Category Archives: Radio

Breaking news

One of the biggest parts of my job is making sure the news bulletin sounds up to date making sure our listeners know about the important things happening right now.

Sometimes the details of a story can change really quickly, like election results or resignations, and this can mean keeping the bulletin up to date is more of a struggle. And to be honest quite exciting as well.

Recently a suspicious package was left outside Lincoln City Hall and the bomb squad had to be brought in as a precaution. We knew through police updates that it was unlikely to be a bomb but it was causing some problems in the city centre. There were traffic problems and people had been evacuated from their homes and offices.

I felt it was important that the scripts weren’t sensationalising what was happening, because we knew most a lot of the police work was precautionary. Instead I wanted to reflect on the disruption, so I sent a reporter to talk to people and send back a voicer describing the scene.

However, just as I started to read my bulletin we heard from the police that traffic restrictions were about to be lifted and the bomb disposal squad were leaving the scene. As I was in the studio I was oblivious to this update so my head of programming started to write an update for me to read.

He walked into my studio with a piece of paper with a couple of lines describing the latest situation which I read completely blind live. I’ve uploaded my bulletin with a big chunk of it that’s not relevant edited out. But you can hear my boss walking in over our creaky floorboards and hand me this piece of paper. It was all quite exciting and a bit unbelievable but hopefully to the listener sounded normal and meant they were being kept up to date.

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Princess Anne in Lincoln

It’s a big year for Lincoln as the city celebrates 800 years of the Magna Carta. It’s important for the area as the Cathedral has one of four remaining copies of the historical document. Until recently it was just displayed in part of the castle but a decision was made to invest in these beautiful parts of Lincoln and so started 10 years of work.

There’s now a dedicated vault in the castle grounds for the Magna Carta which opened earlier this year. Then to mark the occaision it was officially opened a few months later by Princess Anne.


As well as being a chance to show the best of Lincolnshire to royalty it was also a chance for lots of people to come together and celebrate the area.

We covered the event throughout the day on our news bulletins on Lincs FM. We started off by having some copy in our bulletins but once I was in the castle grounds recorded a voicer on my smartphone which I sent back to the office. This was then used in the bulletins to help give listeners an idea of how the event was building up.

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I only had about an hour to interview lots of people before the Princess arrived in the grounds and security protocols kicked in. I used this time to vox plenty of people who were at the event to find out the local reaction.

I then spoke to lots of people who had been involved in the project as well as local dignatries. All of these were sent back so the team had lots of different interviews to use and reflect how the event was moving on. I was also making sure to record lots of sounds, clapping and speeches so I had lots of bits of audio to play with to make a package.

Then I had a chance to just enjoy the event and the excitement of Princess Anne arriving. At this point I made sure to take plenty of photos and also tweet the news on the station’s Twitter account.

Then as they were enjoying their tour of the castle I went back to the office to assemble my package. I looked up what the team had already used of my audio. I then built a simple story that I wanted to tell in my package, only using the best bits of my interviews and recordings.

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It was really interesting to cover this event, not only was it an important day for Lincoln it was also a chance to be creative. More importantly it was good to work with the rest of the team, providing them with good quality interviews to help them out with news bulletins whilst out reporting. It was also great to think of the story beyond just what was going out on the station and remember the importance of social media too.

Behind the Headlines

Last Friday I was a guest on Peter Smith’s Behind the Headlines on Siren FM. His show looks at what’s in the papers as well as looking at the ways the papers cover the news.

On the show we discussed the latest in the Edward Snowden story, the missing Doctor Who episodes and possible changes to driving licences for those aged under 18-years-old.

It was fantastic to talk about news on the radio and analyse the stories, as well as accidentally teaching the host and the other guests the phrase ‘tramp stamp’. Honestly it was relevant, as you will find out if you listen to the Behind the Headlines podcast.

Radio 2 and friends

I had good intentions, like all people who make resolutions. I vowed to do something and then promptly forgot. I have no excuses because my challenge was even written down. So here two weeks later and I am spending the day with Radio 2.

BBC Radio 2 logo | Photo: BBC

I freelance meaning there are parts of the day where I am by myself. I was starting to feel a bit lonely, and remembered when I used to listen to the radio on a daily basis. It was back when I was working in an office, but we weren’t supposed to get distracted. Eventually the silence became too much and I found myself regularly tuning into Radio 2. Since I left that job I have missed Steve Wright in the Afternoon, so I decided to have a listen and see how he was getting on.

