Screen grab of me - don't laugh I'm in the middle of talking hence the expression!
Three weeks ago (Monday 9th) I was asked by The Prince’s Trust if I would like to do a radio and TV interviews on Radio 5 Live and BBC News. My initial reaction was “hell yes” what brilliant PR this will be for the business (Emi & Ben) as well as for me as an aspiring business woman. Then moments later it started to sink in... “live radio and television”. Oh my god.
I had less than 24 hours to get nervous about it which I think was a blessing in disguise, had I had time to fret I probably would have drove myself crazy.
Anyhow the opportunity came about as a result of some research the Prince’s Trust had commissioned which showed young people were still setting up new businesses despite the recession, this is where I came in as they wanted me to talk about my experiences and the challenges (if any) I faced whilst setting up Emi & Ben during the current financial climate. There was also another angle to the story as one of the broadsheets had been privy to a leaked Labour document which stated the party were going to axe training budgets for young people. The Prince’s Trust Marketing and Communications Director Paul Brown (what a lovely man) was made available to comment on this aspect, so at least I wasn’t doing the interviews alone.
Morning came around quick, I was awake by 3am, ready for my 4.30am pick up from Add & Lee which was taking me straight to the BBC studio in White City. I felt quite alert and I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I’d be.
When I arrived at the reception I was met by one of the show’s runners and taken straight up to the studio area. The Paul soon arrived with the PR Manager (Lucy – again another lovely person – actually everyone I’ve ever met at the Prince’s Trust are genuine nice people, must be part of the hiring criteria). Within 15 minutes we were in the studio, put in our positions with our mics all set. We were being interviewed on the Monday breakfast show ‘Wake up to Money’, so it was no surprise that the two presenters seemed quite serious people, nothing like my usual breakfast presenters of ‘Choice’ Martin and Lucy.
The entire interview ended up being approx 5 – 7 minutes long with me talking for most of it and it was fine... I didn’t have anything to worry about. The presenters asked me general questions like why I started the business and how I found running a business during the recession, etc and they even gave me good plugs at the beginning and the end of the interview ; name checking the business and our locations of trading.
The presenter decided he’d like to wrap up the interview by asking me what advice I would give to any budding entrepreneurs out there who were listening, to which I commented on them going out to get experience in their field and that they should know their craft inside out. My mouth then continued to talk and I ended with some stupid, cringe worthy line saying “knowledge is power”. I thought vomit was about to fall on my lap as the word “power” rolled off my tongue. All I could think of was “twat, twat, twat”. I mean it may not sound like anything now, but if you heard it in the context of how I said it you would understand. I mean my whole family and friends cracked up laughing altogether when they came over to my house the same evening for a ‘surprise’ screening of both pieces (as arranged sweetly by my not so better half – just playing babe!), so I know I sounded like a complete moron.
After a few hours down time we were back in the studio this time in the television side of the building for the BBC News live interview. As we sat in greenroom having our make up done (yeah, I know I ain’t no superstar but yes I had it done and I’m glad I did as the guy who went in before me had a forehead that was shining for miles and he didn’t look like that seconds before he went in, so I now completely understand why make up is needed for TV). Anyway I digress, none other than the champ David Hayes walk in (he is still fine in real life)... as it was two days after he had won his fight against the beast (the opponents name escapes me) in Germany, so he was in to talk about his win. Nothing more to add about David except for he is fine.
When it was our turn to go into the studio, they called us in led us to be seated whilst the news headlines were rolling and then cued us that they’d start the interview once the Berlin Wall anniversary story was over. All I could see was my big head in the monitors in front; that really put me off! I nearly burst our laughing as all I could see was my boyf and my good friends Fiona and Delali taking the piss out of the size of my head (like they always do)... I had to re focus quick.
To close this story which seems to now be dragging out, the TV interview went well, I don’t think I appeared nervous and I said what I needed to say – well actually in all the talking I did I didn’t say the flipping company name! I even had a jar of one of the body butters on the table, but was concentrating so much on what I was saying that I forgot to pick it up to sneakily show off the branding! Cha... next time, I’m sure there will be many more, I don’t intend to stop there – no way.