Savile was a “nightmare” says BBC Radio York presenter

Adam Tomlinson, BBC Radio York

Adam Tomlinson, BBC Radio York

BBC Radio York breakfast presenter Adam Tomlinson told students at Leeds Trinity University that the case of Jimmy Savile was an ‘absolute nightmare’ for the BBC.

He said since that story broke, the corporation has changed completely, especially at BBC Radio York.

Adam said: “After that incident, you have to be careful about everything you say now, especially the way you say it. The impact of just even your tone can be huge.”

Despite the incident, Adam claims that he is still a huge supporter of the BBC and everything they do, including the licence fee.

He said “I honestly do not see the problem with the fee. People complain that it is a waste of money but without it we would not have the same credibility and quality. If it was funded by any other way the BBC would not be the wonderful work it is.”

Adam told students at the Journalism Week event his story of how he got into Radio York in 1992, after a background in music and drama.

With a background in musical theatre, working as a musical director at the Library Theatre in Manchester, Adam told students the transition into radio was really difficult as he had no experience.

He said: “The idea of what radio was all about, how it happened, how you created it was a complete unknown to me, so I was going into something completely in the dark. But if you had something to give, they would take you on.”

While Adam learnt the workings of radio on the job, he maintained that journalists today are entering the job market really well armed. He advised students that excellent experience combined with good general knowledge and a genuine interest in the work will stand them in good stead for breaking into the industry.

He said: “The best advice I can give you is that if you want to do radio, you need to offer something. You should have that advantage because you are journalists, but offer something that people can relate to and will want to listen to.”

Adam also warned about the dangers of silence on the radio and engaged students in a practical workshop to demonstrate how radio should be done.

According to Adam, the last thing you want on the radio is silence; creating an atmosphere is essential. To demonstrate, Adam was challenged to talk for 90 seconds each on three random objects – a small African drum, a foreign adapter plug, an egg timer and a stapler.

Whilst Adam completed the challenge with ease, Leeds Trinity Students who also attempted the challenge found filling the allotted time much more difficult.

He advised: “Do your research and be interested in your subject. With radio you need the sounds so be descriptive.”

After previously working in musical theatre, Adam talks about moving into radio and the satisfaction of the job.


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