Sound Women podcast 8: Mary Anne Hobbs and her spectacular 80s hair

In this month’s Sound Women podcast:

Mary Anne Hobbs sits down with her BBC 6 Music Kate Cocker to mull over their working relationship, just as Kate leaves for a new job at Key 103. They discuss dubstep, women’s magazines, being saved by John Peel, looking like Nikki Sixx, poached eggs, and why it’s alright to admit you don’t know what you’re doing. Incidentally, if you’ve never heard Mary Anne talking about her childhood’s illicit music-listening and running away with a band, this interview is well worth your reading-time.

• Lorna Skingley and Sarah Louie Harrison of Smooth Operations talk about their 50-part Radio 2 series The People’s Songs, a social history of post-war Britain via fifty popular songs. The series is still available to listen to on the BBC website, so get stuck in.

Karen Pearson talks to Ruth Barnes about setting up her indie Folded Wing, creating new platforms, getting commissions, nurturing presenters and becoming a Big Deal despite (or thanks to?) not having a plan.

On the members’ only page of this site, there’s also a bonus bit of podcast, in which Mary Anne and Kate consider the power of silence in radio. It’s not just them sitting in silence. I assure you they do speak.

If you’d like to be on the Sound Women podcast, get in touch: tweet @soundwomen or email podcast@soundwomen.co.uk. The next podcast will appear on 1st February 2014, so please do return then!

Helen Zaltzman


• CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE SOUND WOMEN PODCAST ON iTUNES •

Sound Women podcast 7: Charlotte Church sounds like she’s on a mission


In this month’s Sound Women podcast:

• The Voice of An Angel has grown into the Voice of Feminism in the Music Industry: Charlotte Church spoke to me at the Radio Festival, fresh off the stage after she delivered the BBC 6 Music John Peel Lecture (the whole of which is available for download here). She doesn’t mess about in urging young female artists not to play submissive, and if the radio industry thinks it plays no part in modern pop’s tide of scantily clad music videos, THINK AGAIN.

Louisa Compton thrives on stress, which is lucky since she’s the uber-busy editor of 5 Live’s daytime content including Victoria Derbyshire, Shelagh Fogarty and Richard Bacon (as well as, ahem, my own Saturday job, Saturday Edition).

Andrea Day, formerly of INRIX, explains how one of the Four Cornerstones of Radio gets made: traffic reports. When you’re swamped with real-time information, which is more important, accuracy or speed? And how do you make traffic jams sound interesting? There’s a lot more in those bulletins than meets the ear, you know…

There’s also a snippet of the Radio Festival session in which TalkSPORT’s Liam Fisher and BBC 5 Live’s Jonathan Wall are taken to task by Nihal over the representation of gender and race on their stations. To hear more of this and other talks from the festival, check the Radio Academy website where the audio will soon be available. Plus in the exclusive audio pen that is available only to paid-up Sound Women members, Andrea Day reveals how she shuns her own expert advice, and also nominates Britain’s worst road.

If you’d like to be on the Sound Women podcast, get in touch: tweet @soundwomen or email podcast@soundwomen.co.uk. The next podcast will land on 1st December 2013, so please do join me again then!

Helen Zaltzman


• CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE SOUND WOMEN PODCAST ON iTUNES •

Sound Women podcast 6: sound partnership Annabel Port and Geoff Lloyd


In this month’s podcast, I hear from both sides of one of British radio’s finest mixed doubles: Annabel Port and Geoff Lloyd of Absolute Radio.

Annabel reveals her Damascene conversion to radio, how she lost her social inhibitions, why doing a breakfast show ruined her personality, how to keep an on-air partnership fresh, and why she has tricky relationships with Topshop and the Harlem Globetrotters.

Geoff describes how he discovered Annabel, vents about the Women Aren’t Funny brigade, and insists that radio listeners are not unwashed mutants. Also, in the Sound Women members only audio snippet, he contemplates the BBC Desk Of Death.

For more about Geoff Lloyd’s Hometime Show on Absolute, and to subscribe to the podcast, click HERE. And click HERE for information about the annual Next Radio conference, and to see videos of previous years’ talks.

If you’d like to be on the Sound Women podcast, get in touch: tweet @soundwomen or email podcast@soundwomen.co.uk. Meanwhile, if you see me prowling around the forthcoming Radio Festival with a microphone, please do come up and start spouting podcast-friendly soundbites for November’s episode.

Helen Zaltzman

* CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE SOUND WOMEN PODCAST ON iTUNES *

Sound Women podcast 5: Jane Garvey can sound Scouse when she wants to


In this month’s podcast, Jane Garvey delivers abundant wit and wisdom. “There’s no such thing as a boring person,” she says, and she definitely is not one.

She describes how her childhood career ambitions went so askew, she ended up becoming the first ever voice on BBC 5 Live and, now, presenter of Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour; she ponders the gender politics of the show, how to go from Gordon Brown to gussets, and whether they can ever replace the 15-minute drama with football; and she advises women who want to get on in radio not to be self-deprecating and, most of all, to learn to listen.

If you want to hear Jane’s sexy late-night show that brought Radio 4 to its knees, click here. And if you’re a paid-up Sound Women member, head over to the secret bonus content page for a chunk of extra Garvey, in which she hints at her dream radio show, but denies any ambition to compete on The Great British Bake-Off.

Also in the show: Ruth Barnes interviews Rachael Devine, who produces her weekday show on Amazing Radio and her weekend showcase of new music by female artists, The Other Woman.

Plus, Lucy Duffield explains how and why you should get involved with your local outpost of the Sound Women network – because it’s not all London London London, you know. Visit soundwomen.co.uk/regions to find out more.

