Radio producer/presenter relationship: Radio 2

The dynamic between the presenter and the producer of a radio show is unique and different in every case, but contributes significantly to the show’s identity. Chris Evans and Helen Thomas share some of the secrets of putting the Radio 2 breakfast show together.

For Chris and Helen, energy is the crucial element. Particularly for a morning show which goes on air at 6am, drive and enthusiasm helps everyone to do their jobs well. Helen and Chris admit that while each of them may arrive tired and jaded, the other is usually able to buck them up.

"The producer/presenter relationship is absolutely key." – Helen Thomas

Healthy disagreement can be helpful. A live show inevitably involves pressure and sometimes confrontation. But disagreement shouldn’t be taken personally. Both Helen and Chris acknowledge that when they get hot under the collar it’s normally because they want something to work better for the good of the show.

Helen’s job is partly to look out for Chris, to make sure that what he’s saying is accurate, editorially acceptable and unlikely to upset the audience. But beyond that she tries to give him the freedom to try new things and to be creative.

For both, one of the chief joys of working on a music station is that they get time to shape the show during the songs. In the three or four minutes a track is on, they have the opportunity to discuss the next item, change the running order or reflect on what’s worked well so far.