Well this is a bit different isn’t it?
fyi, this is a super long post… im sorry but also not.
As you may or may not know the past few months in my life have been a bit, bonkers shall we say. It seems that in my life, things happen in a pattern where I have a day of absolute hell, then 3 days later something positive happens.
For example, in 2011 we were on holiday and we received a phone call to state that my lovely Grandad had passed, and 3 days later I got into uni and got the grades I had to get! This year, it unfortunately happened again – my Nan passed away and I got a call I never thought I would receive, from the BBC…
Let’s flashback to earlier on this year, where the lovely Greg James of Radio 1 announced that he is looking for ideas to promote his show:
As a HUGE fan of the show, I thought to myself “why not?”, I know what I would love to see, I know what would make me laugh. I bloody love this show. So I thought about it for sometime and I just tweeted:
Now, if you’re a listener to the show my tweet sounds I think pretty good, but for those who don’t i’ll just break it down. The first point (he loves talking about celebrity men who are middle aged and are often featured), loud horns (there was a hornathon) and the third is due to his popular segment for “unpopular opinion” (often shown on youtube).
As you can see this was posted at the start of July, then at the start of August I got a tweet from someone saying “please can you email your suggestion we love it”. So I thought, sure why not? So on the 7th I emailed, we went back and forth with a conversation, where I gave over my phone number and they said that they would be in touch. Then on the 10th (Saturday) my lovely Nan passed.
The following week, I was on annual leave and for once I wasn’t listening live to Greg’s show and I woke up around 9am and saw that I had loads of missed calls from an unknown number and a whatsapp message from Radio 1! I was like wtf is happening?!?! I finally got in contact back with them and within 40 minutes later, I was sat on my bed in pjs being interviewed by Greg on the phone!!
I just kept thinking “what is my life?”
So I thought this my idea, and he was loving it, he had never heard the idea before and it was making him laugh and said that we will be in touch. After the interview ended, we had an off air chat and said “cat you will be on radio 1 tomorrow”… I just thought WOW, this is madness.
The next day I told just a couple of people, ie best friends and family and I listened to myself on national radio (which by the way is listened to by millions!). Once it had finished, I got a number of texts, comments etc saying “was that you cat?”… yep, yes it was lol.
A week later, I kept receiving calls from the BBC and emails and at the time, I knew that out of the thousands that had put in ideas, mine was to be chosen – little did I know it was 1 of 3 (1 hasn’t come out yet). The main aim of the promo was to get the listeners involved, and was I involved….. yes!! As I said, a week later I was being invited to go to London to see my promo being made live!
I was super excited but also very nervous. I was being picked up and taken to a secret location, which was super weird. When I arrived the taxi driver said “is this where you are meant to be going?” I looked outside and straight away I said “yes, wow yes”. I was greeted by this view:
As you can see, there are many middle aged men, lots of vehicles with horns and of course instrumental horns too!! These lovely extras were all involved, had no idea why they were there and why on earth they had to stand in the direct sunlight for hours.
I was treated so incredibly well, I had my make up done when I arrived, got breakfast, everyone knew my name and said hello. Each time I was introduced they said “this is Cat, the brain behind this promo!”, made me feel super special. Then I could see in the distance Greg, it’s always so weird to meet someone who you hear/ see daily in the flesh and there he was.
We got to hang on and talk about just normal things, he is super kind and absolutely lovely and funny! What’s weird is that the week before, he read out a brilliant email from my brother on his show, where he discussed his mental health and when I was describing it Greg said “OH MY GOD ANDY!! IS THAT YOUR BROTHER!!” lol my poor Mum and Dad had both their children on radio 1 over 2 weeks, which is just surreal.
So we chatted for sometime and then the director came over and said, right lets get you both on set. I was armed with a saxophone, Greg with a little horn and we were surrounded by middle aged men and off we went. I cannot even tell you how many times we did this promo, but my gosh it was fun and hot. Felt bad sometimes as they looked after me separately making sure I was covered and my makeup was done more than the extras lol but I guess I was their “star”. The song in which I heard tens and tens of times was Dua Lipa’s “No Rules” (which I now can’t listen to) LOL!!!
During the set we had to do different takes of the various angles of people, whether it be the big old tuba loving guy, Greg, me or the cars/ lorry drivers. I never once got tired of it, I just thought “this is once in a lifetime, you just have to enjoy it!”.
