Ah, the 80s… Sesame Street, Shake ‘n Vak ads, Avon ladies and…. ANNE DIAMOND!
A couple of weeks ago I received an email from my local radio station, BBC Radio Berkshire, asking if I’d like to appear on their morning show to discuss A Day In The Life and my nominations in the MAD Blogging Awards. Of course, not one to miss an Instagram-selfie-in-front-of-a-BBC-sign opportunity (and I suppose, drum up some interest in my blog), I of course accepted their invitation immediately.
For the couple of days that followed, I didn’t really think about the radio show, after all, the producer told me it would be a very casual, light hearted chat, nothing to worry about really. I was also told that the show would be with their host ‘Anne’. I assumed Anne would just be a local Reading girl, looking to boost her CV before a move to national radio. Then, pulling into the BBC Berkshire car park I received a message from my wife Georgia; ‘you know you’re meeting Anne Diamond right?’. Err, say waaaat?
Anne Diamond, the Anne Diamond of 80s TV legend! Ok, she’s not the mainstay of British mornings that she once was, but she was a big name back in the day. We held her up there with Princess Di didn't we? No? Oh, ok. But anyway, she’s definitely the type of person her loyal public hold dear, so one would assume she'd have decent listener number, the high-teens at least.
With the increased enormity, I waited outside the studio and began to feel the same knots in my tummy I last felt during the school sports day skipping race when I was 7. On that occasion, the nerves got the better of me and I finished the race with my bladder close to empty. I’m happy to report, on this occasion, I held most of it in. As I sat patiently outside, I could hear the show unfolding in the next room; the sound of Anne’s familiar motherly tones made it feel like 1987 all over again, all that was missing was Nick Owen. By the way, where is Nick Owen these days? Such a wasted talent. I digress. Then, with saturated jeans a genuine possibility, I heard Anne mention my name, “and after the news we have Jamie Day, a stay at home, award winning dad blogger” - bugger, the info she’d been fed was wrong. Stay at home? Award winning? Despite what my social media feeds might suggest, I’m not a stay at home dad and I do actually have a job. Also, I haven’t won any awards (yet!).
As a Bee Gees song filled the airwaves I was asked by a bearded young fellow to leave the safety of the sofa outside the studio and make my way inside. My time had come... I was going on the radio! Holding any movements from my Midlands region like my life depended on it, I entered the studio and Anne immediately welcomed me with her producer Nick (not the Nick!). It was obvious immediately that she was incredibly relaxed and friendly which really helped me feel at ease and the strain on my undercarriage was thankfully forgotten. With the Bee Gees continuing to sound track car journeys up the M4 and house cleaning around the Royal County, Anne continued to casually chat with me, sounding like she had a genuine interest in life as a dad blogger and a avid user of social media. She came across like a warm hearted aunt, trying to find out what 'the young' are up to these days.
Then as the Bee Gees song entered its outro, I knew my time had come. Dun, dun, dun…
Anne introduced me (this time with the correct info) and we began to chat about all things blogging, my family, social media and life as a dad - basically exactly what we chatted about off air. Anne just continued her laid back style once the airwaves were live and kept the questions easy and chatty. She also, brilliantly, mentioned the children’s picture books I’ve written – woo hoo, the phone hasn’t stopped ringing since I left the BBC studio, those publishers just won’t leave me alone – *cough cough*, ok, maybe not. After eight minutes it was time for another song, this time from The Beautiful South. The song gave us an opportunity to chat some more off air and in those three or four minutes, Anne asked me about my job and the MAD awards that I’m a finalist in. Again, she was gathering all the information she needed ready for the next thrilling segment of my interview. As The Beautiful South's middle of the road tones faded away, our continuing chat was propelled into the homes and cars across the county, We simply repeated what we spoke about off air – look at me revealing all the industry secrets... Next I'll be telling you newspapers hack phones or something.
As we finished, I got the obligatory shot with her in front of the BBC sign and then said my goodbyes. It was a fantastic experience, one I'd love to do again. Anne Diamond was lovely and I thank her for having me on her show. After a delayed and remarkably well-held visit to the loo en route to the exit, I left the studio on a real high ready to take on the world. Or at least Berkshire.