What a crazy few months it has been!
I’m writing this post from a sunny Manchester having started my new role at BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Sport. After 5 years in total and 2 and a half years full time, my time at BBC Radio Kent has come to an end and I’ve moved onto pastures news. It would be remiss of me to make such a major change in my life without reflecting on my time at RK and offering thanks to those who have helped me along the way.
I arrived in 2009 as an overly keen work experience kid on the BBC Blast scheme, offering opportunities for young, aspiring journalists to get a foot in the door. Fast forward a couple of years of uni later and they took me on, an opportunity I am forever grateful for.
As part of the sports team, I had such an amazing time, able to interview the likes of Kelly Holmes, Lord Moynihan and Lizzy Yarnold amongst others. I developed my commentary across cricket and football, started presenting the Saturday Sport and was able to travel the country reporting on sport – a lifelong ambition of mine.
In 2013, I became the station’s early reporter, traversing the county in search of some eclectic stories, meeting David Cameron and Prince Charles and bringing Britain’s Best Roundabout to the people of Kent.
I am indebted firstly to Gemma Sterba and Matt Davison for always trusting me to deliver and offering me chances to report on some of the biggest stories. They were always there day and night whenever I had questions and always had time to help me out when I was finding my feet.
I’m lucky to have been able to work alongside Matt Cole, who is one of the best commentators in the business. He’s been understanding to my mistakes and offered invaluable feedback as Sports Producer. Freelancers Matt Gerrard, Peter Guise and Charles Webster have not only enabled me to become a better commentator but I also consider them very close friends.
Breakfast presenter and Sports Editor John Warnett has always championed my career. Whenever I had problems, he would always get them sorted and was an ear I could talk to about anything. He helped keep me on the straight and narrow and subtly gave me tips that would make my life easier.
Talented producers including Hannah Ratcliffe, Phil Harrison, Clare Tiptaft, Steve McCormick, Tom Darby, Hannah Olsson and Tim Addicott have always been a massive help to pointing me in the right direction and being extremely patient. Being able to learn from them and improve with every report has been key in my development as a journalist. Their direction has been second to none.
In the likes in Ed Cook, Alex Bish and Will Roffey, I’ve become a much more rounded journalist, able to tackle tough news stories that I never thought I would be capable of fulfilling.
To all the presenters, and editors I had such fun working with them all, understanding their different nuances and developing my own presentation style with their wealth of experience.
Thanks too to the listeners and people of Kent who have been incredibly supportive and positive to my work and with whom I’ve enjoyed immense interaction over the past few years.
With Claire Cottingham filled with tonnes of potential, I believe the sports team at BBC Radio Kent can go from strength to strength in the future and I will be looking on and listening in from afar with great interest and the work they will do. I similarly hope too to continue my association in some capacity in the future, helping out with Northern commentaries if the situation arises.
For me now – it’s like a fresh start. To move to the other end of the country is such a daunting time but it’s a move I could not be more excited by.
My new role will predominantly involve planning across various platforms for BBC Sport, ensuring guests can be attached to TV, Radio and Online and that maximum exposure is gained from their time. I will work with many different BBC outlets to ensure a clear strategy for our interviews, to avoid duplication and upsetting our contacts and building relationships with sports people, agents, clubs and national governing bodies.
In addition to this, I will also be working occasionally as an assistant producer for BBC Radio 5 Live producing their sports bulletins and for BBC Sport, editing content for the BBC News Channel.
Working at MediaCityUK in Salford is an incredibly special place, packed full of some of the best talent in sports broadcasting. The potential to develop my skills and career is endless and I’m humbled to have been afforded this opportunity and intend on fulfilling it to the best of my ability.
Watch this space!!
Wednesday, 14th May 2014