Thursday, 22 January 2015

Don't judge a book by its cover..

or the biggest mistake in my career.  It was 1997 and I was training a possible Producer for LBC during The Julia Somerville Show when her Producer asked if I minded outputting the show whilst she got on with some admin work in newsroom.

'Sure' I said 'no problem, who's on the show?'

She replied 'just a regular and some children's author.'  ... So an easy ride.  Regular guest was in and I went up to get the kids author.  Checking her title the author said the most bizarre thing to me, that she only wanted to be known by her initials?  I remember turning to her and saying; 'Listen dear, nobody has heard of you, so why ever do you want to be known by just your initials, what's your proper name love?'

So we settled on calling her by her proper first name, the silly cow! I had a copy of the book and so did Julia Somerville.  As this author droned on about her poor life writing this rubbish book in some tea shop in Edinburgh, I took a moment to flick through the pages of her first novel.  A quick glance and I knew this was one stinky book, it was all about magic and featured some spotty boy with glasses on the front with a steam train behind him.

By the time the interview was over the Runner had returned from his break and he brought her round to say goodbye to me.  'Oh' she said; 'I see you have a copy of my new book, would you like me to sign it for you?'  'No don't bother' I said 'But I will look forward to reading it later.'  As she disappeared up the corridor I tossed the first edition of  'Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone' into the bin!

Some years later I looked on Ebay and a first edition signed by J.K. was up for £23,000 - so that will teach me to be rude to the guests won't it! - Read more anecdotes and great stuff about making radio, podcasting and more at 

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