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Local writer celebrates launch of new radio slot

Local writer celebrates launch of new radio slot

by Culture Liverpool

Children’s author and social entrepreneur, Natalie Reeves Billing, will be trading her writer’s room for the Liverpool Live Radio studio for a new weekly radio slot with award-winning presenter, Roy Basnett (presenter of the station’s regular weekly morning shows) and Cllr Barbara Murray.

Natalie says she’s looking forward to engaging in some lively conversations with an inspiring line-up of guests. The new show, ‘Liverpool Speaks’, has a lunchtime slot (from 12 noon-1pm) every Thursday.

Natalie said:

“Talking helps us feel connected, puts things into perspective, introduces us to new experiences and smashes isolation and loneliness to bits, and to be able to do this next to two wonderful human beings and beautiful friends just makes it even better.”

She added that hosting the first show had been exciting and nerve wracking in equal measure, joking that initially she was so careful not to speak over everyone:

“I found myself saying: ‘Liverpool speaks but I can’t seem to!’”

With the first show nerves behind her, the author says she’s looking forward to: “building up a community and having some important conversations” with her co-hosts and guests. She added that the show’s title: ‘Liverpool Speaks’ ties in with the theme of this year’s ‘Liverpool Year of the Spoken Word (which follows on from Liverpool Year of Writing).

Natalie performed at the launch of ‘Liverpool Speaks’ at Liverpool’s Central Library on 26th February, ushering in a new year of creativity alongside her co-host Cllr Barbara Murray, who is the Labour Councillor for Yew Tree Ward and Chair of the Education and Skills Select Committee.

Cllr Barbara Murray said:

“I am delighted that Roy has offered us an opportunity to promote Liverpool Year of Spoken Word on his radio show. The year is the third in a Literacy Cycle intended to highlight the importance of reading, writing and speaking as skills for life. We will be exploring and promoting all types of spoken word and performance throughout the year and radio is a brilliant platform for discussing and sharing our activities, with conversations, chat and interviews. I also hope we will bring an interesting variety of guests to the show for listeners to engage with.”

Roy Basnett started his radio career in the late 1990s, winning the prestigious Sony Radio Academy Silver award for best UK sports programme in 2014.

Natalie said that the ‘Liverpool Speaks’ co-hosts want to create a show that feels inclusive and chatty, while tackling the big topics of the day, and added:

“I feel so lucky to get to sit alongside my friends and have conversations with all these people doing amazing things.”

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