Natasha Desborough: My Life in Media

Thursday, May 17, 2007

17 May 2007 20:09 Home > News > Media
Natasha Desborough: My Life in Media

Natasha Desborough, 32, is the voice of BBC 6 Music and presents the station's weekend breakfast show. She worked on local radio and football station Crystal Palace FM before joining Xfm in 2000. She joined the BBC three years ago and has also worked as a voiceover artist on Five's Real Sex and California Escorts. She lives in Croydon with her partner Jim and their baby son, Oscar.

So what inspired you to embark on a career in the media?I actually intended to build a career in film, but after a few horrible jobs as a runner I decided that I wasn't cut out for the industry. Chance led me to radio presenting. I made a production demo, which I sent to all the radio stations I could think of hoping for some production work, and a controller came back and offered me a stint on the breakfast show on Invicta FM in Kent. There was one snag - I had to start the next day, and I'd be presenting.

When you were 15 years old, which newspaper did your family get, and did you read it?
My parents always got The Times but at 15 I was more interested in Smash Hits.

And what were your favourite TV and radio programmes?I religiously recorded the Radio 1 Chart Show every Sunday. My favourite TV programme of all time was and still is Moonlighting. Currently the only programmes I can't bear to miss are Desperate Housewives and Shameless.

Describe your job
I'm lucky to have such a varied job because every day is different. Little bits of TV, a voiceover here and there and a splash of writing, but my bread and butter is my weekend breakfast show on BBC 6 Music.

What media do you turn to first thing in the morning?GMTV's News Hour until 7am and then straight on with the radio while I'm getting breakfast ready.

Do you consult any media sources during the working day?I check all the papers online in the morning, but we avoid the grown-up papers. At the weekend we use all the red tops for the show - the Daily Mirror, The Sun, the News of the World and The People. I check Digital Spy, Reuters, Pop Bitch and Ananova for the gossip and BBC News.

What is the best thing about your job?
I love my job. I feel like the luckiest person in the world. Mick and Rowan who produce my show are such good fun and it's great that the time slot fits so perfectly around my son. I can be mummy during the week and retain a sense of independence at the weekend.

And the worst?
The schmoozing. I rarely attend work-related dos. The radio industry is incredibly incestuous and it can be a big help to socialise out of hours. But I'm quite shy at times and I find those situations terrifying so I do my best to avoid them. I've often wondered if it has held me back in my career. I think it probably has.

How do you feel you influence the media?I'm not so arrogant as to believe that I have much influence. I'm just a neurotic mum from Croydon who witters on and plays music. However, I do believe that 6 Music as a radio station has a massive influence on the music industry.

What's the proudest achievement of your working life?After an 18-month break from radio, my boyfriend Jim and I had a lot of financial worries and had lost all confidence in my abilities as a radio broadcaster. Then suddenly, in the same week that I discovered I was pregnant with my first child, Lesley Douglas and Ric Blaxill offered me the 6 Music weekend breakfast show. I was both grateful and petrified. My hormones were all over the place and my confidence was at an all-time low. Getting back in the driver's seat is something I'm still proud of.

And what's your most embarrassing moment?Oh crikey, there are too many to mention. But calling a Channel 4 executive "Dad" in a crucial meeting ranks pretty highly. (I was tired and premenstrual.)

At home, what do you tune in to?
Usually it's Terry Wogan for breakfast, Vanessa Feltz on BBC London 94.9 from nine then back to Radio 2 for Jeremy Vine. Then it's Nemone on BBC 6 Music, then Danny Baker on BBC London and then Radio 4 for the comedy. My favourite show of the past few years was Iain Lee's drivetime show on LBC.

Who in the media do you most admire and why?Jo Brand. I like the way she's conducted her career and maintained a normal, private family life. She's endured a lot of criticism for being outspoken and intelligent but the insults just seem to make her funnier and cleverer. Plus she supports Crystal Palace FC! And I've always admired Lesley Douglas because she has built a career in a male-dominated industry and she's now the most powerful person in radio.

The CV

1995: Works as a runner on films and pop promos before moving into radio production at Croydon FM

1997: Moves to Crystal Palace's station

1999: Becomes a presenter at Kent's Invicta FM and soon bags a spot on Xfm presenting her own show

2000: Presents Xfm's Breakfast Session with co-presenters including Iain Lee and Ian Camfield

2003: Presents the weekend show with Jimmy Carr

2004: Becomes the voice of 6 Music, recording all their links and announcements

2005: Gets her own show, Natasha's 6 Music Weekend Breakfast Show, and becomes the voice of The A-List music chart

Article placed by Vikki Rimmer/Press Contact

posted by Vikki Rimmer at 7:10 PM 0 comments

6 Music's Tash Goes for A Song with The Sunday Times

Sunday, May 13, 2007

From The Sunday Times May 13, 2007
Going for a song
Natasha Desborough on Till I Die by the Beach Boys

I was introduced to the Beach Boys’ 1971 album Surf’s Up by a boy I fancied at sixth-form college. At the time, I was heavily into the Stone Roses, and thought the Beach Boys were a bunch of Californian beach bums who had an unhealthy obsession with surfing and cars, and sang like girls.

