Politics in my pub
I have this recurring nightmare. I wake up and go downstairs in my house, only to find my living room has been replaced by the 5 live studio and the network is broadcasting live from there. I'm sure something meaningful lies in this dream (spending too much time in the office?) but it hasn't actually happened yet. Although this morning I woke up to discover that Victoria Derbyshire was launching 5 live's election coverage in one of my local pubs, so it is getting closer.
There was a definite buzz in the air this morning at the One Crown in Watford. As Gordon Brown visited the Palace, the six candidates for the key marginal seat of Watford took their places around the table for the first of many lively confrontations to come. They all studied the Westminster comings and goings on the giant TV (usually reserved for football), well aware that their political futures depend on the events of the next four weeks and this pub was where it was all going to begin
As the show went to air at 10am the line back to the studio disappeared, but was back up a couple of minutes later. Victoria and editor Louisa Compton kept calm as Nicky Campbell held the fort.
In 5 live fashion, it was the residents of Watford that we heard from first, and their concerns set the tone for the campaign to come. They were worried about the future of Watford Hospital, yobbish behaviour in the High Street at the weekend and the economic prospects for their children, all topics likely to be echoed up and down the land in the weeks to come. Then it was the turn of the candidates to directly answer their concerns.
This is where 5 live will come into its own during the campaign, providing listeners with a voice and bringing them closer than anyone else to those trying to win a seat in Westminster. Over the next few weeks Victoria Derbyshire will take her programme to other key areas such as Luton, Bromsgrove, Middlesbrough and Leeds. Nicky Campbell will be hosting the phone-in every morning with major political figures including all three party leaders at 9am daily.
You can hear Victoria's programme from Watford and read a selection of listeners' comments from 5 live Connect.
Brett Spencer, 5 live Interactive Editor