Sheep on Radio

I’m a regular listener of BBC 6Music, particularly The Shaun Keaveny Breakfast Show. As well as enjoying the music they play, I frequently struggle to eat my breakfast during the show, as I’m crying with laughter. I particularly laugh at Shaun’s introduction of his sidekick, and music news presenter, Matt Everitt: each day there is a different theme, a different sketch, a different character and accent.

I was delighted to find out that Shaun and Matt were doing a live broadcast of the last hour of their Friday show to a live audience in Edinburgh. My friend from Newcastle is a long time listener of the show too, so we both signed up for tickets and were lucky enough to get selected. He suggested, “Why not knit something for Shaun?” Of course, I need no encouragement to knit, and decided to make a sheep (like Shaun the Sheep) for Shaun, and one for Matt Everitt too. Shaun is always ribbing Matt about having grey hair and a long face, so I made a grey sheep with a long face especially for him.

I found a great free pattern – Counting Sheep Mobile, and used that pattern more or less for the sheep. It worked fine, until I realised the sheep wouldn’t stand up, as they were designed to hang from a mobile. My answer was to stuff cut up plastic drinking straws in the legs, which worked, although the legs were a bit wayward and they looked a bit drunk. I also made little headphones for the sheep, just like Shaun and Matt wear.

Two sheep

Shaun sheep

Shaun sheep

Matt sheep

Matt sheep

See details on Ravelry (login needed).

The day of the broadcast came, and my friend and I set off with my sheep and knitting bag to Edinburgh. I was excited to go and see the show, and a bit nervous about just how I was going to give my sheep to them without looking like a raving lunatic! We arrived early and were given an assigned number, and I sat in the BBC enclosure doing a bit of knitting while waiting to go into the marquee for the show. I was thinking shall I give the sheep to one of the BBC assistants? or wait until I go in? Matt Everitt came out and interviewed a few people waiting for the show, but I didn’t feel I could just go up and accost him with sheep, live on air. We were sent into the marquee in groups of the assigned numbers, and because we got there early and had a low number we were in the second row from the front. I hoped this would give me an easier opportunity to give the sheep. I did a bit of knitting while we were listening to the show from the studio, hoping again someone might notice me and I could give the sheep, but the lights went down ready for the performance to start, so I had to stop.

Shaun made his entrance as Freddie Mercury in tight stonewashed jeans, tight white t-shirt and a Freddie moustache drawn on with mascara! The show guests were Nicholas Parsons, and the comedian David O’Doherty:

Shaun and guests

Funnily, after many warnings to everyone from the presenters, of “We are live. Please do not swear.” Who would have thought it would be Nicholas Parsons who swore! He swore when his mobile phone rang while he was being interviewed.

The rapper Abandoman came on to help Shaun with his Middle Age Shoutouts.

Shaun and Abandoman

This is Matt Everitt interviewing someone in the audience for their Middle Age Shoutout:

Matt interviews

This is Shaun and Matt together again after a week apart, while Shaun was broadcasting the show from Edinburgh through the week:

Shaun and Matt

Some people behind me held up handmade bunting with a sweary slogan (I couldn’t read it, as it was right behind me – I could see it ended in “ck”). Shaun said unfortunately it was unbroadcastable. Again I felt I’d missed an opportunity to give the sheep, as everyone’s eyes were just two rows behind me. I decided it wasn’t on to interrupt the show with my sheepy gift, and that I would wait until the end, or just post them to London if necessary. I still kept hoping I might catch someone’s eye while the music was playing, as I was just in front of the mixing desks, and the producer etc. were hanging about there.

Shaun and the crew

Shaun ended the show by getting his guitar out and leading us in singing his Cheese Song:

The Cheese Song

We walked past the front of the stage as we left, and the lady who made the bunting rushed up to Shaun and presented it to him so I waited behind her to give my sheep, but as she left, Shaun turned away and didn’t see me. Luckily, Matt was by the mixing desk, so at last I gave the sheep to him. He seemed delighted and gave me a big hug. He headed to the back of the stage where everyone was doing a group photo of the presenters and guests.  After the photo, Matt gave Shaun his sheep, and I could see Shaun asking who gave them, and Matt pointed me out, and they both came over to thank me. My friend was on hand to take the photos:

Shaun, Matt and sheep

Shaun, Matt, sheep and Me

It was such a good, fun experience.

I’m later than I intended writing this blog post, so there’s not much time to listen to the shows on the BBC iplayer, but here are the links:

Friday live broadcast
Expires: 10.00hrs Friday 17th August 2012

Grand finale and cheese song podcast
Expires: 24.00hrs Friday 17th August 2012

I got a thank you on the show on Monday (listen at 2:10 mins – expires: 10.00hrs Monday 20th August 2012)

Lots of photos of the show and Shaun’s week in Edinburgh on the BBC website.

My friend and I spent most of the weekend at the Edinburgh Festival. I was particularly impressed by Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells for Two and Emily Andersen’s spoken word performance, Love in the Key of Britpop. We went to this entirely due to listening back to Shaun’s Friday’s show, Emily wrote and read a poem to start the show. Her performances are FREE. It really brought back memories of living in London with my friend Emma, and going to gigs, Midweeker night at The Borderline, and hanging out in Camden 1995-2000.

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