Thursday, 24 April 2008

On the Radio ... Uh Oh ...

Last night I did an interview for ABC Radio National, Sydney, which went out this morning on their 'Life Matters' programme. My subject was Dame Maud McCarthy, and what can be gleaned about her from the official war diary which I've recently transcribed. Australian born and bred, she spent most of her life in the UK, and is not well-known over there. Or over here for that matter.
I received lots of good advice from friends and family; speak slowly... don't gabble or you'll sound rushed... whatever you do NO UMMs or ERRs... no throwaway quips or jokes - they will fall on stony ground... etc, etc. These were added to by the radio station staff - hold the phone down below the level of your chin... don't move it around while you're talking or it makes everything crackle...
Due to the time difference, I was sitting to attention by 10.50pm when the phone rang, not too sure what questions I was going to be asked, and with a stack of papers ranged out in front of me (please remember, don't rustle...) I'd done a bit of homework - listened to previous programmes, and checked out Sarah Macdonald, the interviewer, so I knew who I was talking too (I thought a bit like a young Edwina Currie?) and of course it all flashed by in the blink of an eye, without me really knowing if I'd ummed or erred or mentioned anything that could be taken even vaguely to be insulting to Australia (I really hope not).
Of course the first thing I did this morning was to click on to the 'Life Matters' website, and sat for some time pondering over whether I could possibly bear to listen to myself, but eventually couldn't resist the challenge. Surely not me? That ponderous old girl? I passed with flying colours on umms and errs, and definitely didn't gabble. In fact I sounded so laid back I was positively horizontal.
Note to self for 'next time' - forget about umms and errs, and just make sure the audience know you're still alive!

This weeks 'Life Matters' broadcasts can be heard on their website:

ABC Radio National 'Life Matters'

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