Getting out with Upload

My radio show is amazing. I love it. I love what it stands for. It’s properly public service BBC. Getting those people who would otherwise not appear on the BBC to walk in through the door of BBC Bristol, sit in front of a microphone and tell everyone about what they do. ANYONE can upload ANYTHING.

We’ve had a few opportunities offered to us recently to get our uploaders showcased at events. The first was Bristol International Balloon Fiesta. BBC Radio Bristol hosted a marquee at the fiesta site at Ashton Court and we had the BBC Upload stage as part of the marquee. We scheduled four days of musicians to perform in front of visitors at the Balloon Fiesta.

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We had all these incredible talented musicians scheduled to perform. Click on their names to find out more about them!

So… Hands up. Not all of the artists got to perform. Because the weather was so terrible on the Saturday, the organisers of the Fiesta took the decision to shut the festival site down. But, check out their music anyway! They’re all awesome and all of them uploaded their tracks to us via bbc.co.uk/upload and have been featured as House Band of the Week artists on my show.

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One of the other cool things we got to do was take a musician up in a hot air balloon to play a live session in the skies above Bristol. We think this is the first time EVER that a live radio session has been recorded in a hot air balloon. Check out Jamie Cruickshank’s track ‘I Can See Totterdown’ recorded as we floated over Bristol and could actually see the landmarks he was singing about.

Talking about me

It’s weird being a radio presenter. People think that because of what you do, that you love talking about yourself. Not true for me.

I absolutely LOVE talking to other people. Talking to musicians and guests on my show is what really makes interesting radio. The audience don’t really want to hear me wanging on about myself for three hours a day. But it turns out that some people kinda do want to find out about me. Well, sort of…

Alex Wilson from the podcast Who’s Flying The Plane asked to interview me for an episode to find out about me, how I got into radio, what BBC Upload is about and why I love my job. This is what happened.

Future generations

When I was at school, I loved the idea of becoming a presenter. I used to host the school concerts with my mate Lauren. We’d link in between acts on the stage from choirs, bands, drama productions… You name it, we linked between it. We LOVED it.

Our teachers were incredibly supportive back then and as I moved on and carried on presenting I got so much help and guidance from people working in the media and music industry that I’ll forever be grateful for.

That advice stood me in incredible stead for paving out a career working in radio. As a travel reporter, producer, social media journalist and even now as a presenter I’ve had so many people take me under their metaphorical wing to teach me all sorts of skills and a whole bunch of life lessons. Sometimes it’s proper coaching, sometimes it’s just a helpful word of the wise, but all of it has helped shape me in someway.

So, in turn, I think it’s important that I help others who ask me for help. I still find it bizarre (and incredibly humbling) that people ask me for advice. After training most of the BBC local radio social media producers a couple of years ago I was sent this from one of those I’d trained showing me the addition they’d made to their social media desk...

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“What would Bristol do?” 

We were leading the way and people wanted to be like us. THAT IS COOL! 

I was asked earlier this month to talk to eager media and music students from Telford College about how I “got in” at the BBC and how I worked to get into radio presenting.

Talking to students at Telford College

Talking to students at Telford College

I was asked to speak about all the different jobs I’d done, the various roles there are available at the BBC and the ins and outs of how to get radio play on the BBC.

Passing on my experience and knowledge of my career so far is the least I can do. I can’t count the number of people who have helped me progress in my career. Something I’ve always appreciated. The least I can do is help others in return.

Do me a favour. Help someone this week. Give someone the time to grab a coffee with you. Take the time to allow them to pick your brains. You might not feel like you’re the best placed to offer that person the advice you need, but the chances are you’ll give them that little confidence boost they need to feel like they can take the next step. Trust me.

Passion

I love my show BBC Upload. It’s a place for anyone who is making, creating and doing stuff to get what they’re making on the BBC. From bloggers and bloggers to musicians and writers or poets. We invited poet Beth Calverley - ‘The Poetry Machine’ in to the studio to tell us about her poetry project.

Beth pops up at festivals, events and in public places as well as hospital wards writing poetry for people on a lovely vintage typewriter. We asked if she’d come in and write us a poem live on air for BBC Upload. She didn’t disappoint. After a quick chat about the show, she got to work, tapping away on the chunky keys of her typewriter.

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Beth wrote the poem in about 10 minutes flat. Pretty impressive if you ask me.

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The poem sums up BBC Upload, our aims and what it means to the talented people who can showcase their work on the BBC.

If you’re making stuff and want to get featured on the show - upload it now! Go to bbc.co.uk/upload and send in your work!

Why we do Upload

What’s great about my programme on BBC Radio Bristol is that we get to support all different types of talent. Writers, bloggers, comedians, musicians. This week we’ve featured Brook Tate and his musical ‘Mr. Maglump’ as my House Band of the Week. The musical is a family friendly look at inclusion, community and togetherness.

The cast of the musical, from Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, came in and performed the track live in session on my radio show. The shows writer, Brook Tate, tweeted out this.

Left to right:  Shane David-Joseph , me,  Tom Briggs  and  Brook Tate .

Left to right: Shane David-Joseph, me, Tom Briggs and Brook Tate.

That’s exactly why I do BBC Upload. A platform to feature people and things on the radio that might otherwise not get the opportunity! I love it.

Upload is about supporting local talent. Being a front door to the BBC. Anyone can upload anything. That’s what’s great about it.

Hear tracks from Mr. Maglump on Brook’s Soundcloud below.

