This is a serious blog but as a light-hearted interlude, some brilliant bits of the 1956 edition of ‘The BBC Field Producers’ Handbook’ and the chapter called ‘Getting the best from your correspondent‘
On arrival, you may shake a correspondent’s hand. But never address him by his Christian name. Over-familiarity makes for poor broadcasting
“If your correspondent stumbles or is hesitant on air, offer him some brandy from your ration. This is what it is for. It will aid fluency”.
“Field work may mean an overnight stay. Never use the correspondent’s hotel without his permission. There will be a boarding house nearby”
BBC correspondents are important figures. But sometimes forgetful. Always carry a spare shaving brush for his use. He will thank you for it.
“The Field Engineer will not have benefitted from your education. Use patience, but do not neglect a direct order to get the best from him.”
“On occasion you may be asked to work with a female correspondent. Only those who have completed the Advanced Field Certificate may do so.”
“Other than radio spares the Field Producer ought to carry: binoculars, shoelaces, a chocolate bar, a ball of string and a 10 Franc note”
Do not be afraid if your correspondent wishes to talk to you on a train journey. These topics may help. Literature, The Countryside, Cricket.
“Topics that your correspondent will NOT wish to hear of. Your Health, your Ambitions, your Family, Association Football.”
“In the Home Counties, ask permission before running broadcast cables across homeowners’ property. Elsewhere, this may not be necessary.”
Some of the specifics may have changed over the years but it seems the general attitude of presenters hasn’t…