The Eagle Has Landed

I’ve now gone non stop for nineteen days without a day off, and I’m completely knackered. I’ve also stopped Eddie The Eagle from having sex!


No sympathy please. It’s my own fault. As a freelance presenter I can always say No to offers of work, but I never do. We call it the self employed disease, an illness that forces you to accept every offer that comes along because you are scared it’ll be the last time the ‘phone will ring. We’re idiots, aren’t we?

Anyway, my self pitying aside, it’s been a load of fun, a period where I’ve been on the radio for, sometimes, seven or eight  hours a day on different station, a stint only broken up by miles of driving and M25 traffic jams where I listen to other radio stations and, like you, shout at the presenters when they say something silly or ignorant.

I’m sure I’ve caused my fair share of shouting over the past few weeks too, but I have enjoyed interviewing many different types of guest from the cast of Scooby Doo, Eddie The Eagle and Sophie Ellis Bextor at one end, to politicians and priests at the other. My job is never boring.

One councillor and former MP, who commented on the race to replace Nigel Farage as leader of UKIP, said the exclusion of one candidate was a stitch up. I asked if he still supported the party and, surprisingly for a politician, he was very honest, if sexist. “No, I don’t. The only people I support are my wife with my cheque book, and my mother in law with my credit card.”

An economist came on to comment about the drop in interest rates. He pontificated for five minutes until I asked him the direct question, “but is it the right decision?” There was a long pause, followed by, “er, well, I just don’t know.” Again, very honest. A tip for you if you ever interview an expert. They are great at opinions but short on black and white answers.

Sophie Ellis Bextor was lovely, talking about her new album, her four kids, and her love of working with her husband, while Eddie The Eagle spoke of the snobby attitude of his fellow Olympians towards him in Calgary. They felt his amateur status and enthusiasm was beneath them. They then went forward in to obscurity while he made £725,000 in a year. Revenge was his.

But my favourite guest by a mile was a teenage girl whose dad had died a few days earlier, aged 52. Her mum and sisters had no money to bury him until the girl went on social media and raised over four thousand pounds for the funeral and a donation to cancer research. That girl will go far, and she has a very proud mum. I bet her dad’s very proud too, wherever he is.

So, how did I stop Eddie The Eagle from having sex? You’re dying to know, no?

I asked him how he would spend his last day on earth and he said that he would “take all my money out, have a great meal with the loveliest chick I could find, and then have wild sex till my time was up.”

 My producer made me edit out Eddie’s mention of sex as it was deemed not very BBC. Sorry Eddie. You’ll have to make do with just the banquet instead.