It's always a pleasure to visit Phoenix 98fm Radio Studio in Brentwood to meet their lovely morning presenter MICHELLE WARD. She is so good at her job and also happens to have a fabulous singing voice.
Our monthly Book Club (now in its fifth year) fits in so nicely with her regular line-up of guests and music and, of course, in our slot, our guests invariably have links with the world of writing, so we have editors, authors, journalists, playwrights, film people - even the odd poet or two. This week we welcomed JAMES SHRUBB into the studio.
We call him Jim and he is a marvellous ambassador for our little town of Billericay in Essex, England. Jim is our Town Crier with a wonderfully mellifluous voice, as will be heard when Michelle streams the broadcast over the cyberwaves. Jim brought along some of the scrolls he writes on parchment, complete with scarlet silken ribbon - impressive!
We were also lucky to meet Harry, our current Intern, from Brentwood School who would like to become a journalist - it's a tough old job - but I think he will be great with some training. I feel he has the air of a young Richard Madeley who started out in journalism just up the road in Brentwood. Richard most kindly gave me an interview some years ago for one of my earlier articles about the history of our town. I used the piece for a section in my book VOICES OF BRENTWOOD. I later discovered that Richard had lived along the road from me in Hartswood - an interesting coincidence.