BBC Radio 1 Stories: Ten Teens who Changed the World!

IMG_1162…goes out at 9pm tonight on BBC Radio 1- catch it  on the iplayer from tomorrow. It’s my first radio doc for Radio 1 and it’s presented by the wonderful Gemma Cairney

It’s is pick of the week in the Radio Times and has been previewed here. It is also pick of the day in the Sunday Time and Observer. Also a clip was played on Radio 4’s The Today programme on Saturday after news was announced that Malala won the Nobel Peace prize. Ben Cooper has also blogged about it here . It was made with Folded Wing and features  the stories of all these amazing young people:

MalalaYousafzaiMalala Yousafzai @MalalaFund :

Youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize 2014 winner

aged 17, for her campaigning for

women’s education rights.

Nick D'Aloisio #TenTeensNick D’Aloisio @nickdaloisio:

Tech entrepreneur who launched

his ground-breaking app in 2012

just after his 16th birthday

MistaJamKool Herc @DJkoolHerc

Championed by Mistajam!!!!

In 1973 Clive Campbell was just 16

when his sister’s birthday party went down in hip hop history.

Eliza Rebeiro @ElizaMargarite: ElizaRibeiro

Eliza’s anti knife crime campaigner from Croydon

who founded Lives no Knives aged 14. She now works with

tens of thousands of young people every year.

eavVince Lawrence championed by Annie Mac and Eats Everything @anniemac @eats_everything

Unsung house music pioneer who was 19 in 1984

when he co-wrote the first house music record.

 TenTeensBrittany Wenger @BrittanyMWenger:

Brittany won the 2012 Google Science Fair’s Grand Prize aged 17


for teaching a software network or an “artificial brain,”

to detect breast cancer.

Sophie Umazi @_umazi:

Sophie started the international

peace campaign#IamKenyan in 2009 when she was 15.


IMG_3906Jamal Edwards @jamaledwards:

Youth broadcasting entrepreneur Jamal Edwards

cleanbanditlaunched SBTV in 2006 when he was 15


Championed by Grace and Neil

from Clean Bandit

@cleanbandit : Clean Bandit champion the work

of child prodigy Mozart

Muna Hassan @FGMsilentscream:

Muna n20140815_192414ow 20 co-founded multi-award winning anti-FGM campaign

Integrate Bristol when she was 14

alongside her classmates from Bristol

The day I met Malala Yousafzai

Back in early August I traveled from Bristol to Birmingham to meet and interview Malala Yousafzai for my radio programme Ten Teens who Changed the World. I obviously knew she was only 17, but when I met her I was still slightly unnerved by how young she seemed and surprised by how childlike and sweet she was. I’m not sure why I would be surprised, but perhaps it’s because her very humble, adolescent and almost timid demeanor seems incongruous with the huge influence and power she wields so gracefully.

She greeted me with a warm smile and a slightly awkward hug and spoke softly. We sat very close together because her hearing in her left ear is damaged by the shooting. When I asked her about her back story and her current campaigning she answered me quickly, confidently and at at length. Towards the end of interview I asked her what her least favourite school subject was, it was only then that she had to pause, think and consult with her assistant before deciding on PE (her favourite is Physics). She also hinted at a celebrity crush (a Pakistani Cricketer) and confessed her penchant for old classic British comedy programmes that she watches on youtube.

She was the inspiration that lead to me making this documentary at the start of the year,  I would never have believed I would find myself sitting  knee to knee with her in Birmingham library a few months on. It was indescribably elating just to be in her presence, she exudes goodness and it really is hard not to get gushy when I try to communicate how I felt that day. Whatever negative backlash may come from her winning the Nobel Peace Prize she is an undeniably impressive demonstration of humanity. Her capacity for forgiveness and compassion is true spirituality in action and meeting her was a momentous experience I’ll never forget.

I’ll blog more about the making of the rest of the programme next week but you can hear a clip from the interview as played on Radio 4’s The Today programme at 01:10 here.

