Matt Prodger: Questions & Answers

HomeQ and A • Matt Prodger

Matt Prodger


Where are you from?
Born Bristol, brought up in the Gulf and then Scotland.

How did you get started in broadcasting?
The traditional route: local newspaper, local radio, and then national and international radio and TV.

When was that?
I got my first job as a full time cub reporter in 1993.

Why News broadcasting?
It’s an old cliche but true: the variety and excitement. You can start the day not knowing what you’ll be doing at the end of it (though on a slow day you have a good idea!). It’s also extremely challenging — to get the story, make sure it’s correct, and communicate it in a way that is engaging is much more difficult than it appears.

Where else would have viewers seen or heard you before?
BBC GLR, World Service Radio, World TV, News 24, Breakfast on BBC1, Newsnight, BBC4’s The World, Today, World at One, PM, The World Tonight, BBC News Online, 5Live

What is your Best on-air moment?
Actually, a special Newsnight report on reconciliation in the former Yugoslavia. It was incredibly satisfying to do, and drew a huge response from viewers. I’ve also enjoyed working on more imaginative long-format pieces for BBC4. Then there’s the big news buzz of covering the Middle East.

What is your Worst on-air moment?
Too embarrassing to reocunt. But I’m sure it’s still out there. Absolutely mortifying.

What would you like to do before your career ends?
For now, just to continue as a foreign correspondent. It’s the reason I entered journalism.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
Tinker with my Vespa, though it spends most of its time under wraps in a soggy South London backyard these days. I’m currently Belgrade Correspondent, where I live with my wife, and am lucky to have both ski slopes and the Adriatic Coast within reach. I try to get to the hills and lakes of Montenegro as often as possible, where we have been lucky enough to buy an apartment.

What advice would you give to anyone that would like to get into the broadcasting world?
Persistence and a good showreel. And think about whether you really want to do it. It’s incredibly oversubscribed and a lot of the available jobs are unsatisfying. If you’re sure then get as much as experience as possible. The explosion of digital channels means that there are more opportunities to get on air early in your career, so that potential employers can see and hear you (the downside is that most of them are rubbish). Decent camera and editing equipment is very affordable now, and the indie documentary sector is the most interesting area by far. If you don’t want to wait for someone to give you a break, do it yourself. It doesn’t harm to try to push things creatively either. Much TV journalism is very formulaic.

A big thanks to Matt for taking part.

Last updated: Thursday 21 May 2009

Leave a Comment

Name Matt Cooke Age? 28 Where are you from? Originally Kingston-upon-Thames, but I grew up in Guildford, Surrey How did you get started in Broadcasting? During University, I wrote for student newspapers and websites, and contributed to The Guardian Newspaper. From there, I enrolled at… Read more

Name? Martine Dennis Age? 45 Where are you from? Born in London with Caribbean/Mauritian parents How did you get started in broadcasting? A graduate trainee at LBC/IRN (radio) When was that? January 1982 Why News broadcasting? Frankly, it was the first opportunity that was available…. Read more

Name? Mark Mardell Age? Born 10.09.57 Where are you from? I was born in Hillingdon, Middlesex, lived most of my childhood in Banstead Surrey. How did you get started in broadcasting? After university I did a course in radio journalism at the London College of… Read more

Name? Manisha K.Tank Age? Forever Young Where are you from? Born in Southampton – Origin: Indian How did you get started in broadcasting? I wanted to train as a Lawyer with the aim of getting into the corporate side one day but then my Mum… Read more

Name? Matt Barbet Age? 29 Where are you from? Born in Chester, brought up in North Wales. How did you get started in broadcasting? Two weeks freelance at Red Dragon FM in Cardiff – and then post-grad at the city’s journalism school. When was that?… Read more

Name? Michael Collie Where are you from? Born in London, grew up and schooled in Sheffield, now living in Worcestershire – working primarily in Birmingham and London. How did you get started in broadcasting? Listening to my radio in bed under the sheets! I loved… Read more

Name? Mike Powell but I have been known as Benedict Taylor; a pseudonom I had to use when I worked at County Sound in Guildford. The Programme Director was…Mike Powell! Age? A state of mind Where are you from? My Mum but before that a… Read more

Name? Martin Popplewell Age? 33 Where are you from? Born in Cambridge but Londoner since 19. How did you get started in broadcasting? Via desert islands – see my website When was that? When I was 18. Why News broadcasting? I love current affairs… Read more

Name? Michael Watkins. Age? 35. Where are you from? Born Kilburn, London. Grew up in Swansea. How did you get started in Broadcasting? Voluntary work for Richmond-upon-Thames College Radio; then AA Roadwatch, compiling and broadcastiing road traffic reports. When was that? College Radio — 1984/5… Read more

Name? Martin Lowe Age? 49 Where are you from? Walsall, West Midlands How did you get started in Broadcasting? Joined Central News in Birmingham When was that? 1991 Why News Broadcasting? Progression from newspaper reporting Where else would have viewers seen or heard you before?… Read more