How an air-conditioning mechanic in Sydney Australia became an award winning broadcaster in Britain; Part 219.


I didn’t make the best first impression with my producer when I got my first BBC job.

In May 2010, I started as the Breakfast Presenter at BBC Wiltshire, based in Swindon. The local football club, Swindon Town, had just made it to the League One playoffs and were playing Millwall at Wembley. A few days before I started work, the boss of BBC Wiltshire asked me to show up at the radio station wearing something red. The local paper wanted a picture of all of the presenters standing outside the radio station all wearing red. It was to promote a campaign to get everyone in town to wear red for the day because Swindon Town play in red.

I have a replica 1966 England shirt that’s red so I decided I’d wear that. The photo shoot was due to happen at lunch time. I needed to get set up on the email and computer systems and meet my new producer, so decided I’d get there in the morning and get started on that before the photo shot. A  replica England shirt was hardly going to make a great first impression, so my plan was to show up in a nice shirt and get changed for the photo.

Just before lunch I went into the gents, took off my shirt and was about to put my red football shirt on when my new producer walked into the toilet. I wasn’t expecting that. What was my producer doing in the gents? She’s a girl!

After a quick look round, I suddenly realised there were no urinals.  I was in the ladies!

It was an easy mistake to make on your first day. The radio station was on three levels. The ground floor had a disabled toilet, the ladies was at the top of the stairs on the first floor and the gents was at the top of the stairs on the second floor. So they were in exactly the same place but on different floors. Being new, I’d lost track of what floor I was on and gone into the toilet at the top of the stairs.

No matter what happened after that day, my producer’s first impression of me is of the bloke she walked in on while I was stripped to the waste in the ladies toilet.

Craic on!

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