Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Radio interview

About six years ago I did a 6,200-mile walk around the coastline of the UK. During the walk, I did many radio interviews with various radio stations. These saw me being interviewed in some strange situations and locations - the strangest of which was upside-down on a flood bank in Somerset.

Throughout the year, I did regular call-ins to BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, talking to Ray Clark on the afternoon show. The trip was bookended by two studio interviews. I had never been in a studio before, and had never been interviewed on the radio, and the experience was both exciting and frightening at the same time. I was surprised by how small and cluttered the studio was with various paraphernalia. By the time the end of the walk came I was an old hand, and took the second studio visit in my stride.

Yesterday afternoon, I had a phone call from the producer of the show, and she invited me onto this morning's show to talk about walks in Cambridgeshire. I haven't done any radio interviews for years, and so I was more than a little bit nervous.

So, with the idea that forewarned is forearmed, I spent an hour yesterday afternoon currently picking out the best walks I have done in Cambridgeshire, ready to talk about them in the interview. This has to be the most fun sort of research possible, and I soon realised that Cambridgeshire is far from a bad county to go walking in. True, it doesn't have any mountains to speak of, but some of the walks are fantastic. Little can beat the stroll up the Cam and Great Ouse from Waterbeach to Ely on a summer's day, and seeing Ely Cathedral appear on the horizon like a ship.

The only problem is that I hate public speaking. I have a tendency to gabble, and my pronunciation is far from clear at the best of times. This is particularly true when I an enthusiastic about something, and I am very enthusiastic about walking.

In the end, the slot was about five minutes, and involved asking a question about geocaching (which I know little about). Still, it was fun, despite the fact that the phone and Internet connection to our home went down last night. This meant that I had to do the interview on my mobile, something that I prefer to avoid.

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