My inevitable media stardom

BBC Broadcasting House

I went to London today to be interviewed for a radio programme on the BBC.

The topic was a project that I’ve been working on over the summer.

I’m not a typical spokesperson, certainly not for something the size of IBM. I’m definitely happier as the behind-the-scenes geek type. The prospect of going on the radio to represent the project, let alone IBM, was more than a little terrifying.

But my best efforts to get someone more able to talk coherently failed horribly, and this afternoon I dutifully got the train up to London to go to Broadcasting House.

It was quick. Very quick.

I arrived, and had enough time for a quick tweet-of-fear while waiting for the producer to come down to meet me. Then he showed me to the studio, and before I knew it the microphones were on and we were recording.

Almost as quickly, it seemed to be all over. I’m told that the interview was 10-15 minutes (although edited down to a few minutes for broadcast), but it felt like seconds – blink-and-you’d-miss-it fast.

I don’t remember much of what happened in the middle. As far as I can remember, I spent most of the time alternating between looking at the microphone in front of me (suspiciously – like it might jump up and bite me at any moment), and panicking (realising that my mind had gone blank and I couldn’t remember a single thing that I’d planned to say).

I was interviewed together with someone from another organisation – a director of External Affairs, who appeared to be an old hand at this stuff and instantly at ease. This is probably a good thing, as he was able to happily do a lot of talking while I had my quiet meltdown.

And that was basically it. I don’t remember what I said, but I’ve heard it on the radio now. Not only do I not remember saying any of that, it doesn’t even sound like me… or at least what I think I sound like. It’s a bizarre feeling – like an out-of-body sort of thing.

a clip from the radio programme on SoundCloud

The people I met at the BBC were all very nice. I spent most of the time with the presenter of the show, who was absolutely lovely, and very kindly gave us a whistle-stop tour around Broadcasting House on the way out.

Radio 4 is my radio station-of-choice, so it was very cool to see the studios where some of the shows I listen to are recorded and put together.

It’s been a surreal change to my usual day – which just consists of drinking coffee, scowling at eclipse and breaking Watson with my horrible Java. 🙂

Some of the tiles in the floor outside Broadcasting House – I’m not sure what it means, but they each seem to have the name of the site of a disaster, massacre, or battle? Will have to find out more…

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