Invite to Radio 1
As time went on, we filmed more and more and with each take when Greg said “this is Cat from Kent’s idea” my smile grew and grew, this was just…. unreal. Then suddenly, at the end of the take Greg turned around and said something like “is that what you wanted Cat?” … my first thought was “FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK I HAVE TO SPEAK!!!!!” hahahaha and I ended up that I did.
The shoot ended, and I was taken off to lunch whilst Greg went off to do a bit of another promo and we parted ways. I was in the car, I was telling my brother who loves Greg’s show what was happening and I was just sat there throughout the whole conversation just in disbelief. Then my phone started to ring, an unknown number. Now I know over the past few weeks, an unknown number to me meant the BBC so I answered it….. it was Greg!! He rang me to thank me personally for my time and was so annoyed that no one told me I had gone and invited me to Radio 1 to see the show live. I couldn’t believe it. I just sat in the back of the taxi when he went, and had a little cry. I couldn’t get to grips with the fact that this has just happened to me, considering what I had just gone through with my nan.
This is my reaction to literally just getting off the phone from Greg (sorry I can’t edit the video down!!!)
Radio 1 interview part 2
A week and a bit passed, my nan’s funeral had passed and again the phone calls ramped up again. But this time, they wanted me to take control, so I was back on the radio on the Monday/ Tuesday morning (can’t remember such a blur now) and it was up to me to show my promo to literally the world. I was shitting it, honestly shitting it. I hadn’t seen it until 5 minutes before I posted it. I was so nervous to see what I look like on camera, and how it panned out.
The promo is made live
Here is the tweet! It’s on my personal twitter, as still I don’t want this blog to be found as much lol but it was such a big thing. I think I charged my phone up 3 times, I got so many calls, messages and wow it was mad!!!
So far on my twitter it has had over 130k!!! I can’t even tell you how insane that is to me. After my call with Greg, he then casually dropped it in that I would be on BEFORE EASTENDERS!!!! whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat, just bonkers.
I couldn’t concentrate at work, my phone was going off, my twitter was mad and it was just mad. All I wanted to do was to tell my Nan </3
I was home alone that night when I sat down to watch Eastenders, and it was bonkers, just bonkers to see yourself on national TV. My friend Andrea called me right after and screamed down the phone, still nearly 6 weeks later I get comments saying “I saw you on TV!”.
Behind the scenes
Throughout the day I was being filmed for social media, and im so glad that they did otherwise a lot of this would have been a blur and I wouldnt have been able to share the experience with my friends and family.
Here are two behind the scene videos:
The reaction has been mad. Nothing negative which is just amazing for the internet (so thank you internet). Seeing yourself on tv every day for nearly 2 weeks is incredibly an out of body experience. The biggest was seeing myself on before Strictly Come Dancing!!!
Sorry, the video is huge I can’t seem to decrease it!!
Visiting the BBC and Radio 1
A couple of weeks had passed, and I was invited to Radio 1 to see the show live which I was super excited to see. I stayed over in London for the night (my nan “paid” for a room) and it was just amazing.
I was greeted by the lovely producer Chris who I had been in contact with, in the entrance there’s this huge tv screen and he just calmly said to me “Oh yeah you’ve been on there loads!”. He took me through these doors and I saw the BBC newsroom and up to the Radio 1 studios. It was surreal to see, something that I never thought I would see in my life time.
I got to sit next to Greg throughout most of the show:
Was soo cool to see how the show was made, and how it all comes to gether and honestly it was so tight and so, well produced. I got to meet the lovely Clara, who bless her ran away with my phone and did an amazing personalised video for my brother which was super sweet!
At the end I got a lovely photo with the amazing team and then Greg said “right lets do the podcast, Cat go and sit in the seat over there and lets do this”. Again with attitude of fuck it, I thought why not?!… I listen to it every day after work and it was brilliant.
Also, Paul Rudd is sat in the same chair I was sat in!!
Here is the fabulous team, with a couple of missing.
What a ride
What a ride it was. I cannot tell you how much this process helped me mentally. I know not everyone can experience this, but I can’t put it into words how much it helped me, it boosted my confidence and helped so much with my grieving.
Honestly, just go for it. You really do not know what 1 tweet could do.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this experience. It has now ended but what a memory, what a journey!
Hopefully I didn’t annoy you too much on the telly!!!