Getting Started: Amy Ferguson (BBC Radio Scotland)

Ever wondered what it’s like to work in radio? BBC Radio Scotland’s Amy Ferguson had a quick chat with us about her role and how she got her start in the industry. Amy works as a producer on the The Janice Forsyth Show and has talked at some of our previous OTR events – this has led to some of the bands and musicians that have attended these events gaining airplay on the show. She will be speaking on our Promoting Your Music panel this weekend at Off The Record Dumfries.

Amy Ferguson

What attracted you to a career in radio production?
I grew up listening to radio, at first in the car with my dad, and then in my room to keep me company when I was alone, and I’ve always loved it, but it never really occurred to me that I could have a career in it until I took up a Masters in Multimedia Journalism course at Glasgow Caledonian University, and got more interested in it. Then my friend Amy MacBeath told me about a Radio Academy networking event happening at Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall. We went along together and told everyone we met that we were both called Amy, and both loved radio, and would love to come and sit in on the various shows there. One of the producers was Nick Low, who produced Janice Forsyth’s Saturday Show at the time. He invited us to speak to him at his radio studio, Demus productions, and then to sit in on one of the shows – I was hooked… I then applied for work experience on the arts show at the time, which Janice also presented, and my Senior Producer took me under her wing and encouraged me to start producing radio within my first year of working there, and to cut a long story short, I never left, I’d found my dream job.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
The best thing about my job is the buzz I get out of producing the show and being able to see everything through from the beginning to the end, from booking guests and writing research briefs, to studio production and audio editing. I love getting to hear incredibly interesting people tell their story, and being immersed in areas of culture which I love, especially music. I get to put music on the airwaves, and to help get new artists on the air. I get to work with very talented people who care passionately about what they do every day – especially my presenter, and to produce live music sessions, which are like putting on private gigs with world class audio engineers, for thousands of people to hear. I wake up every day feeling excited about what I’m doing, and the people I’m working with, from the bands to the promoters and contributors, they are usually just as enthusiastic as I am.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
There have been so many that it’s hard to pick just one. Outside broadcasts are definitely my favourite thing to do… I produced one in Dundee for Children in Need with songwriter Gary Clark performing a David Bowie cover, the owner of Groucho’s Record Store playing vinyl on the turntable live on stage, and the band Model Aeroplanes (who were very new at the time) performing live which I’m particularly proud of… I also produced a show in our big music studio in Glasgow with Lulu performing live, and then joining in a conversation with Janice, comedian Dorothy Paul, Michelle McManus, and music journalist Nicola Meighan. Lulu was enjoying the show so much she asked if she could stay for the whole hour, and she ended up crying live on air (in a good way). That was definitely a highlight… there are many, many more, but the best thing about my job is that I know the highlight of my career is still to come.

Off The Record takes place at The Stove, Dumfries on Saturday 3rd December for 14-25 year olds. Tickets are £2, and include free lunch and a release with EmuBands worth £25! Find out more & book tickets here.