I seem to have taken on a whole lot more extra-curricular activities this year. Since I started running, for instance, I decided to join the university’s ‘Athletics and Cross Country Society’, which I recognise now was most definitely a faux pas. After joining them on a few group runs, I’ve discovered unfit I actually am. It’s not even funny. Before joining them, I honestly thought I wasn’t that slow, but it turns out that their ‘jog’ pace is literally my sprinting speed! Help. And those hills…To be fair though, I did take part in the Northern Cross Country Relays last weekend and I didn’t come last, so I guess I am making progress, right? (No).
Anyway…Sorry. I digress. This is not a good habit to maintain considering I am in my second year now and my marks count for a third of my overall grade. Whoops. Gosh darn it. There I go again!
One of the slightly less physically exerting activities I’ve taken part in this semester is joining Forge Radio to present the ‘Late Breakfast Show’. I decided to give it a try after developing a bit of a fondness for Shaun Keaveny’s breakfast show on Radio 6 last year. I used to listen to it whilst I was on my daily commute to university, so it’s become an integral part of my routine now. I’d definitely have a listen if you haven’t already. His show makes my day. It’s just the witty banter between him, Matt (often referred to as the ‘horsey’ music journalist), and producer Phil that does it for me. Such a dream team.
Before joining the ‘Late Breakfast Show’ team, I initially toyed with the idea of applying to have my own show, but I felt a bit like I’d run out of things to say, and I wasn’t sure what type of music I wanted to play to create a focus for my show. The ‘Late Breakfast Show’ seemed the right way for me to get involved. There’s a lot less pressure because there’s a whole bunch of us that split off into little teams to co-present, so we get to know each other really well, which is nice. This show is aired every weekday from 2-3pm and every week we base our shows on a particular theme. So, on my first week, for example, we had chosen the theme ‘Back to School’. After settling on a theme, we then come up with a couple of features that we’d like to produce based on these ideas. One of the features that we had during the ‘Back to School’ week was the game ‘two truths and one lie’, which I am terrible at. I just cannot lie. Both my voice and my face give it away, so I was hopeless. Another feature we had was the idea of playing songs from the dates we were in school. Each show had a different year to select songs from, ranging throughout the week from 1999-2007. My show was allocated 2001, which was brilliant because I got to experience some serious S-Club 7 nostalgia.
For the three weeks I’ve been a part of Forge Radio, it’s been going quite well! I say ‘quite’ because I am still 100% terrified of using the computer desk and controller system, so when I am inside the studio I position myself at a safe distance away from it, where I can’t possibly cause something to go wrong… This is mainly because one time I tried to experiment with the equipment by using a technique called ‘ducking’ it all ended in chaos. ‘Ducking’ basically means that music can be playing in the background, but when you speak it automatically lowers in volume and then increases again when you stop speaking, to fill a gap. I noticed that Shaun Keaveney uses this on his show and it sounds really great, so I thought I, too would test this method. Well, it didn’t pan-out accordingly. So yes. No more ducking for a while.
I thought I’d be really nervous about speaking live on air, but I’m totally fine with it. You seem to forget that people are listening to you, so you don’t feel like you can’t be yourself (to an extent – no swearing allowed. Not that I do swear. I do say ‘Oh crumbs!’ a lot though. I’m not sure if this is a bad thing or not…) The best thing about working on Forge Radio is the relaxed atmosphere. There are a few straightforward guidelines that you have to follow, but other than that you’re pretty much free to experiment and develop your broadcasting style in any way you like. I like going in the media hub from time to time to plan my show and just catch-up with everyone. It’s nice that you can do that, and I don’t think it would work in any other way.
There’s loads of ways you can get involved in Forge Radio, from broadcasting to working behind the scenes to support the production team. If you fancy giving it a go, have a look at the different ways you can do so here. Otherwise, pop into the Media Hub inside the Students’ Union and speak to someone there. Everyone’s lovely J
Over the summer I went to Edinburgh Fringe Festival and, can you guess who I bumped into whilst I was there? SHAUN. KEAVENY. I know! He shook my hand. TWICE. On another note, he’s taller than I imagined him to be.