Radio producer/presenter relationship: BBC 6 Music

BBC 6 Music presenters Stuart Maconie and Mark Radcliffe talk about the skills they look for in their producers when they’re on air. For them, the producer’s main role is to take charge of the shape of the show, and to have confidence to be the voice of the network.

Stuart reflects that he likes being produced. He enjoys the sense that someone else is listening objectively and can give informed judgements on how things are going and what can be done to improve the show.

Mark started out as a producer, but jokingly says that he moved to the other side of the microphone when he realised that it was both much easier and much better paid. He agrees with Stuart that the producer’s main role is to take charge of the shape of the show and to have the confidence either to be authoritarian and the voice of the network, or to let things run when they’re going well.

"When you go on air you're on your own. You want to feel that someone's got control." – Mark Radcliffe

What they don’t want to see on the other side of the glass is a producer who isn’t paying attention, or who is even watching tv in preference to listening to them. They want to see a reaction from their producers to affirm that what they’re doing is amusing, diverting or simply working. And Stuart shares a tip from his Radio 2 colleague Steve Wright - that the worst thing a producer can do is look puzzled through the glass.