It's not, I hope, that I'm so big-headed as to think that anyone was crying out for a "Paul Hayes Greatest Hits" collection. But as I just had them all there doing nothing, I wanted to do something.
I messed up one or two of the links when I shared them on Twitter, so to put them out again - and just so I have the list somewhere all in one place for my own greater convenience! - here are all the links again. Most are to Dropbox, but a couple are to podcast versions of programmes still available on the BBC website. Either way, they're all freely available as MP3s for you to download and - hopefully! - enjoy.
It's a collection I am rather proud of, and also reminds me how very lucky I have been to have had the opportunity to make some programmes for the BBC about some of my greatest interests. Hopefully they will please anyone who shares any of those interests, too. Although I am also proud of the ones where I did a very good job as a producer with subjects I had no special interest in or connection to, even if I do say so myself!
The links are in the titles, so first of all back we go to the end of 2010...
I made this with Keith Skues in 2011, and it was originally broadcast on BBC Radio Norfolk on Boxing Day that year, although a few of the other BBC East stations also took it, and he later repeated it in his own show across the region. The story of some of the British rock and roll stars who emerged in the wake of Elvis's popularity in the late 1950s, Keith provided his own original interviews with Cliff Richard, Billy Fury, Marty Wilde and Vince Eager. I edited them together into a narrative, wrote the script, put it all together and recorded the narration from Keith to create my second ever documentary. Quite a good one too, I think!
My old boss David Clayton had and has an enormous passion for the pirate radio of the 1960s, and was forever trying to put on as many programmes as possible related to it. In 2011 he recorded three of our local pirate presenters from those days in conversation - Keith Skues, Andy Archer and Tom Edwards. He then didn't know what to do with it, so I cut it all up, wove it into a narrative of some sort and edited it together with relevant music from the 1964 to 1967 period, which we and Radio Lincolnshire broadcast over Easter 2012. One of those tracks would be unusable now, but fortunately I later edited part two for a possible repeat version on Radio Lincolnshire in 2014. That never in the event happened, but it does mean I have a version I can now share here.
The first part of which I rather tongue-in-cheekily like to refer to as my "BBC East Trilogy", telling the story of the old regional radio services from All Saints Green in Norwich in the years before BBC Radio Norfolk arrived in 1980. I've long had a great passion for broadcasting history - Doctor Who fandom often tends to act as a "gateway drug" into it for many people - and especially the little bits that fall through the cracks and aren't really chronicled elsewhere. I knew there'd been a programme called Roundabout East Anglia which had been broadcast from Norwich in the 1970s, and this is its story. Finding the relevant people to speak to and especially any archive was a fun challenge, and I think it came together really well. Originally broadcast on the August Bank Holiday in 2012, and one where I had several nice comments afterwards from people who work or have worked in the industry, which was nice. Here's the original blog entry I wrote about this one at the time.
A mammoth two-parter I put together for Christmas 2012, looking back at Norfolk across some of the events of that memorable summer - the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, the Olympic torch relay, the Games themselves, and the Tour of Britain cycle race coming to the county. Narrated by Nicky Price and Chris Goreham, but all written and produced by me.
In October 2012, it was decreed that all BBC Local Radio stations should put together a strand called "My Beatles Story", to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the group's first single release. I was put in charge of the Radio Norfolk effort, recording various interviews with local people who had seen, met or worked with The Beatles and had a story to tell about it. There was also one archive interview, which David Clayton had recorded with Tony Sheridan back in 1997. The resulting pieces were then broadcast across a special day of programmes on Friday the 5th of October 2012. This compilation is one I put together for that Christmas, narrated by my colleague Matthew Gudgin.
Another one from 2012! I was a busy boy that year, although I think I can reveal from the safety of eight years' distance that David did give me a very generous bonus from a special pot of money which existed back then put probably doesn't know. (Not a literal pot, you understand. He didn't hand me a bunch of fifties!) This was another recording David had made which he didn't know quite what to do with - talking with Helen McDermott, Katie Glass and Tom Edwards about their regional TV continuity days. Once again I chopped it up, put it together and I think made a nice little programme for anyone with an interest in the history of television presentation and the days of in-vision announcers.
Undoubtedly one of the best things I have ever made, and one of the programmes of which I remain the most proud. My first really "authored" documentary, going out and about recording links and interviews at relevant locations. Telling the story of the connections between the county of Norfolk and the character of Sherlock Holmes, with some great readings by Look East's Kim Riley of excerpts from the original stories - Kim being someone I would go on to use more than once when I wanted a dignified voice with a bit of gravitas! Here's my blog entry on Far From the Fogs from back in 2013.
