Mark Byford and BBC Points West. My Accidental Career.

After about eighteen months at HTV West I yearned to be taken more seriously. Well, seriously, really, MORE didn’t come into it. We were regarded, by the Presentation Editor, as a parade of clearly spoken glamour pusses. The only notes we ever got were along the lines of emphasising our cleavages a little more.

I sent my show reel to the man whose name a friend of mine had scribbled onto a piece of scrap paper. Mark Bysord, that’s what it said. He was the  editor at BBC regional news in Bristol, Points West. I was asked to pop in and meet him, which I duly did. ‘Hello,’ he said, ‘Nice to meet you. I’m Mark Bysord apparently.’ I didn’t understand what he was getting at. I let the “apparently” go. It was only at the end of our informal chat, after he’d told me I could come in and shadow one of the newsreaders for a week and we’d see how I got on, that he told me I’d got his name wrong. A lot of things have been said about Mark Byford, but I’ve always had a soft spot for him. He treated me very well, was always encouraging and was responsible for giving me my first BBC job.

Back to now…just got to the end of a manic couple of weeks. Jubilee parties, at home and with friends and neighbours, lots and lots of visitors, my second official writing retreater, and our huge annual picnic in celebration of the oldest grandson’s birthday.

The retreater, like my first one, Lucy, was lovely…appreciative, talented and utterly different to her in every other way. It seems this Writing Retreat works. Hurray!!


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