Freelance work at BBC Wiltshire

A Wiltshire shopping centre was criticised for allowing pest control experts to shoot pigeons on their property. I went to ask customers there how they felt.

As part of BBC Wiltshire’s coverage of the GDP figures released on 25/07/2013, I interviewed the owner of a Swindon café and ice cream parlour.

CUE: We’ll get an official update on how the UK’s economy is doing later this morning.
The GDP figures will tell us how much the country’s total economic output has grown or shrunk during April, May and June.
It’s the main measure of everything produced from cars to food, hairdressing to hospital operations.
So are you feeling like things are on the up, here’s what you told us in Swindon.

BBC Wiltshire – Lee Stone drive time interview with local business [Radio]

The news that the country has avoided a triple dip recession might not be any immediate comfort to struggling businesses,
but here’s one aspirational story about a man who found success despite the economic situation in the country.

Oli Christie worked in Swindon for a number of years before using his expertise to start his own company.

He’s been telling our reporter Sam Howlett about his success.

BBC Wiltshire – Vox Pops for Mark O’Donnell [Radio]

Right now, politicians and economists are watching Swindon very closely. If any town is going to show us the way to handle recession, it’s Swindon. With its history of ambition, innovation and productivity – where it leads, many will follow.

The economic reality is that Swindon is one of the most successful towns in the country – if it wasn’t the UK Space Agency wouldn’t be here – nor Zurich, Honda, WH Smith, Nationwide, BMW…well, we all know the list.

Not that the people who live there necessarily see it that way….

Olympic football: The countdown begins

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Great Britain hasn’t participated in Olympic football for 40 years, the last time Great Britain had any success was 1912.

England famously won the world cup on home ground in 1966 and with the Olympics taking part on British soil perhaps this year, football could be coming home once again.

Stuart Pearce’s team selection was met with a mixed reaction, most notably by staunch Beckham supporters.

Robbie Savage, who played in Manchester United’s youth squad alongside Beckham also joined in the debate that ensued on Twitter.

Goldenballs aside, the three over-23 selections that Pearce made do make sense.

Craig Bellamy (Liverpool), Ryan Giggs (Manchester United) and Micah Richards (Manchester City) were selected for the team.

This North-West footballing trio that stars in Premier League will bring something to each third of the pitch.

As expected, these senior players will be looked to for some deal of leadership and Bellamy is a good choice for somebody to lead the attack having played as Welsh captain for four years.

Giggs will be expected to show the same prowess he has done in midfield over the past season for Manchester United, his creativity and experience will be a great benefit to the squad and he is possibly a good choice for captain having been Bellamy’s predecessor in Welsh football.

As for defensive options, many were surprised when Micah Richards did not travel to Euro 2012 with England but what may have been the three-lions’ loss will certainly be a gain for Team GB, a rock-steady right-back to inspire a fresh, young group of defenders.

The goalkeeping options are representing the Championship – unless they get snapped up by PL clubs anyway.

Jack Butland (Birmingham) is the more likely first choice after his call-up to the England squad in the Euros after John Ruddy’s withdrawal, however Jason Steele (Middlesbrough) will certainly want to prove himself as an Olympian.

Joining them will be: Ryan Bertrand (Chelsea), Steven Caulker (Tottenham), Craig Dawson (West Brom), Neil Taylor (Swansea), James Tomkins (West Ham), Joe Allen (Swansea), Tom Cleverley (Manchester United), Jack Cork (Southampton), Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal), Danny Rose (Tottenham), Scott Sinclair (Swansea), Marvin Sordell (Bolton), Daniel Sturridge (Chelsea).

Team GB will meet their first opponents, Brazil, in Middlesbrough at the end of the month for a friendly before the games kick off proper.