My greatest mistake
Matthew Bannister Radio 5 live presenter & former director of BBC Radio
Tuesday 20 May 2003
I started my broadcasting career in Nottingham, so when I got a job at London's Capital Radio in the early Eighties, my idea of the city's geography was very sketchy. On my first day, a bomb went off in Oxford Street. All the experienced reporters had already been sent out on stories, so they said, "You've got to get down there."
Capital Radio was based on the Euston Road, which is only about 15 minutes' walk from Oxford Street. I'd no idea how to get there and so I rushed out and hailed a cab. I managed to get some interviews with the police and some eyewitnesses. I needed to get back, to get them on the air so I hailed another cab, but of course the traffic had completely snarled up. The deadline was ticking away but I knew that if I got out of the taxi, I wouldn't know which way to go. In the end I had to, so I set off, unfortunately in the wrong direction. I finally stopped somebody who showed me the right way, and I ran all the way back, arriving just as the programme went on the air. I fell into the studio and panted out my report. It was deeply embarrassing to have to admit that I'd got lost between Oxford Street and Euston Road.
A few years later I had another horrible experience when I was a newsreader on Radio 1. I woke up at 6.29am to the realisation that at 6.30am I should have been reading the news. It's a terrible panicky feeling, your heart pounds and your palms sweat, and of course there is nothing you can do about it. Fortunately, the guy who normally read the news on Radio 2 stepped in.
I was due to read another bulletin half an hour later, but I was quite a way across London, so I had to rush into my clothes, get into the car and drive like the clappers to Broadcasting House. I made it just in time to read a very breathless 7am news. I was nervous that I was going to get fired, but my editor was very understanding - provided, of course, that it never happened again.
Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established media firm based in Surrey is ...
£25,000 to £35,000: Sphere Digital Recruitment: The Company Our client are th...
£80 – 120K : Sphere Digital Recruitment: Sales Director – Ad tech - £80 – 120K...
40,000- 50,000: Sphere Digital Recruitment: Senior Analyst – Global Sports Gam...