Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to work in a wide range of different radio formats, from community and student radio, to talk radio and radio drama. I suppose it could be considered an eclectic mix of experiences, but I’ve enjoyed every moment of being involved with radio over the past decade and hope to continue broadcasting long into the future.
My first foray into radio came when I had the opportunity to join 103 The Eye in my hometown of Melton Mowbray. Originally, I joined to present the Country Music Show (which I later re-branded as Ben’s Country Music Show and continue to present to this day), but alongside this I had the opportunity to present a number of different programmes including the Easy Listening Show, Fabulous Friday (a mid-afternoon show) and a stint on Drivetime. At one time, I even had the opportunity to interview local MP Sir Alan Duncan live on air! This early experience of radio also gave me an opportunity to present at many outside broadcasts including for several years at the Leicestershire County Show. My experience with 103 The Eye led to my applying to study Media Production at the University of Lincoln where I continued to gain diverse experience as a presenter, producer and writer for radio.
In 2012, I was lucky enough to be part of the team that founded and launched the University of Lincoln’s first student radio station, Brayford Radio. Along with a small group of fellow students, we managed the station for its first year and throughout that time I was in charge of marketing, branding and social media. I also remember moonlighting to build the first playout system which connected up to our website and broadcast the station around campus. If that wasn’t enough, I also presented two shows on Brayford Radio in my last year of study, The Music That Made (A documentary show covering the career of a particular artist, their music and influences) and The Playlist (A co-presented new music show featuring unsigned artists).
After I graduated from the University of Lincoln with my BA(Hons) in Media Production, I was part of the BBC Production Talent Pool class of 2014 and I focused, unsurprisingly, on radio. Through the Talent Pool, I had the opportunity to work at BBC Media City, undertake training to advance my own production skills and work for a short period of time with the BBC World Service at Broadcasting House in London.
Aside from presenting and producing, my other great love in radio is writing. While still a student, I jointly ran a small production company called Dreaming Tiger Productions which produced radio drama and short films. I wrote two of the radio dramas we produced, Rose (a re-telling of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale Little Briar Rose) and Charlie and the Moon (a fictional story about a girl and her wish to become an astronaut). Charlie and the Moon is a very early example of an interactive radio drama, and you can listen to it here on my website.
Of course, along the way, there have been some unfulfilled projects which I hope to return to one day. The one that particularly comes to mind is Royal Programmes, a radio documentary series which had the premise of following a prominent royal journey from history over the course of a week of five 15 min episodes. When the idea first came to mind, we put a lot of time and effort into research and development for a pilot covering the last journey of King John. We had an idea to launch this in time for the 500th anniversary of the Magna Carta in 2015, however, sadly it never came to pass. I certainly would like to return to this idea in the future though as I think it would be a very interesting radio series.
Ben Atkinson is a writer, presenter and designer.
He has a broad range of experience and interests which stretch across the creative industries, from broadcasting to writing, design and development. Ben is the author of two novels, the presenter of a syndicated country music programme which airs on stations across the UK, and an established web developer and graphic designer, with a number of national and international websites, branding projects and mobile apps to his name.
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