A week of ever changing moods for Andy Mitchell
Paul Weller once sang about his “Ever Changing Moods” when he was leader of The Style Council. It certainly summed up the mixed emotions of the last week. I remember getting the call at 4am on a Sunday back in 1997 to tell me the devastating news that Princess Diana had died. I rushed into work to be faced with trying to make the best radio possible for an audience expecting the very best from their local radio station.
The sterling work done by broadcasters all over the UK was repeated again on Friday, and across the weekend, as they marked the passing of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
Balance that with the mood of a general public on the eve of the release of lockdown and the return of high street shopping, and you can understand how people might be confused about how to feel.
The weekend passed in mournful mood as people paid their respects to the Duke, whilst television and radio provided special programmes, allowing us to reflect on what was still a quiet time before Monday’s unlocking.
The mood changed again on Monday morning as the kids returned to school and a public hungry for haircuts and a beer hit the streets. I drove along the Prom and actually felt thankful I was stuck in a traffic jam for the first time in months. The sun shone and optimism was once again in the air. The news agenda on the radio had also changed again. The Today Programme (BBC Radio 4) was filled with positive stories of renewal and rebuilding. I drove along Amounderness Way, and smiled as I glanced across at the packed car park at Freeport. It finally feels like there’s a glimmer of hope.
Running alongside all this euphoria and smiles though, is the realisation that the country is also actually in the middle of a week of mourning.
The Duke’s funeral is on Saturday, and naturally, as always, the BBC will be providing excellent coverage across radio and television. If the sun shines this weekend, we will also we wanting to pack into the beer gardens and hold much anticipated barbecues with our friends and family.
It’s certainly a week of mixed emotions, and those “Ever Changing Moods”.
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