On Saturday my insides were re-jerked as I realised just why I love radio so much.
The first Sound Women Festival at the BBC Theatre, founded and created by the phenomenal Maria Williams, gave me a complete shift in my stomach – and I know you know what I mean – as I went back to my professional roots and replayed the process in my mind as to how I arrived at this destination i.e., the Drive Time presenter on London’s Magic 105.4fm.
Inspirational broacasters from Fi Glover to Anita Anand, programmers like Gloria Ambramoff, women in media like Eve Pollard, I could go on and on, but I’m sure you get the gist.
We talked radio, we talked media, we talked the ups and downs, but there were two ladies who completely blew me away and gave me a good kick up the $+&@.
Eve Pollard is a mother, a grandmother, a worker and a woman. She worked alongside the likes of Rupert Murdoch and Robert Maxwell, two extremely powerful men and through it all she married, divorced, raised two children (one of whom is TV presenter Claudia Winkleman) and she worked on the Daily Mirror, The Sun and The News of The World.
Yes it was a struggle, but it can be done, yes, you will be a little tired in the process of all the juggling, but it’s about finding the correct balance for each area in your life, and the way Eve portrayed her hectic life cleared our vision about the balancing act that really does need to be undertaken.
Helen Fawkes brought a tear to my eye. A young lady in her early 30s, radio producer at Radio 5, loving her job but she was honest enough to admit that whilst she loved being a producer she wasn’t living her dream – she wanted to be a reporter. Rewind to 11th September 2001 and Helen is watching TV and experiences a sharp pain in her side. She makes the regular visits to gain medical clarification of her ailment to be told she had ovarian cancer.
Your life flashes before your eyes, and everything takes a different spin as you start to think about the things you want to do with your life. Helen takes the necessary steps after successful treatment to live her dream and becomes a reporter in Moscow and she works her way down her list of things to do. An examination revealed that Helen’s cancer has returned, and as she speaks of her moving experience without realising it, she has given every woman in the room a great massive kick up the behind.
Live your life, you only get one chance at it, do what makes you happy, prioritise, and look at what is really important.
Thanks Helen, you have given me a much-needed check with reality. Bless you.