Anyway, in an effort to impress the boy in question, I agreed to listen to the album. I took Surf’s Up home with me and discovered a fabulous record, with tracks including the magical title track, the drug-influenced Feel Flows and Bruce Johnston’s Disney Girls.

But the track that really touched me was Till I Die, a poignant, heartbreaking song written by Brian Wilson some years before, when he was in the middle of a breakdown. The song has incredible richly layered harmonies, yet the melody remains humble. Band member Mike Love thought it was too depressing to be a Beach Boys song, and wouldn’t let it be featured on any earlier album. What a ninny. I fell head over heels in love – with the track, that is – and “accidentally” never gave the record back. I ended up avoiding the boy in question rather than return his album.

I was lucky enough to see Wilson perform live a few years ago at the Festival Hall, and was moved to tears. He looked so delicate perched behind his keyboard. His voice was fragile, but still held the emotion of an inconsolable romantic. And it was clear to every person in the audience that this was a man who was still battling relentless inner demons. I could blame my emotional state on the three glasses of chardonnay I’d drunk before the concert. But although that might have contributed, the fact remains that as Wilson began to perform Till I Die, I started crying hysterically, and didn’t stop until the end of the show.

I spend my working life playing music on the radio and, although I have a deep passion for my job, there aren’t many other songs that can move me to tears. Certain pieces of music, such as the Fanfare to the film Rocky and children’s choirs singing Away in a Manger at Christmas, can make me blub, but nothing gets my lip quivering like Till I Die. It captures perfectly that feeling of being small and insignificant in relation to the universe, something everyone can relate to: “I’m a cork on the ocean/ Floating over the raging sea / How deep is the ocean? / How deep is the ocean?”

Knowing the state of Wilson’s mind when he wrote the song makes the lyrics seem even more haunting. But I think everyone has felt like that at some time in their life. And, although the lyrics show a man dwarfed by the vastness of the world and obsessed with death, the melody is surprisingly hopeful and uplifting. I don’t find it a depressing song, though it’s certainly thought-provoking.

Natasha Desborough is the presenter of BBC 6 Music’s Weekend Breakfast Show

Article placed in The Sunday Times by Vikki Rimmer/Press Contact

posted by Vikki Rimmer at 5:45 AM 2 comments

Not since the days of the Lullingstone silk farm!!!!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Record Visitor Numbers flock to Lullingstone Castle - home of the famous 'World Garden'.Yesterday (Sunday 6th May 2007) record numbers of visitors piled through the gates of Lullingstone Castle to attend Tom Hart Dyke's first personal plant fair.

BBC Gardener Tom Hart Dyke declared 'we've not received numbers of visitors like this since the days of the silk farm in the 1950s! It's amazing!'

Steve Bradley from The Sun and perennial favourites
- Andy Garland and Trevor Claringbold of BBC Radio Kent broadcast their popular 'Gardening Show' live from the Castle from 8am-11am, chornicalling the setting up of the big event.

Chelsea Gold medal winners from across the South East were in attendance; Iris of Sissinghurst, The Old Walled Garden, Derek Lloyd Dean, Riverside Fuschias, McBean's Orchids and Rotherview Nursery were among the exhibitors on the day.

Iris of Sissinghurst dispatched a van back down the A21 back to Sissinghurst at 12 noon when half the stall was stripped bare by voracious plant hunters. More Iris's were needed. And quick!

The refreshments were besieged by the multitude of visitors and the sellers even sold their own lunch to the hungry punters.

An orderly queue, four deep, stretched all the way from the house down the driveway to the gatehouse as visitors waited to gain entrance to the famous Castle - a favourite of Henry VIII and Queen Anne.

Visitors were keen to meet the family who are well known to BBC2 viewers from both series; 'Save Lullingstone Castle' and 'Return To Lullingstone Castle'.

The publicity for the event was handled by Vikki Rimmer/ Press Contact. Publicity ranged across all media and included The Telegraph, all Kent media and Radio Kent. Garden's Monthly were the events sponsors.

posted by Vikki Rimmer at 4:42 PM 0 comments