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Rabiya Limbada Rabiya Limbada | 12:00 UK time, Friday, 25 February 2011

Rabiya chats to Gabby Logan before the programme goes out on air

Rabiya chats to Gabby Logan before the programme goes out on air

My name is Rabiya Limbada and I am a Senior Broadcast Journalist on the morning strand of programmes at 5 live. My main role is output editor (someone who's in the studio overseeing the programme going out on air) or desk editor (sat outside the studio dealing with breaking news) on the Gabby Logan programme.

As desk editor my working day starts at 7am. Once I've labelled my breakfast and placed it carefully in the newsroom fridge (without a label it disappears in to the abyss) I work through the list of stories that may break bwtween 10am and 2pm. Today David Cameron is due to give a speech on the Welfare Reform Bill at 11:30am and our sports correspondent has an exclusive interview with Frank Lampard that should happen in our time.

On days when you stumble in to the office without a clear idea of what your 1:05pm lead story might be, the BBC News diaries can give you a helping hand. However, sometimes they just tell you that the important (read: long-winded and dull) policy announcement that you hope isn't going to fall in your time; is going to fall in your time and you have to take it. All of it. Live.

Once the team (two producers and our assistant editor) have kicked around a few ideas in the 8am programme meeting I shuffle on over to a gathering of editors from all the daytime programmes. Here we go through the days agenda, bag all the 5 live reporters to go out on stories for Gabby's show and try and outdo each other with bite-sized nuggets of information about each programme. Realistically, this meeting is key to how the network runs. It's here we make sure each of us has a different treatment for any story dominating our output, and ensure the each team is trying the "move" the story on throughout the day.

It's Thursday so the consumer team are in for the first hour of the programme. I say team, I mean the effervescent Martin Lewis and Olympic hopeful (masquerading as a business journalist), Dominic Laurie. Today, topics up for discussion include help for first-time buyers and a discussion about the thousands of people who still haven't been able to claim insurance payouts after they were affected by the volcanic ash cloud disruption last year.

I spend the next couple of hours reading up on the lead and breaking stories or speaking to reporters about their pieces for the programme. An unwritten rule is that the output editor looks after the first hour of the programme and the desk editor manages the second. Communication is key when putting together a programme and it pays to keep talking with the team throughout the morning about guests for each item - how we'll follow up on the story and where to take it next.

At around 10am, there's a brief pause on the bank of desks that house the morning programmes production teams, when Gabby Logan arrives. Impossibly high heels and a gleaming smile, I give her a run down of what's on the show. Gabby is great fun and her enthusiasm for the show and its format make her pleasure to work with.

As the clock inches its way toward midday, mini-dramas begin to develop. There's no audio in the opener, the top line has to change in the 1305 cue, Dominic's money slot may have to move because of a press conference, a producer's computer has frozen and a guest isn't answering their phone. On air, it's seamless. All the guests have arrived and have been briefed, texts and emails are already coming in about the difficulties of first-time buyers getting together a deposit.

My job over the next few hours is to make sure I don't miss anything. While the output editor is in the studio directing Gabby through the programme, I'm her eyes and ears in the office. My job is to liaise constantly with the producers, double-check the scripts, make sure we get the right breaking news stories on, chase any missing guests and move items in the running order if we are running behind.

Two hours fly by and after a few minor hiccups - including a Commons statement starting late and some audio not being where it was supposed to be - we're done for another day. A short and often humorous de-brief with the whole team follows. It's a good opportunity to flag up what worked and what didn't.

After the meeting, I have several emails to send to all sorts of important people about the programme we've just finished and a couple of long-term planning ideas to work on. Once I've finished up those bits of admin, that's my day. And they're never the same.

Related Links
Check out the time-lapse video of the 5 live newsroom

Read the first blog entry for 24 Hours in the Life of 5 live by Breakfast's Chris Hunter

Read 5 live travel presenter Nick Duncalf's blog post

Read Rachel's blog post about working on Your Call

Read Jonathan's post about the Derbyshire programme

Rabiya Limbada is a Senior Broadcast Journalist with 5 live


  • Comment number 1.

    I like Gabby Logan’s programme but it is much better when George Riley is not there. I wish he would just read the sport then go, the ‘comedy’ banter is very irritating.

  • Comment number 2.

    I agree 100% with Dom - George Riley is a real irritation with his inane banter

  • Comment number 3.

    Careful Dom ... Georgie boy is in the 'he shall not be criticised' bunker at 5 Live. I had the misfirtune to listen to a bit of the Gabby programme today (I was waiting for a traffic update) - she missed two cue's from reporters and George in the background (for no apparent reason) seemed to think it was all very funny. Carnival radio only to be followed by Blue Peter with RB

  • Comment number 4.

    Try listening to her with three or four men e.g. "The sports panel"....
    comment....all giggling
    comment....hysterical laughter
    etc. etc. etc.

    This "bonhomie" lasts for the duration ..try it and see for yourself.

  • Comment number 5.

    If Gabby is only investing 4 or 5 hours a day in this programme, no wonder she is gleaming, fun and enthusiastic, all the way to the bank. She sounds as if she has no preparation input in to it and is merely a presenter who probably mostly reads a script or repeats a prompt. Her flirtatious style is very irritating and I won't miss it because I gave up listening to it. I know she knows her rugby and that is understandable given her domestic immersion. I just hope Shelagh doesn't inherit the on air team. Riley and Logan were just too pleased with themselves, all the time, when I used to listen, and it doesn't sound as if it has improved.


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