The assignment Listening to the 0700-0800 hour of the BBC local radio breakfast shows outside London on Friday 22 July 2016 to check out which shows were on top of their game (and the ones that were below par)

The result  A Top 10 plus selections of the top local items on each show (after skipping through chitchat and most telephone interviews), and excluding the items common to most shows: Emily Unia or a Wall Street Journal journalist on Donald Trump, Mickey Clark on Sports Direct, the Speaking Clock anniversary, CancerUK on the dangers of alcohol and the end of VCR production.

The Top 10

  1. BBC Essex: James Whale
  2. BBC Radio Leicester: Jim Davis and Monica Winfield
  3. BBC Radio Suffolk: Etholle George
  4. BBC Radio Cambridgeshire: Dotty McLeod
  5. BBC Radio Shropshire: Clare Ashford and Eric Smith
  6. BBC Radio Bristol: Emma Britton
  7. BBC Radio Stoke: Pete Morgan
  8. BBC Radio Derby: Ian Skye
  9. BBC Radio Lancashire: Graham Liver
  10. BBC Somerset: Claire Carter

Around the stations

BBC Radio Berkshire: David Prever (in for Andrew Peach)

  • voxpop of fans/phone interview with a player about Newbury FC facing eviction
  • Sue Kinnear reports live from narrowboat containing travelling actors

BBC Radio Bristol: Emma Britton

  • Jess Rudkin tells the story of Hannah Francis, 18, who has terminal cancer and has become social media star thanks to Willberry the Wonder Pony
  • Tracey Miller reports on help given to a family who lost house in fire
  • Fiona Lamdin visits safe house for trafficked men
  • Interview with Robot Wars competitor Craig

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire: Dotty McLeod

  • Waseem Mirza reports on problems of charging electric cars including “charge rage” plus an interview with green car owner
  • Busted fan Dotty talks to the group’s Matt Willis about their Newmarket gig, plus what’s the best gig you’ve been to?
  • Johnny Dee reports live from Ely cathedral looking for stars filming Assassin’s Creed 

BBC Radio Cornwall: James Churchfield and Mel Osborne (in for Pam Spriggs)

  • detailed coverage of NHS bed blocking problems in the region
  • Gemma Taylor reports from Zeb’s young people’s club where they are collecting items for homeless people

BBC Coventry & Warwickshire: Trish Adudu and Jo Tidman

  • Boss challenged after Coventry and Rugby clinical commissioning group placed in special measures
  • Voxpop/Institute of Advanced Motoring interview/listener contributions on older drivers/accident figures
  • Richard Williams reports from eel ecology project
  • Trish reports from conference on hate crime

BBC Radio Cumbria: Mike Zeller

  • Voxpop/listener contributions on school trips/Jennie Dennett reports  from Camp Cumbria on school holidays
  • Political reporter Bob Cooper on Donald Trump

BBC Radio Derby: Ian Skye

  • Andrew Strachan meets unhappy customers as Burton BHS closes
  • Grace Nathan visits shop which has put its Christmas range on sale
  • Martyn Williams reports live from the Elvis hedge in Milford
  • the station’s football summariser Craig Ramage talks about  Sam Allardyce

BBC Radio Devon: Simon Bates

  • Kirk England talks to disgruntled drivers about the North Devon link road
  • Harriet Bradshaw visits an Exeter open space that is up for sale

BBC Dorset: Simon Jupp (in for Steve Harris)

  • Laurence Herdman reports from a Dorchester college where a big, new sign has upset locals
  • Dorset Lives features a studio interview with kickboxing charity fundraiser Caroline

BBC Essex: James Whale

  • Excellent, contrasting interviews about free IVF treatment on the NHS with the father of an IVF baby and an opponent from the charity Life who dislikes “manufacturing children using sperm taken in indecent fashion”
  • suggestions for alternative Olympic sports including interview with a jouster Ben Green

BBC Radio Gloucestershire: Mark Cummings

  • Gavin Kermack meets traders setting up at the Gloucester food festival
  • David Smith reports from the Star Wars-themed maize maze
  • Hayley Mortimer meets the commander at Imjin barracks as he prepares to retire

