#Piracity on the BBC

This is a bit of a shaggy dog story. Bear with me, please.

One of the big local news items in Bristol this month has been the story of Ray Webber who is publishing his first collection of poetry at the ripe old age of 93. (The book, High On Rust, is being published by my friend Richard Jones through his company, Tangent Books.) John Darvall, who presents the mid-morning show on Radio Bristol, decided to see if he could find any other local literary geniuses in the city, and asked people to call in if they wanted to get published.

I knew nothing about this, because I was busy preparing to give some lectures to a gender studies class at Bath Spa University yesterday morning. However, I got email from Becky Walsh. I know Becky through the women’s network in local radio, and specifically because she was down to chair the Festival of Literature event I was speaking at today. Being a kind and supportive sister, Becky emailed all of us on the panel about John’s plans for the show.

This was too good an opportunity to miss. I phoned up Radio Bristol straight away and gave them the Piracity pitch. They sounded interested, so I got back to doing lecture prep, put the show on to listen to, and waited for a call.

It was a great show. John played some fabulous music (James Brown, y’all) and his other topic of the day, home care for the elderly, was really well done. It did, of course, bring to mind the panel on care for ageing LGBT people I chaired on Monday. As John clearly showed, straight people have quite enough trouble.

John got into talking to people about getting published around 11:30, and spoke to a couple of people. Then he had one of those things where a caller is so good you can’t ignore them, and went back to the home care story. In his final hour he spoke to a woman who got married to the man of her dreams but soon after found herself nursing him through a terminal illness. It is a great piece of radio, and I can quite see why John abandoned the publication issue. I would have done too.

By this time I had left home, because I had things I needed to do in Bath before the lectures. No phone call came, so I assumed that was that. Hey, it was a long shot. But this morning as we were chatting before the panel Becky asked me if I had heard John mention my project on the show.

Wait, what???

And he did. You can listen to it here. The bit about me comes in around the 2:50 mark, just after Feargal Sharkey’s “A Good Heart”. It is a bit garbled, but at the end John asks his producer she can get me in to talk more about the project.

I have no idea if this will happen. I know what live radio is like. Other news stories may pop up that are more interesting. But I have pinged John on Twitter and if I do hear from him and we can agree on a date I’ll be delighted.

Watch this space, as they say.

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