What goes on in the newsroom..

There have been occasions when reality TV show researchers have optimistically approached one or other of our newsrooms with a hopeful glint in their eye.

Friday, 29th September 2017, 7:00 pm
Bring a ferret

That is about as far as they get.

The last thing a journalist needs, when investigating the daily news agenda, is a camera at their shoulder.

For one, it would be boring.

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A newsroom on best behaviour is, after all, just a particularly messy office with heightened levels of caffeine and stress.

But it is also an environment like no other and when you put a bunch of wordsmiths in a room, the normalities of polite society can go somewhat out of the window (not that far m’lud).

But when you deal with stories detailing extremes of human behaviour, from harrowing to sad and happy, relief has to be found somewhere and the newsroom pressure cooker lets off steam in a unique way - which mainly cannot be repeated in this column.

Of course, we are in a unusual situation and find ourselves talking to people from ordinary to extraordinary.

We attract extremes which can be uncomfortable or amusing.

Then there are our many armchair critics although those who used to write in with green ink now comment on Facebook.

As I write this my colleague is still giggling from the reader who rang in to complain a phone number was missing off one of our classified adverts for a rather personal massage service.

Another is currently laughing herself into a crying fit after being sent a video which if we published would win the internet - but we have chosen not to publish (see, we do have morals..)

But some of the funniest moments come from dealing with those in an official capacity.

My dealings with secret service personnel over the years (please don’t put me in prison) mainly for Prime Minister visits have seen a few amusing moments, not least when they repeatedly rang my mobile with odd requests.

Partly, I think, to check me out.

But on one memorable occasion to ask what their London-based armed and plain clothes agents should wear to a Lancashire event to fit in.

‘Flats caps’, I replied. ‘And bring a ferret!’