For several years I’ve toyed with the idea of recording a podcast. But as a commercial voice over artist and radio presenter, I spend enough time in studios with headphones on, ruining my beautiful hair.
Since leaving LBC last year I’ve been inundated with kind messages from listeners asking where they can hear me doing a speech programme. My Smooth Radio Drivetime show is very much music focussed, and my job is to support but not upstage the relaxing tunes.
To me, music radio and speech radio are just as much fun to work on. In fact, commercial music radio is actually harder to do well, as it’s far more scientific and precise (my former LBC boss was horrified to hear me say this last week). You have a matter of seconds to communicate, inform and entertain. I’m very lucky to be allowed to have a go at it every day.
I recently read that for the first time in six years, National Public Radio, better known as NPR in the States, was on track to break even financially thanks in part to the rising popularity of their podcasts. Hearing that, coupled with Apple’s attempt at ‘reinventing radio’ with an online radio station, was the catalyst that helped me to decide it was time to climb aboard the ‘on demand’ audio ship. Plus, everyone is now connected with a portable device, and monthly data charges are coming down. Traditional broadcasting is evolving.
These days, people have busy lives and when they have a spare thirty minutes they choose to catch up on a favourite tv series or podcast, rather than surf the countless random channels to see what’s on.
My dilemma when creating a podcast, was what to talk about? What subjects to cover? What music to play? I have such varied interests that I could have done a dozen podcasts on range of subjects from politics to show business, technology to aviation.
I made some pilots and consulted with various industry people as to what they might like to hear. My brilliant former LBC producer Victoria Hastings told me my pilots were terrible, when others said they were great – so she was invited to series produce, and thankfully she said yes! A reality check is healthy.