BBC Radio Guernsey: Jim Cathcart

  • coverage of airport delays

BBC Hereford & Worcester: Elliot Webb and Toni Macdonald

  • audio of members of a Redditch support group for people with mental health problems who claim they are not getting enough NHS help
  • interview with TV journalist caught up in Turkey coup

BBC Radio Humberside: Carl Wheatley and Lizzie Rose

  • A focus on seaside success stories includes reports by Lara King in Cleethorpes and Caroline Brocklebank in Bridlington
  • Gareth Barlow reports from expanding caravan park and a microbrewery in an old lifeboat station

BBC Radio Jersey: Ashlea Tracey

  • two-way with Naomi Denning on new commercial waste charge
  • Ashlea interviews a candidate in the upcoming senate by-election and  meets women making tissue flowers for the St Helier float in the Battle of the Flowers

BBC Radio Kent: John Warnett and Maggie Doyle

  • blasts of Alice Cooper crop up in coverage of the “great getaway” with Nick Johnson reporting live  from the port at Dover, Jo Burn joining a motorway patrol, listeners’ stories about their last day at school and a primary school voxpop
  • John learns how to shuck (quite badly) as he visits the Whitstable oyster festival with Maggie

BBC Radio Lancashire: Graham Liver

  • The show comes live from the Bowley scout camp where the team has spent the night
  • Interviews with a councillor about its sale of 93 countryside sites, the RSPB about the Big Wild Sleepout and the fire and rescue service about the dangers of swimming in the wild

BBC Radio Leeds: Richard Stead (in for Liz Green)

  • audio of patient Chris King and an interview with surgeon Simon Kay about the double hand transplant he performed in Leeds
  • Tim Daly reports on a sculpture exhibition using prosthetic limbs
  • Tracey Gee trains with the Bradford Bulls rugby league team

BBC Radio Leicester: Jim Davis and Monica Winfield (in for Jo Hayward)

  • Tim Parker reports on fears for a children’s heart unit’s future
  • Bridget Blair reports on a Rutland service helping people after they’ve left hospital
  • Sam Plummer meets happy tourists in Leicester
  • The series of reports by presenters on their favourite Leicestershire places features Martin Ballard at the ruins of Ashby de la Zouch castle
  • Dale Neal reports live from the Anglo Saxon cemetery in Rothley

BBC Radio Lincolnshire: Scott Dalton

  • David Sykes reports from Skegness on the reasons for its success in attracting visitors

BBC Radio Manchester: Alison Butterworth and Eamonn O’Neal (in for Phil Trow)

  • Alison meets women’s cricketer Kate Cross
  • Mat Trewern reports from a Rochdale scheme feeding schoolchildren during the holidays
  • voxpop of Pakistan fans as the cricket team plays at Old Trafford

BBC Radio Merseyside: Tony Snell

  • interviews with opponents of housing on the greenfield Allerton Priory site
  • wonderful montage of summer holiday TV themes
  • Marc Gaier reports from a Kensington construction project to help veterans
  • Tony visits Maritime Museum exhibition about river pilots

BBC Newcastle: Alfie Joey and Gilly Hope

  • Gilly broadcasts live from the Sunderland air show previewing the weekend’s events
  • Interview with a police officer about security at major events
  • Interview with Hartlepool MP Iain Wright about the damning report into Sports Direct

BBC Radio Norfolk: David Whiteley (in for Nick Conrad)

  • Tim Sparrow on the attempted abduction at RAF Marham base
  • the expansion of Attleborough covered with a voxpop and an interview with the headteacher of a primary school that is struggling to cope

BBC Radio Northampton: Stuart Linnell

  • Comprehensive coverage of the problem of  bed blocking including interviews with the Live At Home service and a Labour MP, plus listeners’ contributions

BBC Radio Nottingham: Andy Whittaker and Verity Cowley (in for Sarah Julian)

  • Steve Beech on unhappiness over Ashfield’s smaller household waste bins
  • Hayley Compton reports live from Market Square as its beach opens, plus a voxpop on beach behaviour
  • Studio interview with fashion designer Sophie who is working to improve clothing for wheelchair users and Rob, who is her guinea pig.

