CURTIS YOUNG

Production Week One:

After our team meeting last Thursday (3 November), I worked with the Production team (Lucy, Matt & Molly) on feature ideas for the show. I am one of the show’s presenters along with Molly, and we came up with the following ideas:

  • Dates for the diary of important Gospel upcoming events
  • Worship quotes
  • Topical Discussion; Are we losing touch with the true meaning of Christmas? (Vox pox package plus live interaction from listeners). I suggested getting my pastor aunt to record a mini-sermon on the topic to play out on show.
  • Get listeners to vote for their favourite Christmas films and possibly play a song from soundtrack.

Our next team meeting was scheduled for Monday 7 November. On this morning, I listened to the breakfast show on Premier Gospel and used the shazam app to identify some songs which I thought should be considered for our show playlist. I passed them onto the music team so they could put forward in the playlist meeting, which was due to take place on Thursday.

In the meeting, we came to the decision that our target audience would be 18-35 years old, predominantly consisting of young families. We also came up with some potential show names, Fresh Feeling or Just Blessed, but did not decide on which one we would use. Our next group meeting was set for Thursday 10 November.

In between the meetings I took the time to listen to Premier Gospel to not only identify more music but also check out the presentation style so I could get into character for our show.

When we met up on Thursday, our main purpose was to nail down 50 songs for the playlist. This consisted of listening as a group to the songs and deciding if they would be on the final playlist as well as how they would be classified. Classification went as follows:

A list – Contemporary popular

B list – Established coming down or potential to become A list

C list – New music, new sounds

Gold list – Classics

A few of the songs which I put forward to music team were placed on the A list so I was quite happy about that.

A new group meeting was set for Monday 14 November. Up to this point I intend to listen some more to the station and come up with more potential feature ideas.

Production Week 2:

On Monday we came together as a group to discuss where we are at. It was decided that the advertising team had a lot of work to get through so myself, co-presenter Molly and a few others were drafted in to help with the scripting of the adverts. I was tasked to script ads for Nandos, SAGIC Home Insurance (Salvation Army) and the Ice Skating at London Designer Outlet by the time we met up again on Thursday.

We met up on Thursday morning and had another progress report to see where we were all at. Myself, Molly, Sam and Faye went over the ads we had scripted and then started to work on putting them together. Myself and Molly voiced our show opener with Afia who had come up with a funny concept for it. This was a good exercise as it also allowed us to get to each other as co-presenters in preparation for the show. Afterwards I went away with the idea to source shows on Premier Gospel which consisted of male and female co-presenters. I found 3:

  1. Gospel Breakfast, Tuesday & Friday mornings at 7 with Yinka and Selene Jordan
  2. The Family Hour, Saturdays at 11am with Ibe Giantkiller & Esther Kuku
  3. PG Saturday Breakfast at 7am with Nage & Ibe Giantkiller

I shall speak with Molly about listening to these shows specifically to prepare ourselves for our own when we meet on Monday 21 November.

Production Week 3:

This week the team spent a lot of time putting together the main elements of the show, ie adverts, trails, features etc.

We had a team meeting with Matthew on Thursday morning to go over what had been put together thus far. Unfortunately, I had an appointment so missed the meeting but was advised by the other members of the main areas that need work. One of the main issues was a lack of black voices on the adverts and branding we had created so far. I immediately contacted a few people to do some voiceovers for us.

The first was Mark Wilberforce who has previously done some voiceovers jobs for 1xtra amongst others. He came in to the studio with me on Friday afternoon and recorded the links which were scripted by Afia. The others are Amanda Star and Randy, both from The Beat London, who have confirmed to voice their scripts on Monday.

Myself and co-presenter Molly spent Thursday afternoon doing some practice links for the show so we could to get used to presenting together. Copies of the show clock and menu were provided by the production team and I think it was a positive exercise which we came out of with better on air chemistry. Lucy, Tommy and James helped us out with things to work on and Molly was to work on scripts for another practice which will take place on Monday evening.

Pilot Week:

Everything is now shaping up for our pilot show on Thursday. On Monday afternoon, myself, Molly, Lucy, James, Tommy and a few others from the group did a practice session. The main components we worked on were coming in and out of tracks and how myself and Molly would interact in the links. I think this helped us out as we now have a better understanding of when to speak and when to lead the links.