Something else of which I am very proud, although more of the individual elements than this after-the-fact compilation. For the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who in 2013, we were encouraged to do something similar to the "My Beatles Story" project of the previous year, this time with "My Doctor Who story" - tales of Norfolk people who had either some special love of or a particular connection to the show. There were features every day in breakfast leading up to the anniversary, and several through the day on the Friday. I was very proud of how I was able to combine my passion for and knowledge of the show and its history with my abilities as a producer to create a series of features which were - I think - open, accessible, enjoyable and accurate. I was very proud to be able to consider myself a tiny part of the BBC's own anniversary celebrations for the show, too. This compilation was originally put out on the Sunday of the anniversary weekend, and then repeated at Christmas. Here's another blog entry from the time, covering this and my other anniversary thoughts.
Another project initiated by David Clayton - although my colleague Edd Smith had also gone to him with the idea. David asked me to tell the story of the racing driver Ayrton Senna's early days in Norfolk, for a programme to mark the 20th anniversary of his 1994 death. I hugely enjoyed researching this and putting it together, and particularly going down to Broadcasting House to record the narration with ex-Radio Norfolk man Rob Bonnet. It was also a hugely exciting project personally, as it is - to date - the only one of my programmes to have been broadcast on a national network, with BBC Radio 5 Live taking a 25-minute edit which I made for them. Here's my original blog entry from 2014 about this one.
This was an interesting one, as it was a subject I didn't really know anything about or have any link to - the story of a late 1960s Norwich band called Eyes of Blond. Another David Clayton idea given to me to make, I enjoyed recording it and putting it all together and trying to give some flavour of not just one group but the Norwich music scene of the time. I think, or hope at least, that I managed to create something suitably evocative. "Craft" wise, as it were, I was pleased with myself for making what I thought was a coherent radio documentary without any narration - it's just the four of them talking, Beatles Anthology-style.
I'd seen the odd reference here and there down the years to Norfolk having been briefly considered as the launch base for the British space programme back in the 1960s, and I decided it was a subject worth having a go at. I can't pretend I was in any way the first to tell the story - Dean Arnett had done so for TV a few years before, for a start - but I do think I did it well. Trips to the Science Museum and the Isle of Wight were very enjoyable, and will always stay with me for having been on the day of the Brexit referendum result in 2016. I even ended up, because of travelling to make this, passing Downing Street at the moment David Cameron was making his resignation speech that morning - as covered here in my blog entry from back then.
When Sir John Hurt died in January 2017, I realised that we had done various interviews with him down the years while he was living near Cromer. I managed to put a few of them together, along with interviews with some of those connected to the various causes, events and institutions about which he'd been speaking to us. That included my own interview with him, a very enjoyable experience where he'd gently taken me to task over the idea that he always played characters with miserable or unhappy lives! I was also pleased to be able to clear the rights of him reading some poetry at an event at the Theatre Royal - getting involved in such rights clearances made me feel very grown-up! His widow, Lady Anwen, later asked for a copy to be sent to her on CD, which was quite an honour.
Not a documentary, but a feature interview I recorded for a May Bank Holiday show in 2017. Justin is the lead singer, songwriter and bassist with one of my favourites bands, Del Amitri, and he agreed to go into the BBC in Glasgow to record a down-the-line interview with me, ostensibly to promote his forthcoming solo gigs, a couple of which were to be in East Anglia. We did a wide-ranging interview about all sorts of aspects of his career, which I then broadcast in the first hour of my Bank Holiday show. On the basis that as it was a Bank Holiday I could do pretty much whatever I wanted, and it was nicer for the audience to hear an interesting, thoughtful interview with a man they could soon go and see in concert locally than just me chatting and playing records.
Part two of my "BBC East Trilogy", taking the story further back - to the establishment of the very first East Anglian radio service from Norwich in the 1950s. It also told the story of the BBC Local Radio pilots of the early 1960s, and was another huge challenge to find relevant archive and interviewees for. I adored doing it, however - the challenge of the research, dealing with finding and obtaining the archive, and having a reason to visit the BBC Written Archives Centre at Caversham, near Reading. The BBC still had the country house there as well then, where I went for lunch on one of the days I was there - a splendid bit of "old BBC" now gone. The programme itself is another one of which I am very proud, and a cut-down version concentrating just on the local radio pilots was almost broadcast by 5 Live - it was billed in the Radio Times and everything, but alas! Knocked off for live sport, as it happened. Here's a blog entry about some of what was going on with me that summer, including making this.
