A light lunch

Something I never do is take an afternoon nap but having to face a brand new challenge has completely knackered me. Thank you for your messages of support – you definitely warm the cockles of my heart.

Radio is a staple of my life. I grew up with ‘Round The Horne’ and ‘Billy Cotton’s Band Show’. I was ill to ‘Mrs. Dales Diary’, and I ‘Listened with Mother’ until I was old enough to send in my requests to ‘Uncle Mac’. So for a child of the 50’s, the wireless was an integral part of life.

I was also a pianist. At the age of five I was picked out as having some sort of precocious talent, but it’s gone the way of most things you don’t practice, along with the waistline and the ability to hit top ‘C’. Did you know, girls… our voices get lower as we get older? By 2020, if they ever ask me, I’ll be singing bass on the back row with the Treorchy Male Voice Choir.

So, doing LBC feels like some kind of strange continuum. I know how radio sounds but doing it is very different. There are cues that have to be listened to, callers that have to be talked to, guests to debate with. All while talking as fluently as is possible without swearing. Given that the bulk of my brain was concentrating on five things at once, and given that the bulk of my brain is mashed potato, you can see why I took to my bed.

Steve and Chris, the producers, are nurturing me like an old nag learning dressage. They run in and out of the studio gently nudging me and reminding me that I’m not on the telly box and that folk out there are individuals, not the rowdy mass that you were on GFL.

Although, to be honest, I never felt I was talking to a mass audience when looking into the camera. But the more you do it, the more you relax, and the more you relax the easier it gets. It’s like anything really, getting out of the way of yourself so that the ‘self’ can do its job.

The nervous tension in that little radio sound booth was palpable. The wonderful Body Bordoni schlapped all the way in from Beaconsfield and sat there, willing me to do well. We didn’t get a chance to talk about his restaurant or his life but he will be back. Rob Hull, editor of ‘Funky Raw’, with the hairest face I’ve seen since San Diego zoo, talked about raw food, which I think is beginning to be some kind of buzz word.

The callers came and went, my ability to understand the timing got clearer, well as clear as mud – not Glastonbury mud, more the kind of garden mud when there’s been a light drizzle, although I’ve just heard that it’s been the wettest June on record.

I left LBC and inevitably took left, instead of right and ended up taking the scenic route via Kensington – where there’s a massive new Whole Food Supermarket, Earls Court where there isn’t and eventually back to the flat to be told that the boiler man had fixed the boiler, but only temporarily, since it was completey past its sell by date and that a new one would probably have to be fitted. He’s gracing us with his presence in six week’s time to assess the situation. I hope we don’t have blizzards between now and then.

BB went out to visit her friend in the Elephant and Castle and Jim came home, having rehearsed his second play at the Globe. He just missed another torrential downpour. Poor old Wimbledon. Although I’m not such an avid fan since Nastse’s exit 30 years ago. Although, have you seen the Becker recently? I would be his ball girl any time.

This evening we may or may not go out, but I think we will so that I will have something to talk about on tomorrow’s show, which will be just as excrutiatingly nerve-wracking as today’s. Anna Raeburn was in the next studio to me – I did my first handover. She’s been doing radio for 32 years and still gets nervous. If it takes 32 years to get it right, I’ll be doing fab broadcasting from my grave.

That’s it. The sun’s out, so it’s off to the square for a bite to eat. Then, all being well, I’ll sleep sweetly ready for tomorrow, which is all about daft diets. They must have seen me coming.

Enjoy your evening. Cu2morrer.

8 thoughts on “A light lunch”

  1. Jeni – really enjoyed the show. I called my partner in to see if she could tell who it was as your voice is deeper on radio – or perhaps you are trying to give a more sober (not in the alcohol sort) image! Anyway, you were fab and Frank and Rob were really interesting, giving great support. I shall listen tomorrow, even turning the Wimbledon sound off so, as a tennis fan, you can see how much I enjoy your efforts!

  2. heard the show 4 the 1st time today, it was great experiencing u again live [via the internet] for the 1st time sice GFL. was looking forward to listening tomorrow but now i find myself working 🙁 well i needs the money so guess i’ll have to wait til wednesday to hear those eloquent tones again. though i did get distracted slightly at the mention of the Bodys nipples…. sorry back now. best go for a lay down to compose myself.

  3. LOL Give you a few days and you’ll have this nailed. I imagined you in the studio with Anna Raeburn doing the handover and her mentioning the cranial osteopathy and you bubbling up full of conversation on the subject….
    So that’s 5 days a week from 1pm to 2pm on LBC Radio and we can listen from anywhere in the world 😀

  4. Hi Jeni,
    Have had friends here with us for a few days so have not managed to listen to your show but will put the Internet to good use as soon as I am free. Bet you are goooooood!
    The radio, as you said, played a great part in our lives when we were kids. Perhaps its even more stimulating than TV for children as they have to use a bit of imagination.
    Nice that your daughter thought I sounded clever to have made a dulcimer….I thought I was making a piano but I forgot to turn to page 2 of the plan!
    chrissie W x

  5. Hi Jen, I live just down the road from the Treorchy Male Choir I’ll put a word in!!
    Finally caught you on the radio, LOVED IT and glad you got my email felt well chuffed you read it out. Wanted to say to the lady who couldn’t find the repeats of GFL it’s on UKTV bright ideas 269 not UKTV style.
    Marmite Girl xx

  6. Hi Jeni,
    The LBC show is great! Well done. Very professional, interesting and funny. Not a surprise.
    I’ll keep listening.
    Nice to hear a calming and non-manic voice….and you do sound posh!
    Have a great day,
    Chrissie x(chubby from Carcassonne)

  7. loving you on lbc jen, you are becoming a real natural, yes re previous comments, pity that its only one hour!! we want more of you. just to let you know that i put lbc right on how they spelt your name, did you spot it? they spelt your name with a double n so i wasnt impressed and thought i have got to put em right here and protect our jen. good to see that they have acted upon my moan so promptly. take care my lovely, you are doing a smashing job!!!

  8. Bass eh? Like Marmite Girl, I also live fairly close to Treorchy. I’ll never understand why people like male voice choirs. Theres another town near there called Tonapandy. We used to call it Tonapandemonium when we were growing up. Right grim place.

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