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Reporter put on spot as radio crosses 'live' to newspaper office

Reporter Rachel Sharp found herself suddenly thrust into the limelight when she made an unscheduled guest appearance on a live radio show.

The Hillingdon Times chief reporter arrived at work on a Friday morning to find there had been a murder on her patch following an early morning fight.

News was just coming in that one man was dead, another was in a life-threatening condition in hospital, and paramedics, police and passers-by had all been injured.

But in the middle of gathering information and writing updates for the website, she took a call from London radio station LBC.

Rachel, (right), said: “It had very quickly turned into a crazy morning. In the middle of trying to gather information, LBC radio called me and said the newsroom needed info on the Harlington murder and asked me if I was following it.

“I said I was, and so they told me they would put me through to the newsroom which I assumed was just so I could give them some information.

“Suddenly I heard the presenter say: ‘We are now crossing live to the newsroom of the Hillingdon Times to speak to reporter Rachel Sharp. Rachel – can you tell me what’s been happening in Harlington this morning?….’

“It was hysterical. I suddenly thought – oh my God, I’m live on the radio. Luckily I already had quite a lot of information by then so I just went into automatic pilot and told them what I knew.

“While I was talking on the phone a text message came through on my mobile from a friend saying ‘what on earth are you doing on LBC?’.”

Rachel has been successfully filming video reports for the Hillingdon Times website for the past few months and believes the skills she has learnt helped her when the radio station put her on the spot.

She added: “It was quite funny really. In a way I’m glad I didn’t know they were going to put me live on air as I might have got stage fright.

“And thank God I knew enough about the murder to actually say something or it could have been embarrassing.”