Michael Rosen
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Word of Mouth...

....is back for the summer. I won't be doing the first two in the series, which begins on Monday August 7 at the new time of 11 o'clock at night, with the repeat going out on the next day at 4.00pm. Standby for some items on such things as body parts, words that haven't been invented yet, cabbies' lingo and much, much more.

I was standing on Kings Cross Station and a bloke who I had never met before bumped into me and said, 'I really love Word of Mouth. I record it when I can.'

The peculiar thing about making the kind of radio programmes I get involved with is the silence. You sit in a room that is deliberately deadened so that there is no trace of echo or resonance and you talk to a microphone. Quite literally. You have to think of the microphone as a person's ear. And unlike ordinary conversations or performances in a theatre you have no sense of feedback at all. If the producer or the studio manager are enjoying it, you can't hear or (if you're looking down at your script) see how they're reacting.

And then there's the after-silence. Very few radio programmes are reviewed or discussed elsewhere. Your family and friends may well have missed the programme, so unlike writing a book, or doing a show, there's a non-response. A gap. A nowhere. So in a way, it's hard to place or position what you're doing. You just have a sense of it happening and going on happening.

This isn't a complaint, just a description.

Anyway, being accosted on Kings Cross Station and being offered a micro-glimpse into how the programme is received, revivifies the whole process. 



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