BBC Radio Oxford: Howard Bentham

  • Interviews with woman forced to move out due to noise caused at night from the A40 roadworks and Izzie from the Story Museum on Roald Dahl
  • Lily Mitchell reports live from a cycle shop checking out bike fashions

BBC Radio Sheffield: Toby Foster

  • interviews with the Unite union about the damning report about Sports Direct and a councillor about Sheffield’s smoke-free policy in playgrounds
  • enjoyable chat about the end of VCR manufacturing
  • A Listening Project conversation between a mother and son

BBC Radio Shropshire: Clare Ashford and Eric Smith

  • Jules Morgan meets parents and staff marking the retirement of Bromley Jones after 29 years as a primary school headteacher
  • interviews about council’s controversial decision to replace its computer system
  • Genevieve Tudor meets protesting dairy farmers
  • James Fanning voxpops Much Wenlock about schoolday memories, plus listeners’ contributions (including the teacher who singed Yvonne’s eyebrows!)
  • Jim Hawkins meets volunteers at Market Drayton art gallery showing Genuine Fakes exhibition

BBC Radio Solent: Steve Harris (in for Julian Clegg)

  • Dominic Blake reports live from Southsea where the reopening of the South Parade pier has been delayed
  • Judy Goodlet interviews a prison visitor in the People’s Passions feature
  • Hannah Bewley reports on plans to cut Hampshire rubbish dump hours

BBC Somerset: Claire Carter

  • two-way with reporter Jack Murley about the Hinkley C power station decision
  • Jack Killah meets family and friends to talk about the support for a man who collapsed with a brain AVM
  • studio interview with members of the all-women Pink Bra’ss brass band
  • Andy Bennett comes up with some of Somerset’s strange/amusing road names
  • Fiona Lamdin visits safe house for trafficked men

BBC Radio Stoke: Pete Morgan

  • John Acres reports from Newcastle recycling depot on fury over delayed bin collections, plus angry calls
  • Chris King meets volunteers on the 70th anniversary of Meals on Wheels in Stoke
  • political reporter Matthew Bone and a leave supporting farmer on Brexit aftermath

BBC Radio Suffolk: Etholle George

  • A day of live programmes linked to sport begins with an OB at Ipswich hospital’s physiotherapy department where interviewees include a member of staff who is undergoing treatment after injury and the orthopaedics matron
  • lovely interview with former Olympic discus thrower Bill Tancred
  • Kate Arkell meets runners on the Ipswich parkrun

BBC Surrey: James Cannon and Suzanne Bamborough

  • interview with Auto Express about smart motorways plus Jo Burn joins a motorway patrol
  • phone interviews with a Crawley collector of Monopoly sets and police officer about the bullying of two vulnerable Guildford adults

BBC Sussex: Nigel Williams (in for Neil Pringle)

  • interviews with Brighton nursery supervisor and a CCG chairman about lessons on healthy eating and body image
  • Ben Weisz reports from meeting of A27 Action Group opposing plans to make Worthing road dual carriageway

BBC Tees: Neil Green and Amy Oakden

  • Matty Jones voxpop on the faked Middlesbrough in David Beckham’s Sky Sports ad
  • Adam Clarkson reports on the Pokemon Go tour
  • interview with Teesside University students about their exchange trip to Kazakhstan

 BBC Three Counties Radio: Andy Collins

  • coverage of sports clubs being kicked out of the Venue 360 sports facility to make way for Luton Town training
  • political editor Paul Scoins is on wry form in the Paul’s Politics slot reviewing the week’s events
  • Justin Dealey reports live with great verve from Milton Keynes on the terrifying seagulls

BBC Wiltshire: Ben Prater

  • interview with Harriet Harman who is raising fears over counter-extremism strategy
  • Karen Gardner reports from the Bulford air base amid a security alert
  • bursts of Eddie Cochran and Jerry Keller precede reports on the cost of days out for children in Wiltshire by Sangita Lal

BBC WM: Adrian Goldberg

  • after a burst of Alice Cooper, Adrian seeks “school’s out” poems and holiday job stories
  • detailed coverage about the new Wolves FC owners and a residents’ parking scheme near hospital
  • Interview with Birmingham’s poet laureate Adrian Blackledge about the soon-to-be-vacant role

BBC Radio York: Adam Tomlinson (in for Georgey Spanswick)

  • two-way with sports reporter Sharon Shortle on the folding of York City Knights rugby league club
  • Joanita Musisi reports from the science tent at the Deer Shed festival