16 December 2017

Christmas Cheesecake and Microphones

Come down to The Wrygarth on Wednesday, they said, we've something going on.

It soon became clear that what was going on was 'The Phil White Show' from Radio Humberside. It's a good job the front car park of our local, The Wrygarth Inn at Great Hatfield, is of a size to back in its travelling studio. I never did ask mine hosts, Ray and Sandra Thompson, if they'd measured it beforehand.

Phil White has been travelling the region for nearly a year doing outside broadcasts from out-of-the-way places and fascinating venues. As he maintains, there's always something of interest to fill his week-day 2.5 hour programme. He should know: by Christmas he'll have reached his 250th.

On a wet and very cold Wednesday, though, he and his two techies were pleased for the comfort of the Inn - if not for a handy manger, for the heat, the coffee, and the superb desserts Ray laid on as tasters. Ray doesn't merely own the pub, he's a highly qualified chef. Believe me, the Christmas Cheesecake was fought over.
Yours Truly in front of the Xmas Shelves

I'd been invited to chat about the Torc of Moonlight trilogy, for sale in the pub's shop, and was intent on discussing the background to Celtic water deities still recalled in the folklore of villages in the area, but it started by being a cabaret spot about Did I come here often and why I was on lime & soda, which rather wrong-footed me. Anyway, if you're desperate you can listen to my Six Minutes Of Fame via the BBC iPlayer HERE (starting at 45mins) which will be archived off-line mid-January. I have a feeling, though, that you'll need to be in the UK to listen as it needs a sign-in.

Of course, no writer worth their salt would pass up the research opportunity of such an occasion, and before the programme went live to air I collared one of the techies and asked nicely for a tour of the bus. 

The rear part is a relaxation area, both for Phil and the crew, and to conduct interviews, and is covered in memorabilia collected during the making of past programmes. The studio section, a mini version of those at Radio Humberside's HQ in Hull, is set just behind the driver's seat. As can be imagined, it is a bank of monitors and trailing wires with a single chair and a mixing desk. An aerial at the rear of the bus picks up the wi-fi signal from Phil's microphone, pushes it through the studio set-up, and via the dish on the roof is bounced off a satellite - currently somewhere above South America - to their HQ in Hull to be broadcast. 

I didn't understand half of it, but found it fascinating to be taken through the process. Will I use it in some future fiction? Never say never - which was why I asked for the tour.


  1. Fascinating interview, Linda. I felt as though I was there!

  2. LOL! You've done better than I have so far. Why do we never like to hear ourselves speak? I guess we are two different people. [There's a story there, just waiting to climb out.]

    Thanks for calling by, Stuart.

    1. Maybe those who love the sound of their own voice become politicians, and writers prefer to be 'heard' in print via text off the page?

  3. The traveling studio sounds interesting. Looks like about the size of our Coach. We move in for full-time RV living in April! Maybe we could take up doing radio or FB Live at each of our stops. Maybe there's a story in THAT.

  4. Good grief; your Coach is *that* big?? I think you doing a FB Live at each of your stops is an *excellent* idea. Sharon, go for it!