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Chronicle man braves the airwaves

Essex Chronicle feature writer Ivan Sage has interviewed many people over the years, as has radio presenter Steve Scruton – but does this mean the writer could present a radio show?

To find out, Ivan decided to brave the airwaves to present a show on BBC Essex, home of Steve’s afternoon slot Tea at Three.

After getting the station manager and Steve to agree, Ivan visited the BBC to turn the tables on Steve and interview him.

Ivan had prepared by jotting down a series of questions, but was concious of allowing the interview to sound scripted and was glad to be made to feel at ease by Steve.

And so the interview got under way. With notes in hand, he began by introducing the Tea at Three slot by explaining that he was to turn the tables on Steve.

However, after three sentences the radio man stopped Ivan to tell him, very diplomatically, that it sounded as if he was reading aloud.

So instead of reading from his notes word for word, Ivan tried to use them as bulletpoints and let the conversation flow more naturally.

He said: “Steve was brilliant. Anyone who interviews people on a regular basis will know that some people are easier to interview than others.

“Some people require frequent prompts, others just go with the flow. Thankfully, Steve fell into the latter category.”

And so Ivan completed the interview without getting tongue-tied and almost forgot they were speaking live on air – or in this case into a recorder.

Ivan said: “It may not have been recorded live, but it was an exhilarating experience nonetheless – and it is certainly not as easy as Steve makes it sound.”

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