BBC Radio Cornwall
Meet James Churchfield
James brings you the latest news and information each weekday morning. Find out more about our breakfast presenter.
"People often say to me, how do you remain so cheerful in the mornings? I’m still trying to work that one out for myself," laughs James.
In some respects James Churchfield has little to smile about when you consider his alarm goes off every weekday morning at 4am. But it's now a way of life – a way he loves, although his fiancée Jane, is less keen.
"I have to creep around our cottage like some sort of cat burglar. I well remember the day I was accused from a voice coming down the stairs that I was eating my cornflakes too noisily."
Suffice to say, he never did it again.
James took over the weekday breakfast show in September 2003 after more than five years at the helm of BBC Radio Cornwall’s weekend breakfast programmes.
"It was a real chalk and cheese affair," remembers James. "Weekends were more relaxed with plenty more records to play. Weekdays are fast and frantic and rely heavily on reaction, conversation and the odd joke or too."
Three hours fly by, helped James readily concedes, by the good humour and unpredictability of his team mates – Pam Spriggs and Chris Stumbles.
"With us, you don't get the Brain's Trust. We all subscribe to the notion that life’s too short to be miserable. People tell us they like to wake up to the programme because it makes them smile. If we can achieve just that, it's a good job done."
The Breakfast programme is the most intensively produced show on BBC Radio Cornwall with a team of reporters filing stories both live and pre-recorded. There are also times when the team get out and about around Cornwall, celebrating its unique place in the world and meeting the people that make it so special.
"We aim to be there when it really matters like in Padstow for Obby Oss day. Hearing the Padstow song on the May morning is a fixed point in our calendar. The same is true with the Helston Flora Dance. These things matter to so many people. In Helston one year I remember a woman in the phone box by the Guildhall, the receiver outstretched so the person on the other end could hear the drumbeat. Now BBC Radio Cornwall broadcasts over the Internet too, even more people can be part of that day."
James got into radio via the much maligned Media Studies type course, studying in Birmingham after getting his 'A' Levels at Penwith College in Penzance. He's back to school again now and has been learning Italian at both Cornwall College and Truro College for four years.
"I have to say I did surprisingly well in my GCSE Italian exam but I'd forgotten just how much of a jump to 'A' Level it is. It's hard work and sometimes difficult to concentrate on if I feel a bit too tired from work."
Why Italian? His first real holiday abroad was just four years ago to Lake Garda and it was the beginning of his love affair with la dolce vita italiana.
"Their attitude to life is so spot on – I love how the Italians can make a meal last and how the notion of family is still so central to all they do."
His love of Italy extends to his passion for cooking.
"Friday nights are invariably Italian nights at Chez Churchfield – I make a mean aubergine and tomato bake. The fact it goes so well with a bottle of Chianti is a mere coincidence!"
When not on the radio, James likes to relax by swimming, walking the coastal footpath with Jane or catching up with the TV programmes he's recorded because, remember, that alarm goes off at 4am so it’s off to bed by 9pm.
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last updated: 19/11/07