Monday, 10 January 2011

Bob Monkhouse

Bob Monkhouse the first celeb I ever booked.  It was only a phone interview and I was just a kid working in local radio so it was very exciting to speak to his agent to set the interview up.  He gave me Bob's private home number (this was before mobiles) and I duly rang the number at the appointed time and was kinda surprised that Bob actually answered himself.  I was also surprised that he knew who I was, who was presenting the show and what we were talking about.

Years later when I was producing The Pete Murray Show, Bob was a live guest, again he turned up knew who everybody was and had a whole ton of notes with him. I remember asking if he needed to take the notes into the studio? I got a 'I most certainly do.' back from him.

Bob was clearly a man that learned everything by rote and it's a very useful skill to have if you are a radio or TV Producer, because you will be asked to do things that you might not have any personal interest in but you still need to know and understand the topic.  Research is always king and will allow you to fashion an interview with relevant questions and information rather than a string of bland rubbish - and we have all seen or heard shows where that has been the case.

Bob Monkhouse is no longer with us, in fact I worked with his wife Jackie in 2007  on a campaign for prostate cancer (which killed Bob) she was a delightful woman who told me that Bob kept everything all his notes, copies of his TV and radio performances and much more.  And another Jacqui, Jacqui Wilson my old LBC boss was his Producer on the BBC game show 'Wipeout.' So I feel an odd professional affinity with the man and his very precise and detailed way of working.  Something we could all learn from.

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