Sometimes you’ll hear me talk on the radio about scams. Sometimes it’s a simple matter of being called up on the phone to do the interview, but sometimes I’m asked to go to the local BBC studio. That’s where the fun starts. I’ve made no secret of the fact I live in South Wales, and the closest studio to me is the Swansea one. Back last year I got to visit the London studio, and believe me it’s an entirely different experience. That place is HUGE! You have to be given a security badge with your photo on it before you can even enter the glass labyrinth inside. With Swansea, unless you know exactly where the studio is, you’ll walk right past it. It’s not exactly the most well marked place. It’s also a shared building, so only the bottom floor is BBC.
It’s also worth pointing out that, depending on the time of day, it can take up to an hour to drive to it due to the traffic. Yesterday’s journey took just over 50 minutes. Once you find it, you press a buzzer on the outside door and someone will let you in and lead you the dozen steps to a tiny, windowless room. Imagine sitting in something like this:
So there you are, in this claustrophobic box, staring at a row of sliders you can’t touch (though you can now adjust the headphone volume, which is a new feature) and with headphones on that let you hear the broadcast in one ear and your own breathing in another, waiting to be introduced. They ask you to turn up 10 minutes before the interview is due, but if they’re overrunning, you can be sat there for 20 minutes or so. Eventually you’ll hear a voice over the broadcast letting you know you’re up next. The host talks about the story, introduces you and you get about 3 minutes to show what an “expert” you are to the listening public while making sure to get the site’s name out there as many times as you can. After that, it’s time to leave and make the drive back home. Two hours for three minutes of air time, and yet I will jump at the chance each and every time as it helps get the word out and warn people about scams, and that’s the most important thing.