wednesday it was pensioners in Twickenham, and Thursday it was ‘Aldi mums’ in Finchley, all on the subject of the budget. Nobody wants to stop and speak at 6am. They’re tired, on their way to work, and the last thing they want to do is speak to muggins here who’s shoved a microphone in their face. Hopefully I’ll get better at convincing people to speak to me!
Overall though, I’m very happy in my new role and am looking forward to the challenges ahead. It’s going to be tough; we’re fast approaching the election and I’m entering the final five weeks of training for the London Marathon. But bring it on.