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Progress report: 56 hour Children in Need broadcast on Calon FM – Day One

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And so it begins: Co-presenter Dan Middleton with some of today’s many guests   Photo: Emma Tattum/Kara Beth Davies

Egwyl writers Kara Beth Davies and Emma Tattum left the comfort of their lecture rooms (!) to call in at Calon FM and find out just how our intrepid team were faring with the rigours of day one of their epic 56 hour broadcast for Children in Need. Would the coffee and cake run out? Would the team lose their voices? Would Jamie remember to bring in his Batman Onesie? Read on to find out how day one panned out. STOP PRESS: At the time of writing this, our students had already raised an incredible £958 for Children in Need. Woo hoo! Well done guys.

Six hours in, another 50 to go.

Marathon men Jamie Davies, Jack Price, Dan Middleton and Harry Wright are on a marathon broadcasting mission, for Children in Need, on Calon FM.

I have just arrived at community radio station Calon FM, based here on our Wrexham Glyndwr University campus. It’s 3pm, the sun is shining and bursting with life, as are Jamie, Jack, Dan and Harry – good friends and fellow students on the broadcasting, journalism and media communications degree at Glyndwr. The energy levels are high and so are the amounts of tea, coffee and hot chocolate being consumed.

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Coffee break: Jamie Davies grabs a quick cuppa in between chat and live music sessions on the show    Photo: Kara Beth Davies/Emma Tattum

Brimming with games

The foyer of the Centre for Creative Industries has donation boxes and various arrays of cakes and biscuits. It’s very neatly set out, completely contrasting with the Calon FM office! It’s brimming with games, tennis rackets and much more, presumably to keep them all entertained as the hours slowly tick away.

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Children in Need fundraiser: An array of cakes and biscuits were also on sale to raise money for the charity    Photo: Kara Beth Davies/Emma Tattum

Dan is currently on air, but I take Jamie and Jack into the second studio for a chat. The noise is at a grand level outside, but the second studio is so much quieter. I sit down opposite the very energetic pair.

“Six hours down the line, we’ve already made a few mistakes,” Jamie giggles, “the automatic music has gone on while I’m speaking, I’ve done it twice.”

Mammoth task

“I think it’ll be the Thursday evening and the Friday morning, it’ll be in between that period where we’ll be really feeling it.”

Mistakes or not, it definitely does not distract from the sheer effort of this mammoth task that the three friends have set themselves. No one has ever attempted a 56 hour broadcast for Calon FM – until today, that is.

“I think it’ll be the Thursday evening and the Friday morning, it’ll be in between that period where we’ll be really feeling it. The adrenaline and the initial excitement would have disappeared,” Jack told me.

Lit like Christmas trees

So far, so good. They are not running out of any steam yet. They are looking lit like Christmas trees so far.

I ask Dan about his reasons for doing this incredible stint of live radio for Children in Need. He told me: “When we were planning this in the summer, we were deciding which would be the best month to do it and what would fit around our courses, we sort of came across November and agreed that it was a perfect time to do it for Children in Need.”

I have currently been here just over an hour, the sun was bleeding through the wide windows and now it’s nothing but a shadow. Darkness is looming and the night shift is approaching for the trio.

How will they feel tomorrow? Only time will tell.

Kara Beth Davies

And here are some soundbites that sum up the mood of the intrepid Calon FM team on day one, gathered by fellow Egwyl writer Emma Tattum:

“I’ve got my Batman onesie for tonight!”
Jamie Davies
“We’re a few hours in and spirits are high.”
Dan Middleton
“We’re 6 hours down the line – still 50 to go!”
Jack Price
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