A huge thanks to Nina Douglas at Orion books for making it happen. Read about  Malala’s remarkable story in full in this brilliant book: MALALA- The Girls Who Stood up for Education and Changed the World

Soundwomen, podcasts and the freelance experience

I’ve recently become freelance after spending two years working full time at the BBC. Plunging into the unknown and being without a monthly salary or set routine is undoubtedly a daunting prospect. It’s very early days, I’ve been freelance for only two weeks, so at the moment my spirits are reasonably high and the possibilities seem plentiful. I do miss my hilarious, kind and clever colleagues at Radio 4 of course, but I’m enjoying the freedom to spend my time how I want and the space to be creative, ambitious and get stuck into new projects. The future is completely unknown which is, on a good day thrillingly exciting, and on a bad day utterly terrifying. However right now I’m celebrating my freedom after a couple of years of working to such an intensity that at I thought I might mentally collapse at a few points.
True- there is a fine line between being freelance and being unemployed but at the moment I’m positive and pro-active, ready to reinvent my life. I’ve already picked up a few bad habits such as working from my bed, eating porridge for lunch and not getting dressed until 6pm but I’m not too worried yet…freelance
Having a clean slate as I do now, I have an opportunity to create the career I really want for myself. So at the moment I’m writing to people and companies that I find inspiring and only applying for jobs I’d absolutely love to do. I’m also pitching plenty of ideas and doing all those things I’ve not had time for, like blogging, as you can see. Also I’ve finally (after years of wanting to) got properly involved with Soundwomen who are an organisation that celebrate and campaign for equality for women working in audio.They provide training and information and generally create a community of support and encouragement for women who, like myself, are trying to forge a career in radio and beyond. This week as luck would have it they launched a podcast about freelancing- just for me! (it felt like any way) and here it is in all it’s funny, informative and inspiring glory:

I also found this podcast made by Alex Blumberg from This American Life. A firsthand account of the reality of starting a podcast business complete with cringey bits. As a Blumberg fan and new podcast producer it also felt like a little gift from the gods of freelance life…Enjoy!

BBC Radio 4 goes raving

I’m producing a 30 minute factual feature for Radio 4 which will be broadcast in Spring 2015.
I’m just at the research phase but I am looking to speak to original 90s ravers… and kids of ravers. So please get in touch if that’s you.EPSON MFP image

The people in this video are now probably now all settled, responsible and listening to Radio 4.

This may even be your Mum…if she ever stopped dancing and found her car that is.

The Online Me with Gemma Cairney for BBC Radio 4

In August I produced my first solo production for BBC Radio 4. The Online me was for Radio 4’s linguistics strand Word of Mouth,  it explored online personae and whether we speak differently online. The all star cast of Nick Grimshaw, Gemma Cairney, Bip Ling and Dr Aleks Krotoski bought a variety of voices, hard facts and unsubstantiated opinions and it certainly made for some lively debate on twitter. Poet Laura Dockrill wrote a wonderful poem especially for us and Grimmy was so chuffed to take part that he was banging on about it for ages on the R1 Breakfast show. He also played clips  and much hilarity ensued at posh R4 continuity announcer Diana Speed saying YOLO in the introduction… maybe another first for Radio 4 #lol Listen to it HERE

See No Evil – Street Art Sounds goes Live on the app store

Get the full interactive experience after See No Evil 2012 (sometime after the 18th of August)Image but it’s live on the app store now!

Funding Bid for Street Art Sounds: See No Evil Interactive App

Funding Bid for Street Art Sounds: See No Evil Interactive App

I am using an amazing website called to raise the publishing costs for the app I’ve been developing with Nick Kelly for See No Evil 2012. In less than 12 hours, 11 amazing people have got involved and helped to get this project off the ground by investing anything from £3 to £100. So far we’re nearly half way there! WOW!!! This is a great DIY way to get involved with unique projects and support creativity in your community- PEOPLE POWER !

The Map page of the forthcoming app designed by Nick Kelly (Must Design)

A super secret sneak preview of our forthcoming app for See No Evil , Bristol

Designed and conceived by Hear Me Now Productions. Made to look supercool by the supercool and talented Nick Kelly at Must Design, Bristol

Andy Council talks about his Nelson Street inspired Dinaosaur.

Andy Council lets you into the secrets of the Dinosaur he created for See No Evil , Nelson Street. Scan the Qr Code and this is what you would hear- don’t forget to listen through headphones as the dinosaur really comes to life.