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I've heard the phrase never volunteer for anything many times but I don't think I really appreciated what it meant until yesterday.

If you've ever caught my Thursday show on Gateway 97.8, you'll know I work with Alison H. Not yesterday though.

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Alie hasn't been well for a few weeks and this week, she realized she really couldn't make it in to do the show. So on Wednesday evening, I volunteered to stand in for her for the full 3 hours (my slot is normally 30 minutes, although I do contribute to about half of the afternoon programme).

The job of the Good Afternoon presenter on Gateway is to be informative, entertaining and above all, engaging. The delivery needs to sound spontaneous but trust me, spontaneity takes planning!

Picture the scene yesterday morning there I was, rushing around, trying to prepare a 3-hour show, before I headed off to a meeting in Chelmsford (for which I was a week early but that's another story!). I finished up spending the car journey being briefed over the phone by Alison, on an interview with 4 6th formers from a local school winners of the Basildon District Young Persons Parliament Project. Its not easy bashing out notes in home-made Braille shorthand, on scraps of paper dug out of the bottom of your bag, using an almost-antique mini Braille machine, which wouldn't quite fit on anybodys lap and tends to slip and tip with the movement of the car. I had no idea there we're so many roundabouts between Basildon and Chelmsford!

I arrived home from the meeting that never was to find myself locked out of the house. I did eventually manage to get back indoors for half an hour then it was off to the station where the, er, fun?!, continued!

First, the lift decided it wasnt going to take me to the right floor. When I finally managed to convince it that I wanted Level 3 not 5, 4 or 2! I made it into the studio only to find the computer, which holds virtually everything we need to run a show (music, jingles, ads etc) had decided to crash 10 minutes before I was due on air. By then, to be honest, nothing would have surprised me.

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Posted in Photograph Post Date 11/03/2017






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