For a whole hour I was live on BBC Radio Sussex, discussing the newspapers, and generally chatting with presenter Allison Ferns.
She has a four hour show every week day, starting at noon, and her experience as a broadcaster is evident in the way that she juggles the music, news, weather, studio guest, radio phone in, and the producer popping into the studio every now and again.
My report time was 12.30pm so I could have a read through of the newspapers before going on air, but I had already prepared myself with researching two current affairs items, the ongoing Volkswagen crisis, and the rugby world cup currently being held in the UK.
David the producer brought the papers to me, I had my own notepad and pen with previously prepared notes, and the lovely receptionist provided me with a cup of water. The reception area of the studio was also a shop, now closed, and it is also a good sized waiting area.
This is shortly to be converted into a stage and studio for weekend local bands to perform while live on air, and you can listen to the current show while relaxing in one of the three bucket chairs.
Shortly after one David brought me into the studio so I could sit across from Allison, who I had met previously when she interviewed me for a pre-recorded segment some weeks before when I was introduced to her listeners.
Armed with notebook, papers and water, I placed the headphones comfortably over my ears, the microphone unobtrusively close to the left side of my mouth. The desk opposite Allison has three ports so more than one studio guest can be accommodated.
Before going on air she asked me for a few topics that had caught my eye, major items as well as silly ones. People were ringing in about the labels on knickers, and I was able to contribute the fact that last week I bought a pack of four, costing £18 from Marks and Spencer, i.e. a lot of nickers a knicker.
Hardly cerebral, but certainly entertaining.
We discussed healthy eating, and John from nearby Worthing told us that he and his wife eat broccoli every day. Allison and I can’t stand the stuff, which was politely pointed out. He was a bit weird though, and I wondered if he was a joke. No, he wasn’t.
I had researched the car manufacturing names owned by Volkswagen, the largest in the world, so was able to mention all these names.
In the meantime Allison was playing the music, as well as checking the newspapers so she could introduce each topic. Very professional.
She fed me the lead on three occasions so I could discuss and promote my Eastbourne seafront guided tours.
The hour went very quickly, and at the end she kindly posed in the studio with me. Live on air she invited me to return, and I have arranged the date with producer David, which I shall write about in one month’s time.
I loved it, no nerves, just one hour of complete pleasure.