If you imagine Sky News as the big glamorous diva, with lovely open plan studios to lounge in and hundreds of people checking on her to see if she’s okay, Sky News Radio is definitely the runt of the family. There’s a meagre collection of staff, struggling to break into double figures, who run the whole show from a tiny little side room with no windows and pretty much no contact with the outside world of “Murdoch Empire”. In fact, when I was given my tour three weeks ago, radio was pointed out with a hushed voice and the wave of the hand; the kind of wave that actually means “it’s scary and weird in there so we don’t go in but just point at it instead”. Safe to say radio isn’t scary at all, it’s just TV without the pictures, though they do look a bit light deprived.
Sky News Radio is a bit of a weird one, it’s essentially regular news bulletins for stations which are either too lazy or too cash strapped to make their own and also offers scripts and sound bites on an astronomical amount of the news agenda, so they can add their own dash of creativity. As a very lovely man who sails the ship from 4am to 12pm explains this all to me, I can’t help feeling like a bit of a smart arse; if there’s one thing doing a Bob Friend Scholarship proposal properly teaches you, it’s every single one of their fifty squillion outputs. Here’s to hoping that actually doing your research on the company and offering some free hot chocolate vouchers makes you look like a nice and engaged person and not a know it all knob.
Sitting in on some live broadcasts presented yet another problem; I appear to have developed what can only be described as the shittiest illness in the world to have in a recording studio complete with continuous outpourings of snot, phlegm and the general appearance of death. I’d also forgotten to take advantage of the Travelodge all you can eat breakfast (I say forgotten, narrowly avoided disaster is probably a better phrase) so aside from contending with unruly coughs, splutters and sneezes there’s also the growing growl of a stomach, which if anyone asks is definitely not mine. I’m quite relieved when they actually give me some writing to do, so I can snivel away without the worry of it being heard by millions of people nationwide. I’m even more relieved when the boss man tells me it’s perfect and he couldn’t have done it better himself. Ka-boom.