Friday, 16 December 2011

Fourteen years and counting . . . . .

I've been looking back over the last fourteen years at Fresh - formerly Yorkshire Dales Radio, then Fresh AM and now Fresh in anticipation of a long promised move to FM in our core area. Primarily it's a look back at some of the personalities I've interviewed or had as guests at the station. Obviously top of the pile from the point of view of who was probably best known was Prince Charles. He joined me in what was our Hawes studio for a quarter hour chat about the Dales. Whatever your perspective about the Royal family it was a huge honour - and I was the ONLY member of the media who was asked to talk publicly to the Prince of Wales during his official visit. I've worked with and interviewed TV chef Lesley Waters a couple of times, and she really is a lovely personality. It probably goes without saying that the same applies to the guys from Smokie, who I've interviewed on several occasions. My old buddy Andy Whelan, who has also been involved with the band in the past confessed that he was the one on the Smokie single who shouts "Alice, Alice, who the . . . " - don't really need to say too much more! I'm not really sure what it was that came over me when I was about to go live with an interview with the fabulous Jenny Agutter, when I said "Jenny, do you know I'd have swum the Atlantic just to drink your bathwater". That was the very first time I'd spoken to her, and when I talked to her recently she very vividly remembered the occasion! Listeners to Solid Gold Sunday will know that I've forged a friendship with Jeff Wayne, the composer and producer of the incredible War of the Worlds. The last time we met up he took me backstage at Sheffield Arena following a fabulous stage production of WOTW, and of course he appeared recently of Solid Gold Sunday to give us details of the 2012 tour of the show. As head of news I had the onerous task of covering the 2001 outbreak of foot and mouth which had a massive impact on our region. It was an odd title at the time, because I was on my own at the time, and had to cover the disaster single handedly. Subsequently my coverage has been mentioned during  a debate in the House of Commons. At the time of the outbreak I had to interview Margaret Beckett, who had been hastily installed as DEFRA minister, and unfortunately knew next to nothing about what was going on around her. Not too long ago I also interviewed David Cameron too - sadly I've now lost the audio where he gives assurances about the NHS! It's late, but there's much, much more to come - watch this space!

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