James Hoggarth presents on BBC Radio Humberside every weekday evening and not only that, he’s Head of Music there too. But to climb the professional radio ladder, James started out on Kingstown Radio which broadcasts across hospitals in Hull. So we asked James how hospital radio helped him get where is he today……
” When I joined Kingstown Radio in Hull in 1996 it was with the intention of using it as a stepping stone towards a professional career (ideally with the BBC).
Hospital Radio is the perfect training ground, as it offers quality education and opportunity to find and hone your skills. However, the important thing must remain not to take for granted the chance it gives you, it’s important to give something back – whether that be through loyal commitment or fundraising.
I believe I’ve had a great deal of luck during my career, but I’ve always respected it and worked hard.”
James produces the daily show he presents too which is no simple operation. His music based show involves a lot of interviews and guests. Community RA+Edio has been putting together a series of ‘How To’ guides for new presenters, one of which was ‘How To Structure a Radio Show’. We thought we’d make the best of James’ expertise to ask for his tips on this subject……
“In terms of building a structure for a radio programme, the initial foundations are those essentials – such as news, travel updates, or the weather for example. Those elements that listeners often tune in specifically for. Once you have those building blocks in place it’s often important to think about techniques to keep the audience listening for longer. So for instance a great interview or musical feature should be spread across a news bulletin or half-hour junction points.
Also remember to sell what you’re doing, regular trailing ahead to great/interesting items is essential to keep the listener hanging on for more. That said, don’t promote too far ahead – it’s pointless telling someone that you’re playing The Beatles at 4pm when it’s only 2pm for example. Also remember who you’re talking to, why tell a 65-year old that you’re playing Plan B when you might also have Fleetwood Mac in the running order.
This said, some of the best presenters make a show feel relaxed – items flow from one to another, using your guests to comment on talking points (where appropriate) is nice a trick.
Lastly, be yourself – remember “what do the audience know about me?”. I often find that listeners respond better to our human qualities (and occasional failings) rather than a slick DJ capable of talking over the introduction of a song.
Community RA+Edio would like to thank James for writing this guest post for us and for giving us some tips to get the brain juices flowing. If you have any tips you would like to add, or if you would like to be a guest poster on our site then see our contact page to find out how.
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