I arranged for my colleague Randy to come in and voice our Nandos advert on Monday. We recorded it using the script which I had originally written with some amendments from the advertising team. Once it was recorded I sent to Samantha to produce the final advert.

On Tuesday morning I listened to a show on Premier Gospel and heard about the stations transmission appeal to receive £470,000 by Sunday 4th December so that they can reach even more people. I did not catch the name of the female presenter of the show but felt that she went over the top with the appeal, asking for donations on almost every link. This led to me switching off after about 30 minutes as I couldn’t take anymore.

Later on Tuesday I went to the London Designer Outlet in Wembley to get some Vox pops for our question of the day feature: Are we losing touch with the true meaning of Christmas? I sent these to Molly who edited them for us to use on the show.

Thursday was our pilot show, myself, Molly, James, Tommy and a few others came in early to practice our links using the scripts which had been prepared by the production team. The actual pilot show began at 11am and then we had a feedback/de-brief session with Matthew and Tom straight afterwards at 1pm. I think the show went well but there are always things to improve upon. It was my first time driving the news but by the second and third bulletins I felt I had improved on the first. We all agreed as a group that it would help if we had the ‘out’ words for each bulletin so I would know when to dip the fader. We overused the phrase ‘welcome back’ on our links so we shall aim to cut that out for the live show on December 8th.

On Friday James, Tommy, Adam, Andrea and myself had a production meeting looking at what needed to be improved for the live show. We looked at ways to incorporate the Spirit Drive feature with the Question of the day. Once we had been through the main components of the show we went into the studio to make amendments to the music. We replaced a few tracks and changed the order of some others. We should have the final log made up once the new show clock is finalised and the features are all put together.

I reached out to Mr Vegas, one of the artists on our show playlist for a drop. He sent it to me on Saturday morning so I was really pleased with that.

On Sunday afternoon, I had an appointment with Reverend Hyacinth Young to record our spirit drive feature. We went through some bible passages and notes and put together a spirit drive that would link well with the Question of the day. We recorded the feature which I will present to the group on Monday for feedback.

On Air Week

So the final week of our show has arrived. All of the final bits and pieces are being put in place as ‘Blessed’ is set to go live on Thursday 8th December at 11am. We met on Monday to discuss what was left to do in preparation for the show. I presented the spirit drive feature which I had recorded with Reverend Hyacinth Young, we decided it was slightly too long so James edited it down. We also worked out the names of presenters/shows on Premier Gospel that Blessed would come be sandwiched in between so we could link to them in the live show on Thursday.

On Tuesday evening, we did another practice run for the show which included amendments to scripts, features and running order. I also arranged for another voiceover artist, Keecia, to come in and record an advert with Samantha.

On Thursday I came in just after 9am to do final preparations for the live show. When I arrived, James told me that we were set to do the show from studio 5 as opposed to 6 which we had done the pilot from. Both studios had an identical setup so I did not see it as a problem although I spent a few minutes familiarising myself with the desk especially as I would be driving the desk for the show. I also went through the log to ensure everything was in the correct order and James also asked me to replace some of the show idents with some fresh ones which had been made up.

I feel the show went well overall, it ran smoothly from beginning to end. We hit all of our news bulletins on time which I was pleased with as I was responsible for driving the desk for these. At times, we were a bit ahead or behind with timings but I feel that myself and Molly did a good job of making up or getting through stuff quickly enough to get back on track. Tommy and Lucy did an excellent job of communicating these timings and keeping us on track with the running order. I think this is a very important aspect of a live radio show as presenters and producers need always to be on point and able to adapt to changes in real time.

We had an 11th hour cancellation on Thursday morning from our live guest for the Premier Music Moment but I think the OB team of Matt and Fay did an excellent job of finding a replacement act, Dimmi Rayzu, at such short notice. Due to this the OB finished a bit earlier than planned so that left us with a gap to fill before the end of the show. Myself and Molly ended up extending our final link to make up the time but in hindsight think that we should have just played an extra song.

I am very proud of the entire team for the hard work which was put into building the Blessed show from beginning to end and think that overall the output of the final show was of a good broadcast standard.

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