Over the weekend the Telegraph ran a story about a new report, apparently funded by the BBC, recommending that children’s TV presenters should be older and more conservatively-dressed. At least, that’s how the Telegraph chose to tag the article – quite what the report itself says is anyone’s guess. I was alerted to the story by Sam Pinkham, erstwhile presenter of this parish. Or at least, of The Big Bang, anyway – he’s mostly a DJ for Heart 106 in Nottingham, doing the drivetime show. Would I, he enquired, care to record a brief interview on the subject, since they were going to discuss children’s TV this afternoon?
Of course, I tried to fob him off by offering up Fred Dinenage, who’s a living rebuttal to any concern that children’s TV is entirely full of scantily-clad youngsters barely out of their teens. He’s been presenting the same show since 1966, you see. Fred gamely stepped out of a meeting down at Meridian and did the interview… but then Sam rang me again anyway, and we recorded a little something.
Now, I get nervous as heck doing this sort of thing. I’m OK again in front of an audience – finally! – but radio brings back horrifying flashes of a live interview I did on BBC Radio Humberside when I was 17. It was supposed to be a two or three-minute piece, but some link or other went down… then the news feed collapsed… then something else packed in… and before I knew it the host and I were twelve minutes into the discussion, surrounded by terrified-looking station execs frantically making ‘s-t-r-e-t-c-h’ movements.
So I regret to report that I’ve absolutely no idea what I driveled on about. I think I got a good boot into the BBC at some point, for not showing anything much resembling factual programming and thereby setting a terrible example to the rest of the industry. But really, for all I can remember I could have been wittering on about the weather in Patagonia. I’m just hoping I didn’t make too much of a fool of myself.