Chalk another one off the bucket list. I made my first radio appearance this week.
Podcast: tick. Singing live at #BML16: tick. Radio debut: tick. The last 12 months have been pretty good to me, really.
I hadn’t yet come down off the high of singing my bloggers’ keynote at BML two weeks ago when I received an invite from BBC Radio Berkshire to come on to their mid-morning show and talk about being a male parenting blogger in a world dominated by mums.
You would think a 10-15 minute radio interview would hold little fear for someone with 3½ years of podcasting experience. You would be wrong.
People who talked to me at BML will know I described myself as ‘terrified’ at the prospect of singing live on stage. But compared to the sheer, abject terror that enveloped me in the 24 hours leading up to my radio appearance, well, that was like a light drizzle versus a tropical monsoon.
There’s stepping outside your comfort zone. And then there’s leaving your comfort zone so far behind that it’s a mere speck on the horizon. Having arrived at the studio far too early – a tactical error that did nothing for my already frazzled nerves – the temptation to turn around and drive straight home again was almost overwhelming.
I know what my biggest fear was. It’s what my biggest fear always is in situations such as this: that I will suffer brain-freeze and get trapped in a cycle of nervous stammering and rising self-consciousness, entering a negative spiral in which I lose the ability to even say, “Where’s the door? I’m going to be sick.”
But I got through it. And once the interview – more of a friendly chat, really – with programme host Sarah Walker actually started, all the anxiety dissolved away and I didn’t have to lean too heavily on the copious notes I had prepared as a metaphorical crutch. There were a couple of points I wished I’d made after I left the studio but overall I was pleased with how I came across.
You can judge for yourself by listening on BBC iPlayer (for the next 29 days at least). I appear at 2 hours 7 minutes and then again at 2:17 after a brief interruption by The Corrs. (Very inconsiderate of them, that.)
Or if you just want to listen to my portion of the programme, here’s the edited version.
This was most likely a one-off appearance – although I have to say, having now done it once, doing it again doesn’t really hold any fear for me. At the very least I can now say I’ve done it and retreat back to my little world of podcasts. That’s good enough for me. Box ticked.