Thursday, March 20, 2008

Adrenalin junkie!

I really like giving one-off quotes to national newspapers and magazines. There's something incredibly rewarding about being 'flung' a topic at short notice - anything from the McCartney divorce to the efficacy of antidepressants via the Government's latest policy on teen pregnancy. Picking up the phone and instantly being asked to bring all my expertise into play to give insights at the drop of a hat brings with it a rush of pure adrenalin. Can anything beat that?

Well actually, something can. The adrenalin rush of an extended live radio phone-in is, I must admit, even better. My current drug de jour is a monthly co-presenter appearance on Jim Davis' late night Friday show on LBC. I arrive at 9.30. Jim and I enter the studio and pop our headphones on at 9.55. From then until midnight, anything goes. Responding to Jim's sometimes outrageous though always well-thought through questions is the least of my worries. The emails, texts and live calls from our listeners can mean that any topic is fair game.

Last week we began with 'dumping and being dumped' - and the phone lines swiftly started ringing off the hook. Tears, despair, fury - and that was just Jim and I! As to callers, there was the guy who had dumped his one night stand because she wasn't fit enough - and was now asking me to comment on his taking up with her again now she'd lost weight. There was the woman who was agonising over whether to leave her partner of nineteen years. There was the young man who had lost both his girlfriend and his brother at one stroke when he had arrived home early and found them in bed together. All human life was there.

Of course, it's not just the adrenalin rush that keeps me hooked into this kind of work. It's the incredible feeling when someone signs off with the words 'thanks... that's really helped" - or, as happened on my Heart106 programme earlier this year, when a listener emails to tell me that there's been a happy ending and "we took your advice... and the wedding's in June." That, truly, makes everything worthwhile.

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