What does your role on Things Unseen involve?
I’m a researcher, which means I pitch ideas and find and pre-interview guests for our podcasts. I also look for other websites / radio stations that might be interested in hosting our podcasts – which, for those of you that might be interested, are free of charge…
How did you get to work on Things Unseen?
Before coming to CTVC, I studied English and Communications Studies at the University of Liverpool. After graduating, I did a bit of writing for an online music magazine and had a placement on a national newspaper. I joined CTVC as the office assistant, and then was the CEO’s PA for several years; during this time I completed an MA in Comparative Literature.
My extremely supportive boss allowed me to become involved with research for television and radio documentaries. I then completed a three month placement with the Things Unseen team and was kept on – yay! Currently, I divide my time between Things Unseen and PA duties.
What has been your most difficult assignment?
Seeing an idea I had on Angels to completion. The podcast involved an interview with a “modern day mystic”, based in Ireland. This meant setting up a simul rec to record the interview over there. As well as this, there was an additional recording, where three different perspectives on angels were discussed. The interviews had to be edited into one twenty-five minute podcast – both recordings were about an hour long. However, I couldn’t tell a crop tool from fade one. Thankfully, my colleague, Dougal Patmore , was very patient and taught me all I needed to know. In the end, the fantastic contributions of the guests and presenter made up for my editing.
What has been the hairiest moment in your programme and podcast-making career?
Attending an outdoor religious festival to produce an interview, only to be told that the room booked for the interview was not available, and that the few rooms on the site were occupied…! Eventually, the interview, which was for Britain’s Forgotten Muslim Heroes, took place in a car – which surprisingly had impressive acoustics.
Which has been your favourite edition of Things Unseen and why?
Naturally, I’m being extremely biased when I say there are so many choose to from. I can’t pick between A Mother’s Good Friday: Diane Foley or Road to Forgiveness: South Africa. I think both these podcasts deliver incredibly profound and humbling interviews. Diane Foley and Ginn Fourie are immensely inspiring, as despite the brutal deaths their children suffered, both women are determined to spread forgiveness and peace in the world.
If you could take just one book to a desert island, what would it be?
Hmmm, I’d take one of my favourite novels, A.S Byatt’s Possession: A Romance. With its combination of Victorian literary history meets detective genre meets the supernatural, I would happily read this over and over again…
And one piece of music?
I like all sorts of music, but I am very partial to the composer/pianist Frédéric Chopin.
Which person – living or dead – do you most admire and why?
I’m unable to choose between the late Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti and Nobel Laureate, Toni Morrison. For me, they both exemplify courage; the former through her relentless activism to see women gain voting rights in Nigeria, and the latter through her sublime, defiant novels.
What would your perfect day be?
It would begin with breakfast in bed, a picnic lunch in a park with family and friends and a trip to the cinema in the evening.
If you could choose any guest at all for Things Unseen, who would it be and why?
Jorge Mario Bergoglio… otherwise known as Pope Francis. Along with the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Pope has consistently highlighted one of the primary tenets of Christianity – helping those who have been marginalised and neglected. Through his own actions, the Pope has shown that we can all extend a helping hand to those in need.
Tell us a secret.
I’m completely obsessed with books – so much so that I almost fell off my chair when I read, “If you could take just one book… “JUST ONE!” I mouthed emphatically, as the question unravelled across my computer screen, my throat going dry…