Wednesday, March 10, 2010

My Election Night Gig on LBC 97.3

I had a piece of good (and for me, very exciting) news this week. LBC have asked me to present six hours of their general election night coverage. As you can imagine, I will be a pig in the proverbial. The programme will have elements of what I did on Play Radio last year for the European and County Council elections, but it will have a bit more structure to it.

Nick Ferrari will be kicking off LBC's coverage at 10pm with me taking over from midnight until 6am. Ferrari will then come back to present his normal breakfast show. My co-presenter will be former Observer political editor and blogger Gaby Hinsliff.

The programme will be very different from the BBC's radio coverage. Of course we'll be doing interviews, having guest pundits and getting live reports from counts, but the programme will rely very heavily on the internet for much of its coverage. And that means you. I'll have a team of 6-8 bloggers from all parties in the LBC newsroom whose job will be to bring us the latest news and gossip from around the country. We will have a Twitter correspondent in the studio who will monitor what candidates and commentators are saying.

And we want you, out there, to act as citizen journalists, just like you did last year, and feed useful info into the programme through our resident bloggers.

And frankly, I'd also like your ideas on what you'd like to hear on an election night programme. We have eight weeks to plan it and while we have a basic structure in mind, I'd love to hear some new ideas and see if we can make them happen. LBC is not just a London station. We'll be covering everything that's happening across the UK. As well as being on FM in London, it's on DAB nationwide and you will also be able to listen (and, I think watch!) live on the internet at It's also on Sky, channel 0124.

What I want this programme to be is a programme which can engage both people who're really into their politics but also the general listener. So if you have ideas about how we can make this the best radio programme on election night, I'll be all ears. Feel free to email me directly.

I'll keep you up to date as our plans develop.


colin.bloom said...

Brilliant - I will be listening in (for some of it anyway) - expect some upsets on the night - I'm sure you'll get great listening figures.
Well done

James Cleverly said...

Well done fella!.


Neil James said...

Great news Iain will definitely listen

Simon Lewis said...

Excellet news!

DespairingLiberal said...

It would be good to hear what a broader cross-section of people say - the main news channels always focus on their studio talking heads, cutting off interesting speeches and talks from the constituencies. Also of course a more detailed psephological understanding of what is going on that the usual endlessly repeated simplistic displays of how many MPs each party will have.

I would particularly like to hear more about how each sub-grouping in Britain has voted and what they think, eg, old people, younger people, black, asian, white, etc, etc.

It would be good to hear from losing candidates in key seats a bit more as well as winners because they can be just as interesting on why they lost, etc.

eddie said...

LBC is also available on Sky channel 0124 - might be worth adding that your blog Iain.

Congrats, it will be great listening to you. Admittedly my guess of a long term gig wasn't quite right but I bet you one day it will!

Eoghan said...

I'm a fan of taking a small handful of consituencies and focussing on them - every constituency will have its own little foibles, scandals, local issues and so on which probably affect things much more from seat to seat. It's only when you start to look at a macroscopic level that you can find trends. I find it fascinating when you hear that there's a smaller swing than expected from X to Y only to find out that i was revealedf that candidate X slept with a prostitute in 1974.

In terms of the "Twitter analyst", I'd suggest setting up a follow list of no more than 150 or so influential/connected people. Anything more than that is probably unmanageble as a lot of people will be tweeting every couple of minutes throughout the night.

Max Atkinson said...

But will you be able to do it if you get selected as a PPC?

Bill Quango MP said...

I will listen in.
Last time it was you on, while flipping between Sky, BBC and ITV.

Sky was best, BBC was incredibly slow to pick up anything and managed to make a bore out of the evening.
Can't remember ITV.
Probably something like Peter Andre's celebrity voting show.

Richard said...

Great news, well done. I would love to offer to report from my neck of the woods, but I can tell you now what my input would be:

10pm - sits down with packet of peanuts and bottle of Balvenie Signature

2 am - incoherent

4 am - either crying with relief or suicidal.

None of that would make good radio.

Westminster watch said...

...... is there a plan B if you are parachuted in as a Conservative candidate somewhere!

Well done anyway.

Simon Gardner said...

So pretty much given up on being an actual candidate, then?

startledcod said...

"And frankly, I'd also like your ideas on what you'd like to hear on an election night programme."


David Cameron/Tory win with a large majority.

Iain Dale said...

Simon, there aren't any more seats, and there aren't likely to be, so it's time to move on.

Sally Roberts said...

Should be a good programme as LBC will feel able to be impartial by then - not "pushing" their corporate line backing the Labour Party.....

Simon Gardner said...

"Simon, there aren't any more seats, and there aren't likely to be, so it's time to move on."

I have to say that despite of course not being a Tory and all, this failure by Conservative constituency Associations seems a complete mystery to me. Is it because (EU and Euro aside) you aren’t a head-banger?

You aren’t, after all, lacking in TV skills and national contacts in the meejah.

All very inexplicable to this bear of little brain

Douglas said...

I agree with Simon.

I find it perplexing that you are not a PPC.

Although I disagree with you on a number of issues you are far more sane, and articulate than many of the Tories I have seen and met.

I hope you get something in the future and good luck with the radio gig.

Patrick said...

great news.

can you please tell me the date.


javelin said...

Any totty like last time?

If so, can you get a Visual link to the studio. I seem to remember last we time we tuned in to the local elections Emily kept the punters tuned in long after we should have been tucked up in bed.

Remember this is showbiz Iain.

Roger said...

Thank goodness for that! I'd almost given up on LBC, having tuned in on the way home from Spring Forum in Brighton to hear how London's news channel was reporting on Cameron's speech; all I could get was an hour-long 'phone in on what people thought about some singing celeb who'd left her footballer husband. No doubt you will restore the channel to a more appropriate level, at least for six hours. G'luck.

Martin said...

Any chance they might live vidcast it as well Iain? Do they have that ability?

Osama the Nazarene said...

I've been looking forward to the election ever since the ditherer swapped jobs. Now even more reason to look forward to it. I'll be deserting BBPravda for sure.

CityUnslicker said...

well done. I think the thign you coudl add is interviews with people to say why they voted as they did. recording some as they exit polls could be fun, you can then play them through the night.

They may even make a good interview if they voted tactically and a broad range of them means you would have enough material whichever way the election is going. A phone in on the same lines do a similar job, but be less easy to manage.