Finding an excuse to go into the cubicle
It's been a strange old day! Having spent a year on attachment covering Sonja Cooper (Sonja wrote a blog post as part of Archers Week yesterday), in our Technical Broadcast's Assistant's role, it's my first day back in my old role of Broadcast Assistant. It's quite a change going from compiling the programme in an editing suite all day or going out on location recording sound effects, to being back at the hub of it all in the middle of the office. I'll miss the creative side of the technical work, but there's something nice about being back working alongside fellow Broadcast Assistant Sally Lloyd and the team again and being in on all the office gossip!
I've spent the day acclimatising myself to my new desk and drawers - the office has moved since I was last in this post and I now have an uncluttered view of Sally sitting opposite me, busily tying up the loose ends of the last few days of casting for our December and January studios.
The last time we worked alongside each other was nearly two years ago, before I left to go on maternity leave to have my son and then go on attachment - so everything's feeling very different and new. Although I've worked in the building this past year, the actors have been welcoming me back as I pass them in the corridor - presumably I've been invisible before! But it's nice to stop and chat.
My favourite part of this job is assisting on our studio recording days and we're in the middle of that now - Nigel (played by Graham Seed) has just popped by the office with a work query and I've just been showing Nic (played by Becky Wright) the latest picture of my son!
I love the feel of this period in our working cycle each month - it's what all the casting, writing, story-lining and paperwork culminate in and there's such a feel of family between the cast and production team. I've just nipped into the studio cubicle to have a quick chat with the crew - I love the cubicle and will find any excuse to go in there to see what's going on. With Michael, the Studio Manager on panel, Kath, the Grams Operator sorting out recorded sound effects and Liza the Spot SM creating sound effects live in studio - it's an interesting place to be. And the process is all so fast!
Anyway, having sorted out my work space, I'm all set to get my head down and get stuck into the job. Although I might just pop and have a cup of tea first...
Sarah Morrison is a Broadcast Assistant on The Archers
- Archers Week ran on the Radio 4 blog from 23-30 November 2009. 19 blog posts were published in all, from 17 authors. They're listed here.
- Radio 4's Archers web site is full of good stuff, like a map of Ambridge, family trees for all the big clans and a detailed who's who. There's also a 'two-minute guide' for Archers newbies.
- The Archers messageboards are among the busiest at the BBC - nicknamed Mustardland because of the distinctive yellow page backgrounds. They're a bit sceptical about Archers Week, though.
- There are two Archers podcasts: one for the daily episodes and one for the Sunday omnibus.
- Hedli Niklaus, who plays Kathy Perks in the serial, also runs the Archers fan club, Archers Addicts.
- Norman Painting, who played Archers patriarch Phil for nearly sixty years, died on 29 October 2009. The last episode he recorded aired on 22 November. Archers Editor Vanessa Whitburn paid tribute to him here on the blog and the Archers Addicts have collected listener tributes.
- During our visit to the Archers' home in Birmingham dozens of photographs were taken, many of which feature pictures of cast members (and an ironing board).
- Twitter was put to use during Archers Week. #archersweek was the hashtag and we learnt that Tim Bentinck, who plays David Archer (@timbentinck) and Keri Davies, who writes scripts (@keridavies) are both Twitterers. Follow the Radio 4 blog on Twitter.