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Lockdown Life As A Podcast Freelancer

I hit a wall today. Tiredness and exhaustion has swept over me! My body aches.

Someone asked me yesterday how has lockdown been as a freelancer?

I’ve only just stopped to realise how busy I have actually been.

In fact I wrote a stock take of what I’ve been up to during 2020:

>Produced/coached/presented 120 podcast episodes across 14 series.

>Another 46 episodes/8 series in the pipeline for completion by the end of the year.

>’Performed’ 9 public speaking/training gigs.

>Started work on an immersive AI audio pilot project.

When the UK went into lockdown on the 23rd March 2020, I lost £15k’s worth of work overnight. Just like that.

But I didn’t stop. I picked up the phone and adapted.

Here's a flavour of some of those projects I've since played a small and large part in creating:

PlacePrints by New Perspectives Theatre (Published June 2020)

Hidden voices and haunted landscapes are conjured up in ten unique audio stories, using the imagination of visionary writer David Rudkin. Including this episode, featuring the voice of a deadly plague sweeping through a 17th century Derbyshire village...

Shifts by Wayward Productions (Culture in Quarantine, BBC Radio 3 Aug 2020)

Poetry, testimony and interviews inspired by the experiences of nurses during lockdown. 30 minute one-off doc available via BBC Sounds. (Illustration by Hannah Robinson.)

Sounds of Silence by Soumik Datta (Culture in Quarantine, BBC Radio 3 Aug 2020)

A five-part series exploring the impact of lockdown on musicians across the UK. Featuring an opera singer, kirtan singer and beatboxer... Listen via the BBC Sounds app.

A Birdsong Garden by Geoff Sample (Culture in Quarantine, BBC Radio 3 Aug 2020)

Sound recordist Geoff Sample reveals how nature can enrich our lives across the seasons. This five-part series is a mix of memoir, natural history, folklore, birdsong and spacious soundscapes.

Read the Radio Times post about why and how Geoff made this. Available via the BBC Sounds app.

User Not Found by Dante or Die (Published Sept 2020)

Once a pop-up theatre show, now a one-off immersive video podcast, about what happens to our online identities after we die. Launch partnership was with The Guardian. Watch/listen via YouTube or Apple Podcasts.

Isolation, In Your Words (Culture in Quarantine, TX BBC Radio 3 on Oct 31st 2020)

“What does lockdown feel like?” IIYW includes stories of the British public meshed with a blend of rap, jazz, a cappella and verbatim theatre. This half-hour musical documentary blurs the line between songwriting and social research in capturing a snapshot of this unique moment in history.

The musicians collective includes a rapper who is an NHS doctor by day! Here's a 90 second preview:


For most of 2020 I’ve been terrified by the question ‘what if’, I’ve been powered by the overwhelming feeling of guilt as you hear friends and colleagues struggle to make ends meet... I barely stopped for breath because I feared all my work could disappear with the blink of an eye.

I don’t think I’m the only one.

So here’s to pausing for a second.

Reflecting on what we’ve done - not just what’s still to do.

And taking a few moments to catch our breath with a much needed pat on the back just for getting through.

What a bloody year.


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