A lot is made of radio listening being a relationship. Jeremy Vine, who also has a Radio 2 show, says in his book ‘Its All News To Me’: “Television is impact, radio is intimate. TV is all about creating a splash, radio is all about forming a relationship”. I have to agree and, frankly, it was a relief that Steve Wright sounded the same. Instantly I felt like I had some company to help me through the afternoon.

The strangest thing was when I had real human company again it did feel like I was getting two friends that you know won’t really get on try to have an awkward chat.

Aside from my reunion with the station, I was drawn in by their Comic Relief activities. Over the past week in the lead up to Red Nose Day the comedian Miranda Hart has been given ‘mad’ challenges. Her charitable attempts were nicely woven into the day’s shows. In the morning Miranda found out what was in store for her from Chris Evans, then updated listeners throughout the day on the other programmes. It was cleverly done and was interesting from a Red Nose perspective but also inviting me to carry on listening.

Of course this is Radio 2 so there are some odd songs, although Toto’s Africa was a genuine highlight. A few years ago BBC Trust said the age of the average listener should not drop below 50. Therefore the station is a comfortable listen, but that is no bad thing. It also meant it was really easy to transition from show to show and from presenter to presenter. The mix of a variety of topics yet with a reliable and trusty feel meant it was a great listen. The programming feels almost like the ideal way radio should sound.

According to the latest RAJAR figures, audience listening figures, Radio 2 has over 15 million listeners. Therefore I cannot pretend to have discovered anything new. But if you listen to any radio that you would recommend others to listen to then let me know in the comments.

My radio challenge

I love radio. I love interviewing people for the radio, I love trying to make pictures using just sounds and I love broadcasting. Yet I don’t actually listen to a great deal of radio which seems wrong. How else will I know what works, and what doesn’t?

One of the reasons I don’t listen to a great deal of radio during the day is simply finding the time. Whereas in the evening, when I want to relax, instead of listening to the radio I will quite happily bulk watch television shows. Full blown Netflix style.

Nicholas Parson presents Just a Minute on BBC Radio 4 | Photo: BBC

I do listen to a lot of of Radio 4 comedy though, especially shows like Just a Minute and The Now Show. Two of my absolute favourites are In and Out of the Kitchen and The Museum of Everything. And somehow I have got into the routine of listening to Scott Mills’ daily podcast.

But there is so much that I am missing and that’s why I have decided to make myself listen to something new each week. I then plan to write about it here. For this I will need some help. So any radio recommendations please feel free to let me know in the comments or tweet me. I am @charlottereid over there.

And the winner is…

One of Lincoln’s fish and chip shops, the Burton Road Chippy, put themselves forward to compete for the best fish and chip shop restaurant in the UK. This was their first time in the competition and after qualification, mystery shoppers and impressing the judges they made it into the top 10. The winner would be announced at an awards ceremony in London.

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In this documentary I follow the owners, Des Anastasiou and Lesley Graves from a week before the results were announced. In the run up to the awards ceremony I met up with Des to find out how he was preparing for the awards ceremony and what it had been like to get to this stage.

You can listen to my special documentary ‘And the winner is…’ here:

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The Burton Road Chippy, who tweet their customers regularly, kept them informed about their time in London.

fish and chip 8The awards ceremony was held at the London Lancaster Hotel and hosted by comedian and impressionist Rory Bremner.

These awards were the 25th of their kind and as one of the judges, Mick Bacon who works for Seafish, said it is a good chance for the restaurant owners to relax.

The night began by celebrating all 10 nominations for the best fish and chip restaurants by giving out the awards and with a video of all the finalists in their restaurants.

The first award of the night was the Fish and Chip Feast Fundraiser Award which the Burton Road Chippy won. The category was sponsored by the charity Seafarers UK who look after sailors and their families.

Throughout the night there were a number of awards all to celebrate the best young frier, contributions to the local community and recognition for staff training.

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Everything though was running up to the main award of the night. Unfortunately the Lincoln chippy did not win the best overall title. Instead the big award of the night went to The Bay in Aberdeenshire.

After the awards Lesley said she is proud of her team and their achievements and said they are still winners. She also said that they would be running in the competition again next time.

So see you all next year.