On election night in 2017 I presented the first part of our coverage, when I hadn't expected there to be a great deal to talk about. To help fill the space, I prepared some long archive packages on elections past in Norfolk, from the 1920s to the 2010s. In the event, after the dramatic exit poll there was a great deal to say, so most of them never got used. Not wanting to waste them, I came up with the idea of putting them together in their own programme, married with some new interviews I recorded about the experience of general election nights with three of our then local MPs - Chloe Smith, Norman Lamb and Henry Bellingham. The result is a bit cut-and-shut, but as a filler programme for the Christmas period that year I think it was perfectly acceptable and not too bad at all.
Marking ten years of the Treasure Quest show on Sunday mornings - I loved the chance to make the sort of programme I enjoy about a programme I myself had been involved in. The very first radio documentary I ever made had been about Treasure Quest, made as a test and an editing exercise really back in 2010. The challenge here was to try and make something sufficiently different, updating the story but still telling all of it, in an accessible fashion. With perfect access to interviewees and archive, it had no excuse to not be good, and I was pleased with the result - I had some very nice comments about it, too. Here are some further thoughts from 2018 about the tenth anniversary of Treasure Quest.
Another one for any fellow Del Amitri fans! I'd spent a great week-and-a-half following the band around the country on their tour in the summer of 2018, and when I got talking to someone in the queue for one of the gigs in Glasgow it turned out he knew that Ash, the drummer, also lived in Norfolk. I later emailed Ash for his website and asked if he'd like to be one of our Tuesday Guests, which he said yes to. As it turned out, I ended up standing in as producer that night, too - rather messing up my timings as I had so much to chat to Ash about, but this edited version for the Sunday "Gudgin's Guest" repeat ("Hayes Hosts" that week, obviously!) is tidied-up a bit! Ash also very kindly gave me a pair of drumsticks he'd used on the tour when he came in.
Up there with Far From the Fogs for the title of my favourite documentary I have made, I think. I knew we'd be marking the 60th anniversary of Norwich City's 1959 FA Cup run somehow, and I knew I wanted to use the extensive archive of the East Anglian broadcasts from the time which existed, and which the Norfolk Sound Archive had kindly transferred for me for The Network That Never Was back in 2017. I also knew it had to be sufficiently different to Gudge's 40th anniversary documentary from 1999, so I decided to make the broadcasting aspect the main thread - still telling the full story of the cup run, but hanging it on the framework of how the BBC covered it at the time. As with any good documentary it's the archive and the interviewees which really make it, all I did was bring together all the fantastic material that gave me. More than one person told me it made them cry - which must be a good thing! Also counts as the third and final part of my "BBC East Trilogy", and here's a blog entry from last year with more on how and why this one was made.
I hadn't expected to make another Norwich City-related documentary, especially not in the same year as Canaries in the Air. But by chance I became fascinated by the story of Arthur James "Jimmy" Jewell - a man who'd been an FA Cup final referee, Norwich City manager, the BBC's first ever regular TV football commentator and also, perhaps, the England manager too. Another one that it was great fun to go hither and thither across the country recording interviews and researching for, although I was chasing so much so close to the line that editing it became a real challenge. Two days before broadcast, it was about 50 minutes too long. I'm still disappointed about how much I had to cut, but it's one of those things where if you didn't know the material is missing, you don't notice. I even managed to do an even shorter version, which 5 Live took as a stand-by programme - you never know, maybe it will go out there someday! Here's my blog entry from last summer with more detail about the programme.
When Danny Boyle and Richard Curtis came to the east coast to make their Beatles-related film Yesterday in the summer of 2018, I did my best to try and get some behind-the-scenes access to make a "making of" documentary which could go out when it was released the following year. I had absolutely no joy with this, but fortunately our Great Yarmouth district reporter Andrew Turner - a much more forceful character! - managed to do a lot of behind-the-scenes reporting on the film. I decided to take all of his material, with a few other bits and pieces, and make it into a documentary which we broadcast when the film came out. Narrated by Andrew, who came over to Norwich to reach the voiceover script I'd written for him.
And that's it... for now! I do have another project currently in the works, however, which by good fortunate turns out to be one of the few documentaries it would have been practical for me to make this year in the end. You will hopefully hear it in September - when BBC Radio Norfolk turns 40.
As for what else I have been doing aside from my shifts at work - I have written a nine-and-a-half-thousand word short story, and have resurrected a non-fiction project I originally started work on five years ago, which may now actually end up in a publishable state - fingers crossed!