Moaning about the weather... Green wellies because it’s Surrey... and a visit from the BBC director general...

James wasnt banking on having to get to the BBC studios by boat - illustration Dorling Kindersley

James wasnt banking on having to get to the BBC studios by boat - illustration Dorling Kindersley - Credit: Getty Images/Dorling Kindersley RF

BBC Surrey Breakfast Show host James Cannon takes us behind the scenes of his busy life – at the station’s studios in Guildford, out and about in our county and in his hometown of Woking with the family

Roll on spring. I don’t think I’ve ever wished for a change of season more. The recent floods, a cold February and dark, dark mornings have taken their toll. I did hear birdsong when I left home early one morning late in January; it was clearly an optimistic creature or one with the libido akin to a premiership footballer.

Suffice to say that spring can’t come soon enough in our house. I can’t wait for light mornings and evenings; to be able to get outside without getting soaked, or children moaning that it’s too cold.

However, the garden is frankly a complete state. What was once a lawn has been ruined by football, lovely flowerbeds also ruined by football, and the fence, you’ve guessed it, ruined by football. I was reliably informed by a close friend that your children don’t really play football in your garden when they get to about ten; they were lying!

Weather with you

So I’m moaning about the weather; how typically British. The thing is, on BBC Surrey, we’ve spent the best part of 2014 talking non-stop about it. Whenever there’s a storm, a flood or even the most minor snow flurry, these are all occasions when people turn to their local radio station.

I’ve got to pay tribute to my colleague Adrian Harms who barely had the chance to take off his wellington boots (green of course – we are in Surrey…) as he reported from the floods. His on-the-spot insight and interviews with people whose homes and businesses were damaged made for some incredible moments on our station.

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He was at The Mill in Elstead, where the Grade II listed pub was flooded on Christmas Eve, meaning the landlord had to cancel their Christmas day serving. They were then served a second blow when burglars broke in!

We also reported from homes in Chertsey, Runnymede, Godalming and Leatherhead, hearing Adrian treading on sodden carpets and the heartbreaking stories of people losing treasured possessions.

During one of our many interviews, I asked a spokesman from the Environment Agency if he’d buy a home by the river in Surrey. His hesitant response? “Probably not.”

An important visitor

In actual fact, our floods coverage was noted by the top brass at the BBC. We had a visit from the director general who came to meet the team. My highlight of the visit came via the aforementioned Adrian Harms. On Christmas Eve, he had managed to squeeze in a full day reporting from the floods, then get to London for a performance of The Nutcracker at the Royal Opera House, then back to Surrey for further reporting duties. Adrian was very enthusiastic about the Opera House and asked director general Tony Hall if he’d ever been there? His response: “I used to run it.” I’m still smiling at that one!


Catch presenter James Cannon on the BBC Surrey Breakfast Show every weekday from 6am to 9am on 104-104.6 FM or on DAB digital radio

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