Friday, 20 December 2013

The Twelve Reviews of Christmas, part 11

One of the highlights of the period shortly after the publication of The Most Remarkable Woman in England last year was being interviewed on BBC Radio 4's venerable show 'Woman's Hour'.

I had never previously been interviewed on radio before (though there were several years in an earlier life when I had radio shows of my own on minor, local stations, but that's another story).

Moreover, it was certainly exciting to actually enter what has long been one of my favourite buildings in London: Broadcasting House.

Although there had been some preparatory discussion with the show's producers about possible topics, I went into the interview with Jenni Murray without really knowing what I would be asked.

So I was certainly fairly keyed up when I got into the studio.

Jenni Murray, though, is a very skilled interviewer: although she makes it seem easy, she manages to ask very well crafted questions and to subtly shape the discussion.

As interviewee, I had the sense of being offered a very well-defined space to fill. This all helped me to stay succinct and not begin endlessly waffling on, as is occasionally...well, OK, wont.

As to the interview, you can judge for yourself: my segment is still available from the BBC Radio 4 website.

In the brief period of time we had to chat after the interview, Jenni said some very nice things to me about the book. I asked later whether she might be willing to make a public summary of those statements, and she agreed.

So, she described The Most Remarkable Woman as:

'A fascinating analysis of one woman's domestic disaster, the power of the press and public opinion. Loved it!' 

The whole experience was very rewarding (also for getting the chance to chat with Martha Wainwright who gave a live performance on that show); the same can be said about my second BBC interview, with Anna King for BBC Radio Gloucestershire.

Sadly, though, that one is no longer online.

So if you can't quite get enough of hearing my voice, I suppose you're out of luck.


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