Deadlines

Troubador Publishing Ltd
Free sample

A book about life and death, stories and skies. An engaging memoir of being a local news reporter in an era before mobile phones and social media. Also the story of one crew of a WW2 Bomber and the night it was shot down. Colin Curtis failed to return from his third mission in 1942. His Wellington bomber was shot down over the North Sea. The aircraft and the six man crew have never been found. There was no search, no inquiry, no inquest, no funeral and no grave. A photograph of the 22 year old wartime pilot, who was training to be a teacher, helped inspire a life-long love of aviation in the nephew he never met. Over the years, Mike Curtis unpicked the short life of his uncle, his brief time in the RAF and his final few hours alive. The project prompted him to revisit his own youth as a young reporter in newspapers and BBC local radio, living a life that war denied to his father’s brother. As well as the trawl of local news in places like Lincolnshire, Cornwall and Oxford, Mike Curtis witnessed air crashes, flew in fast jets and was on both sides of the fence at Greenham Common. This is an evocative memoir of a time when typewriters clattered in smoky newsrooms and razor blades were used to edit radio interviews. It is an affectionate look back at local journalism with national exclusives, protests and tragedies to report, mishaps to manage and deadlines to be met. Snapshots of stories about family, famous airfields and airshows, Cold War jets, comedians, entertainers, footballers, musicians, Royalty, press magnates, pilots, politicians, heroic seamen, ghosts, racehorse trainers and exotic dancers share the pages with poignant tales of young lives shaped by war, among them the crews of Bomber Command who were shot out of the night sky by deadly lines of machine gun fire.
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About the author

Mike Curtis is a freelance journalist and author. He worked in local newspapers before joining BBC Radio where he spent more than 30 years as a reporter, presenter, journalism trainer, producer and news editor in local radio and at the Asian Network national radio station. He has had a lifelong interest in aviation.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Troubador Publishing Ltd
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Published on
Aug 28, 2017
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Pages
200
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ISBN
9781788030281
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs
History / Military / World War II
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Facing redundancy from the BBC after 20 years as a reporter and news editor, Mike Curtis got a stay of execution. His salvation found him unexpectedly in charge of setting up a newsroom for the BBC radio station broadcasting to the Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan and Bangladeshi communities across the Midlands – the Asian Network. He stayed for 14 years. Asian Auntie-ji tells how this son of an Anglican clergyman, with a love of western music, was thrown into a new world of Bollywood and bhangra, Diwali and Vaisakhi, Mirpuri and mosques, and cricket and Kashmir. The book unravels how this unique radio station dealt with many controversial issues arising from the religious and cultural sensitivities of its audience and its staff. It reflects how the Asian Network covered riots, racism and terror, but also how it gave a voice to so many British Asians; from the geographically isolated listener on the phone-in to those who achieved fame in sport and entertainment. Mike Curtis follows the story of the Asian Network, from its roots in local radio to its UK-wide expansion – and its dealings with BBC bosses. The views of its champions and its critics are reported with honesty and good humour. The Queen, the Duchess of Cornwall, Sebastian Coe, Ravi Shankar, Jay Sean, Amir Khan, Greg Dyke, Meera Syal and Shah Rukh Khan are among those sprinkled throughout the saga, along with the Asian Network’s own stars like Bobby Friction, Sonia Deol and Adil Ray. Mike Curtis describes how the team was moved around the managements of Radio 1, Radio 2 and Five Live – and how they regularly upset The Archers at Radio 4. Asian Auntie-ji is a fascinating autobiography that will appeal to an audience beyond the story of the radio station, embracing such names as Monty Python, TV’s Big Brother, Brian Blessed, Carlos Santana, Boris Johnson, Judi Dench, David Blunkett, 1950s test pilot Roly Beamont and DJ Orifice Vulgatron. Those with an interest in the media, the BBC, politics, and ethnicity and the South Asian experience in the UK will find it particularly rewarding.
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