Watching the local BBC news on television, I was pleasantly surprised to see that they were briefly live in Sedgley. That’s the small town (although older people still call it ‘the village’) right on the edge of the Black Country conurbation, where I live.
In fact they were in the Working Men’s Club, which is very close to my home. The room was decked out in patriotic colours, as a party to celebrate leaving the European Union was getting underway.
One of the people being interviewed was local politician, Bill Etheridge. I first met Bill a few years ago, when as a prospective councillor, he was walking the streets of Sedgley and putting leaflets through the doors.
Representing UKIP, Bill not only went on to win a seat on Dudley Council, but also became an MEP afterwards. Since then, although he has left the party, the common thread running through his politics is that he has always been driven by the desire for the UK to leave the European Union.
Anyway, back to this evening and what stood out to me when the BBC filmed the room at the club, wasn’t Bill and his flamboyant dress sense, but that the Welsh flag alongside the stage was back to front!
I tweeted Bill to say I’d seen him on television and also (jokingly) asked if he could get the flag turned the right way round. Bill retweeted my post and then, identifying an opportunity, I asked him via a private message if he was up for an interview.
The answer was in the affirmative and so, within minutes, I was there and we were ready to go. There was no way we could have chatted inside the building, due to the noise, so we looked for somewhere outside that was away from the wind and in a quiet location.
I only had my iPhone, so unfortunately the video is grainy and blurred at times, as it struggled with the focus, but nevertheless the volume comes out great and that’s the most important thing.
Even the lead image is grainy, due to the environment that we took it in, but again, no problem as it was just with my iPhone in a ‘disco’ setting. I wanted to include it though, rather than a better one elsewhere in the building, as it has the Welsh flag on the right way round!
I do a lot of interviewing in my ‘day job’ with The New Saints FC. As a busy professional football club – and also the champions of Wales – there’s always someone to chat with, but this was my first political interview.
I really enjoyed it and I have the feeling that it won’t be my last either. As they say, watch this space. Any local politicians fancy a chat? Get in touch.
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