Drinking at the BBC

Yesterday I got a call from a journalist at BBC Essex who wondered if I would come into the studio today to talk about alcohol. As you might remember, I am a fan of alcohol, although it makes me do silly things.  They were interested in my opinions on allowing your children to consume alcohol, and when it’s appropriate. There was a study released that found that one in six parents gives their children alcohol by the age of 14.

I spoke to the journalist about my thoughts and opinions on the subject, and was asked if I could be at BBC Essex for 7am in the morning. The thing is, I’ve had similar calls from Radio and TV companies, and then it’s all been cancelled at the last-minute, so I didn’t hold my breath.

They didn’t cancel.




I got into Chelmsford for 6.30am, I expected to be super nervous however the slightly tired fog clouded it all. I just wanted to be there in good time. Being the BBC, I was expecting to be in a bustling hub full of people. I got let into an unmanned reception and sat waiting to be collected. I could hear the radio show piped through a speaker, they were trailing the item. It all felt very real. The journalist I’d spoken to on the phone came and introduced himself and gave me a bit of background on the expert who had opposing views to me. He mentioned that they did a lot of TV and Radio work and might try and lead the discussion, and it was okay to jump in if I wanted to.

I was then led down to the studio to meet the presenter, Sadie Nine. Before I knew it, I was studio with her, and sat down next to the news presenter as he read the Essex news. It was surreal that ACTUAL radio was happening around me. I popped the headphones on, I watched Sadie’s fingers zip around the faders. Then I heard my name in the headphones, my microphone was on, and I had to talk… I did!

The co-contributor (Suzie) was indeed very much monopolising the conversation almost immediately. However she mentioned that her son didn’t really drink when he was a teen – he liked Weed. It was a surprising confession, and it relaxed me somewhat. Sadie jumped on it and asked for a bit of clarification. Suzie backtracked a little and tried to distance herself from her comments slightly. I wish I’d butted in more, however before I knew it, my time was up and the item was over. I actually enjoyed it and didn’t feel like I’d been useless, I raised a few good points. I listened back when the show came on iPlayer, and aside from my nervous stumble over G’s age at the start I was happy with how it went.

I left the studio to film a few vox-pops for their social media, and then my little BBC Essex experience was over. I was buzzing from it all – it was so enjoyable and fascinating to see behind the scenes of a radio station I’ve listened to for years.

Anyway – if you want a listen, the whole show is on the BBC iPlayer here. It’s about 1hr 7 mins into the show.

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