It’s a very strange sensation lying in bed at 6 a.m. and hearing yourself on the news but that is what happened to me today and it wasn’t just the 6 a.m. news, either. Every half an hour from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. I was a “news story” on BBC Radio Leicester or at least the Ethel North and Lady Burghclere letters were.
It’s all thanks to a Press Release I sent out last Monday to a selection of newspapers and radio stations, in an attempt to get some publicity for Ethel’s letters to my grandmother and to try and drive traffic to this website.
Radio Leicester, my local radio station, contacted me within 12 hours of receiving the release and on Wednesday morning, I did an interview with Jo Hayward, one of the Breakfast Show presenters. It was aired three times on this morning’s show along with lots of additional coverage in the news bulletins (which I hadn’t expected) and several plugs for the website and my desire to find a publisher for the letters.
It probably helped that the sixth and final (sob,sob) series of Downton Abbey begins on ITV in a couple of days so they had something topical to hang the story on but even so, it was far more publicity than I could have hoped for. I was able to read some brief extracts from Ethel’s letters (with the incredibly atmospheric Downton theme tune playing in the background!) including a small section of the one from her visit to Egypt where she and Lady Burghclere were shown round the Tutankhamun excavations by Howard Carter himself.
Apparently BBC Online have also shown an interest in the story and are hopefully going to publish it, together with a link to my website.
So not a bad start, especially as I was competing with some pretty major news stories today including the Syrian refugee crisis, the latest FIFA scandal and the start of the Rugby World Cup.
The interview is currently available on the BBC i-player and if I can work out how to do it (any help gratefully received!) I’ll try and embed it into the website.
Here is the link, so why not have a quick listen if you have three and a half minutes to spare? There is a photo of my hand holding one of the letters there, as well!