20 on the List for Living

20) Present a BBC Radio 4 programme

Yay! I’ve done something else on my List for Living. Last Sunday I presented the BBC Radio 4 programme, Pick of the Week. It was a very special moment and a privilege to have this opportunity.

This is something that I’d wanted to do for years. When I returned back to Britain from being a foreign correspondent, I enjoyed doing some presenting for the BBC World Service. From time to time I’d front the World Briefing programme. I also wanted to become a presenter at Radio 4. It’s a station which I love reporting for and listening to. But when the cancer returned last year, I had to put that dream on hold.

Writing my List for Living made me realise that it was something I still wanted to do. I applied to join the mentoring scheme run by the Sound Women development group for women working in radio. I was successful and the Radio 4 presenter Martha Kearney became my mentor. With her help and brilliant encouragement I started to try again.

It was an incredible feeling to finally be able to present a show on Radio 4.

I would really like to write more about this but I had more chemo a few days ago. I’m feeling horribly ill. It’s as if I’m in the middle of the worst ever hangover. I can barely stand up. My whole body hurts. Oh and just to make everything seem even worse, almost all my hair has fallen out.

So instead of saying anything more, here is my Pick of the Week and my debut as a Radio 4 presenter!


(You’ll have to be quick though as this is only available until Sunday evening.)

10 thoughts on “20 on the List for Living

  1. Well done on achieving another life goal, I’m going to listen to this before the weekend is out. Sorry the treatment is making you feel so rough – hope all the amazing things you’ve achieved in going through your list but more, just in your career and who you are and friends and loved ones you have provide good memories for the yuk times which suck, BIGTIME.

    Julie Dickson

  2. YAY! That is fantastic! I am a fellow BBC employee and I have been pushing for this to happen since I discovered your List For Living. Over the past few months, I have forwarded your List to every contact I could come across in Radio to find out if they could make this happen and my requests just didn’t seem to get anywhere, so I am absolutely delighted that you have finally been able to do this, however it happened! Well done, you deserved to have the opportunity and I look forward to listening to the segment! :)

  3. Helen- I hope you feel atleast a bit better soon.

    The great thing about radio is you listen to the voice. You have a perfect broadcasters voice- warm- and I could hear the chuckle in your voice on a couple of occasions,

  4. Helen,

    Just listened to the programme and thought the choice of items was great and really well presented. I hope the latest chemo side effects improve soon and of course that it’s working well.

  5. Congratulations, Helen! It is good to read along as you fill that list with checkmarks. I hope the chemo hang-over eases soon.

  6. Unfortunately I missed the Radio 4 programme. Really sorry to hear that you are feeling so ill but delighted that you managed to tick another box on your list for living. Well done. Sending you best wishes and happy thoughts and hoping you get well rested and your pain subsides. Thinking of you.

  7. hello Helen, I was very impressed that you have done another thing on your list for living. Hope you feel better soon. Thinking of you , love from Denise Smalley.

  8. Congratulations on achieving yet another goal – well done! PS heard you on Radio 2 News this morning on the topic of our recent inclement weather.

  9. Just seen you on the 6 news… you look fantastic. No-one would know that you are fighting such a terrible disease. Keep strong and fight .

  10. Lovely to see you living your life to the full and reporting on the storm on tv this week

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