Today I had an unexpected Talking Newspaper stint. Poor George fell down his stairs and was so bruised he couldn’t get out of his chair. He rang me and asked if I could swap with him. Seeing as I was free (apart from writing my proposal) I agreed and trotted off this morning for the early shift.
There are three shifts on a Thursday. 10-2 is for the Farnham Herald, 12-4 is the Haslemere Herald and 2-6 for Alton. We generally edit for about an hour and a half then start recording. Generally it finishes half an hour early. This is the buffer that is built in for any emergency that may crop up.
This morning I was up for the 10-2. I generally manage to turn up 15 minutes before the off, which gives me a chance to get a good start on the edit. This morning was no different.
I walked up to the door and turned the handle. It was locked. This isn’t that unusual. When anyone is there alone they tend to lock the front door given the area. I rang the bell. I waited. I rang the bell again.
I peered through the windows of the edit room. Everything was black. This was odd. I took out my Dawkins and read.
The next reader then turned up. She was as confused as I was. She rang the bell as well. We were waiting for the presenter, who is responsible for picking up the newspapers and unlocking the studio.
At 10, Scottish Liz turned up, the third reader. She resisted the urge to ring the bell and we chatted about what could have happened. We rang the presenter but he wasn’t home so we figured he was stuck in traffic or something.
By 10:20, it was getting ridiculous so we rang Tony, the boss, and explained the situation. He said he’d pick up the papers and be with us asap.
He arrived at 10:30 and said he’d called the presenter’s mobile and was told he was on his way to London and he’d forgotten!
We poured into the edit room and started cutting and pasting. It was a rush job. The presenter for the next session turned up and we explained the situation. When we told him where and who the presenter was, he laughed, looked at Tony and said “Again?”
It all turned out ok. We read and recorded. I made a few fluffs (which will be cut out by the sound engineer, thank goodness) but overall it went quite well. I made them laugh a few times (always good) and fed Scottish Liz a few good lines as well. All in all, a fun morning, really. I love the Talking Newspaper!