Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Last night I spent an interesting hour or so at the BBC here in Bristol, when I was invited to attend a selection meeting for the BBC Bristol listeners committee. A small group of us gathered to discuss our opinions of various shows which the people at the Whiteladies Road put together.

As the group came together in a reception room, there was that deliciously strange atmosphere that I last experienced on the assessment day for my new job. I may be a bit strange, but I quite enjoy the nervous tension that such gatherings generate. In last nights case most of us spent around 10 minutes in each others company with hardly a word being exchanged. It's always fun trying to guess what sort of personality traits people are going to have from the way they look. Obviously any of them looking at me would have been thinking - well he looks sophisticated, well educated, witty and charming. How disappointed they would have been when I opened my mouth!

When the meeting started the group proved to be a lively bunch, most of my guesses about the respective characters were, as ever hopelessly adrift. My favourite comments came from a woman who lives in a small town quite a way from Bristol, she explained that previously her impression of Bristol was that it was a big, chaotic place which was really best avoided. Recently however some of her family members had moved here and she thought that she had needed to know a bit more about the mysterious place. Consequently she has been listening to Radio Bristol over recent months and found that ratherthan the dark forbidding place she had imagined, Bristol is full of wonderfully varied and interesting places and people. She now finds herself coming into the city to see things which have caught her attention, a pretty good advert for the good that radio can do, when it comes to changing peoples perception of things.


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