Across Continents

Ken's Blog

Catching up…

Deciphering dialing codes. Devising a few phonetic phrases in Mandarin. After all, what would she say when she’d ring through to the place I was staying? I’d primed the staff at the small hotel that I was expecting a call from the UK. Actually, I’d written on a scrap of paper – in Chinese characters – "2200 tonight – Emma Britton – telephone – Ken Roberts – Room 7017" – except our names. Far too difficult.

Bit rudimentary. But it worked. Probably helped by the fact that I’d be the only Westerner in town. Literally. A chance to catch up with Emma, host of BBC Somerset’s The Morning Show. It’d been over a year since we’d spoken. That’d been back in Taunton. Shortly before I’d set off. Amongst the things I’d taken along to the studio was a Christmas Pudding, my luxury item for devouring in Bulgaria. Long gone. But there was a Christmas Cake or two waiting in Hong Kong….

[To the surprise of many of his friends, Ken hates the sound of his own voice. And late-night – in China – radio interviews probably don’t find him at his best. But if you’re snowed in (and even if you’re not!) – and chances are you will be if you’re in the UK Europe – you could always listen to Emma’s show on the BBC iPlayer. 0900-1200 week days. White stuff permitting, the piece should be going out on air in the second half of the programme on Tuesday 21 December 2010. To listen live, or catch up a bit later, click on BBC Somerset iPlayer]


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