A little break away

Since launching the show back in October, I’ve not really had a lot of time off to myself. But this week I went away with some friends to the beautiful Peak District in Derbyshire. 

My oldest and closest mates

My oldest and closest mates

We hired a lovely countryside cottage in the village of Parwich, which is an idyllic limestone village full of pretty cottages, gardens and has a lovely village pub - more on the pub later. The cottage we stayed at was called Orchard View and can be found here.

It was really nice for me to get some time away in a place like this with some great mates. We all live in different parts of the UK, so we don’t all get together as much as we’d like to. With us coming from Bristol, Wrexham, Oxfordshire and Yorkshire, the Peak District was a nice middle ground to meet up which was nice. Getting away gave me chance to recharge, relax and also to reflect too!

The village pub is called The Sycamore Inn and welcomes walkers and dogs. The landlady was lovely and welcoming and we had a cosy few drinks in front of the roaring fireplace with a nice selection of beers and ales (and loads of gins too!) and the food coming from the kitchen to the tables around us looked great. Worth a visit if you’re in the area.

My friends have dogs (Marley, Murphy and Beasley) - so we spent a fair amount of time out walking with the pooches which was lovely in the warm weather. I think we clocked up 16ºc one afternoon, which is madness for February.

One walk up and over Dovedale was a toughie, but the views from the top were incredible. One of the most stunning views I’ve seen in a while. I felt on top of the world being up there! At 942ft and a fairly steep climb, my legs were a little tired at the top. But it was worth it at the top.

The view from the top of Thorpe Cloud at Dovedale.

The view from the top of Thorpe Cloud at Dovedale.

Then for the second half of the break, I took a wee trip to Bonnie Scotland!

I’ve only been to Edinburgh once before, but was really keen to visit again.

I took a wonder around Edinburgh Castle with a guided tour and then hired an audio tour headset. I’d highly recommend anyone getting the headsets if you’re in to your history. As a radio nerd I was very impressed with the level of production that was one the headset audio. The soundtrack and sound effects were incredible, shame that the audio guide wasn’t Scottish though… It’s the little things. Also, book your ticket in advance via the website - it’s cheaper and you’ll avoid the huge queues in the morning.

I loved having a sit down in St Margaret’s Chapel which sits on the upper part of the castle. The chapel was built around 1130 by David I and he dedicated it to his mother Queen Margaret.

St Margaret was a member of the English royal family who fled the Norman invasion and married Malcolm III. You can still get married in the chapel today! Who knew!?!

I also visited the room that Mary Queen of Scots gave birth to James VI in in 1566. It’s the tiniest room in a large Royal Palace… I mean, it’s not even really big enough for a single bed and a wardrobe by today’s standards!! I was particularly struck by the Scottish Crown Jewels which were on display (but not photography allowed of them… dammit)!

Anyway, I loved having some me time. Some friends time. Some fresh air in the countryside.

How can you send stuff to BBC Upload?

The whole point of BBC Upload is that absolutely anyone who is making content can get it featured on the BBC.

Uploading to the programme is really easy.

  1. Record yourself - You can do this in a studio or record yourself using the voice notes app on your smartphone or tablet

  2. Go to bbc.co.uk/upload and click on the big blue microphone

  3. Upload your file and fill out the two boxes of info

  4. Click submit

  5. Get played on the BBC!

It’s as simple as that. So if you’re a poet, blogger, musician, comedian, sketch writer or perhaps you just like being creative in your spare time… Send in whatever you’re making and get featured on the show.

Getting nerdy about jingles

BBC Upload - Station imaging

BBC Upload - Station imaging

Listen... I can't help it. I’m a radio nerd. I know that. But indulge me a little by listening to me and BBC Radio Bristol's station sound producer Tom Ryan talk all things jingles, imaging, voice overs and generally getting excited about nerdy radio stuff!

When we launched the programme in October 2018, we wanted a fresh sound with bold imaging and a voice over to match. Well, listen to the package and let us know what you think!

We talk about the concept stage, how we wanted it to sound, what we wanted to get across with the imaging as well as the style and feel of the programme. From picking a composer, a voice over artist and the elements we needed included to match the personality of the show and the station, while still sounding new a vibrant for younger audience.

Find out more about our jingle composer Dave Connolly here:
molecularsound.com

Find out more about our voice over artist Natalie Cooper here:
nataliecooper.co.uk

Listen to BBC Upload here:
bbc.co.uk/upload or via BBC Sounds app

Adam starts new show on BBC Radio Bristol

I’ve been busy busy busy over the last few months launching a brand new show on BBC Radio Bristol. The evening show airs weekdays between 7-10pm and it’s called BBC Upload with Adam Crowther.

BBC Upload has a strong and vibrant personality - the visual identity was created by graphic designer James Mobbs.

BBC Upload has a strong and vibrant personality - the visual identity was created by graphic designer James Mobbs.

The show champions new talent in the BBC Radio Bristol area - from writers, poets, musicians, bloggers, vloggers, podcasters and comedians. Anyone can upload their audio to be played on the show via the website bbc.co.uk/upload and they could get their creations featured on the radio.

Targeting a young audience with a modern playlist, vibrant station sound/jingles, voiceover that reflects the youthful energy of the programme as well as pacy and fun presentation, I hope that audiences of BBC Radio Bristol love the new format.

Listen to the show weekdays:

🕖 7pm
📻 94.9, 104.6, 103.6fm/DAB
💻 bbc.co.uk/radiobristol
📲 Download the BBC Sounds app from your app store