This podcast needs you! If you fancy contributing something interesting about your own radio world, please get in touch: email podcast@soundwomen.co.uk or tweet @soundwomen.

Thanks to SoundCloud for hosting, Martin Austwick for the music, and to you for listening! See you back here on 1st October for the next Sound Women podcast.

Helen Zaltzman

• • • Click here to subscribe to the Sound Women podcast on iTunes • • •

Sound Women podcast 4: only 20 per cent of radio sounds female


In the wake of Sound Women and Creative Skillset’s Women on Air Report, I gathered together Maria Williams, Sound Women’s founder, Emma Barnett, host of Sunday Drive on LBC97.3 and Women’s Editor of the Daily Telegraph, and Tony Moorey, content director for Absolute Radio. Together they chew over why only one in five radio presenters is female, why you’ll rarely hear a female duo on the airwaves, and why you can’t afford to be shy if you want a career in radio.

To help redress the balance, Absolute are holding demo open days on 12th and 13th August; click here for more information.

Also in this month’s podcast:

Amazing Radio‘s Ruth Barnes talks to sports broadcaster Caroline Barker about nearly trashing the BBC radio car, and how Father Christmas compelled her to co-found her production company Jibba Jabba.

I hear from BBC 6 Music’s Camilla Pia about the scrapping and puzzling that goes on behind the scenes at BBC 6 Music to come up with their diverse playlist. And if you’re a paid-up Sound Women member, over at the secret members’ only bonus content page you can hear Camilla’s recommendations for bands to name-drop.

If you want to contribute to the Sound Women podcast, or if you have questions for the Radio Agony Aunt, email podcast@soundwomen.co.uk or tweet @soundwomen.

Thanks to SoundCloud for hosting, Martin Austwick for the music, and to you for listening! See you back here on 1st September for the next Sound Women podcast.

Helen Zaltzman

• • • Click here to subscribe to the Sound Women podcast on iTunes • • •

Sound Women podcast 3: Miranda Sawyer sounds off

In July’s Sound Women podcast:

• Radio critic, journalist and presenter Miranda Sawyer praises quirkiness and confidence, and wishes drama and documentaries would loosen up a bit;
• Amazing Radio’s Ruth Barnes speaks to Adele Roberts about how she got from the Big Brother 3 house to BBC 1Xtra, and the importance of speaking off-air as well as on;
• Emma Bradshaw reports on the Sound Women mentoring scheme as its first year wraps up;
• and this month’s radio agony aunt Laura Parfitt of White Pebble Media talks about how to pitch, set up your own indie, and make excellent radio.

Over on the secret members’ only bonus content page, Laura divulges the meaning of the white pebble, and remembers a brief encounter with Richard Burton. To hear it, become a paid-up Sound Women member at soundwomen.co.uk/joinus.

If you want to contribute to the Sound Women podcast, or if you have questions for the Radio Agony Aunt, email podcast@soundwomen.co.uk or tweet @soundwomen.

Thanks to SoundCloud for hosting, Martin Austwick for the music, and to you for listening! See you back here on 1st August for the next Sound Women podcast.

Helen Zaltzman

• • • Click here to subscribe to the Sound Women podcast on iTunes • • •

Sound Women podcast 2: sounds from the Sound Women Festival

This month’s podcast is a Sound Women festival extravaganza, featuring:

Anita Anand on radio magic;
Dame Stephanie Shirley on how and why she came to be known as ‘Steve’;
Angie Greaves on going from Gone With The Wind to the drivetime show on Magic;
Jo Good on the importance of networking and learning from Grimmy;
Fi Glover on why you should always be prepared;
Gloria Abramoff on being fun in the workplace.

And if you’re a Sound Women member, you can hear a whole load more audio from the festival here. If you’re not a member, rectify this right now at soundwomen.co.uk/joinus. If you want to contribute to the Sound Women podcast, or if you have questions for the Radio Agony Aunt, email podcast@soundwomen.co.uk or tweet @soundwomen.

Thanks to Lucy Duffield for the interviews, Martin Austwick and Kevin McLeod for the music, and to SoundCloud for hosting the show.

The next episode of the Sound Women podcast will be out on July 1st, so you have a month in which to mentally prepare yourself.

Helen Zaltzman

• • • Click here to subscribe to the Sound Women podcast on iTunes • • •

Sound Women podcast 1: Lauren Laverne sounds like Tina Turner

Welcome to the first episode of the new Sound Women podcast, available right now for your aural pleasure at soundcloud.com/soundwomen. In it:

Lauren Laverne of BBC 6 Music talks about pseudonyms, combining work and family life, dealing with earworms, and trophies in the toilet;
Radio 1 Newsbeat reporter Sinead Garvan confesses to on-air innuendo to Ruth Barnes;
The Student Radio Association‘s Emma Bradshaw reports from the Student Radio Conference;
Nicky Birch of Somethin’ Else tackles your radio problems;
• and Sound Women founder Maria Williams talks about what made her start this whole shebang. She also recommends you come along to the inaugural Sound Women Festival at the Radio Theatre on 18th May, featuring Anita Anand, Fi Glover, Angie Greaves, and many more terrific Sound Women and Men; click here to buy tickets.

Plus, if you’re a Sound Women member, you’ll get a link via email to hear special bonus podcast content in which Lauren Laverne talks about making wishes at the Clootie Well, and reveals whether a Kenickie reunion is in the offing.

If you want to contribute to the Sound Women podcast, or send a question for the Radio Agony Aunt, email podcast@soundwomen.co.uk or tweet @soundwomen.

Thanks to Martin Austwick and Kevin McLeod for the music, and to SoundCloud for hosting the show.

See you back here on June 1st for the next episode of the Sound Women podcast!

Helen Zaltzman