In May I described the beginnings of my legal broadcasting career with BBC Radio Norfolk which continues to this day - if it can be a career when no money changes hands.
The programme on which I started, the Norfolk Airline, was so successful that the presenters, David Clayton and Neil Walker, were hired to make programmes for BBC Radio 4. Before they left they brought out a book of the programme which shows David and Neil apparently trying to start the engine of a bi-plane.
Judging from the photograph on the cover of the book they were trying to rotate the propeller backwards which means that they would never have got off the ground or, if they did, they would have flown the plane in reverse. Inside the book is a rather solemn photograph of Peter Nicholls and me looking like - solicitors (see picture inset).
Like a bad penny I kept coming back for more legal broadcasts. Other solicitors joined in from time to time including Barbara MacBrayne and Rebecca Carriage. I even had a long partnership with William Armstrong who is now the Norfolk coroner.
Throughout that time I broadcast with almost every presenter Radio Norfolk has ever had. Each had a different style. Sometimes we would tackle serious issues. I remember once crossing swords with the insurance industry when I dared to say that low cost endowment mortgages were highly risky as they never guaranteed to pay off your mortgage at the end.
They were outraged and I responded simply saying that if they were as good as we were told, then they should guarantee that the mortgage would be repaid at the end. Alas I was right, and many people who had low cost endowment mortgages found that they had a shortfall at the end of their mortgages.
Then there would be light hearted discussions about the law, mingled with talk about almost everything under the sun. Sometimes the listeners would catch the lawyers out - either because they knew more about a legal topic than we did, or we simply did not know the answer. That was always a cause of celebration from the presenters.
One day a friend rang in to the programme. She had decided to wind me up and came out with all manner of scurrilous suggestions about my behaviour. The problem was that during this particular broadcast I was in the King’s Lynn studio and the presenters were in Norwich. There was no way I could signal that this was a wind up. Eventually the presenter realised that something was up and faded her out. But it did not end there. Several outraged listeners then called in to ask why the programme was protecting me and I was not asked to answer the accusations.
Technical problems sometimes beset us. Tony Mallion (editor of Places&Faces® and long time Radio Norfolk broadcaster) was attempting a live programme from the King’s Lynn Magistrates Court when the broadcast line failed just moments before we went on air. It turned out to be a blown fuse at the receiver across the river next to the transmitter - not that this helped.
The broadcast was saved by the fact that Tony and I had pre-recorded a section of us exploring the vaults of my old office on the quayside, giving enough time to move all the guests to the King’s Lynn studio and continue from there as if nothing had happened!
On another occasion I threw my toys out of the pram because the link had been taken over for another broadcast. I stormed back to my office in high dudgeon. Not long afterwards a frantic presenter telephoned to beg me to return to the studio. I relented. Listening to the recording afterwards, no one would have been able to tell that there had been a major wobbly thrown by me. It was all seamless.
It was less seamless when I tried to log on from the new King’s Lynn studio out on one of the industrial estates. I obtained the key from next door, let myself in and immediately the burglar alarm went off. All they could hear in Norwich was a cacophony - and I had to take part sitting in my car and using my mobile phone.Next month how we were greatly assisted in our legal broadcasts by the arrival on the scene of Drunken Denise. She breezed into the studio one day exuding the strong aroma of too many gins and tonics.