Susie Fowler-Watt: time to sizzle!

PUBLISHED: 12:27 26 June 2018

A beautiful afternoon for a stroll along the beach at Wells (photo: Ian Burt)

A beautiful afternoon for a stroll along the beach at Wells (photo: Ian Burt)

Archant 2018

So what is Susie looking forward to this summer?

Summer is here! I often wonder if I lived in a country that was warm and sunny all the time whether I would appreciate it. In Britain, when the sun comes out we go crazy, because we have to enjoy it while we can. There’s so much to enjoy about summer – whether it’s a heatwave or not. Here are some of the things I’m looking forward to this year:

1. When I was my daughter’s age I loved Lionel Richie’s music. I knew all his songs word for word, and had them on repeat on my Walkman. I could even play some of them on the piano. Now, 35 years later, I can’t wait to see the man himself perform at Holkham – I may be a bit sketchy on the lyrics these days, but it will be wonderfully nostalgic. And what a setting!

2. Going back even further in time – when I was eight, the film Grease came out. I had seen nothing like it, and was blown away. I became addicted – to the music, the characters, the story. I even had a John Travolta doll (my Sindy doll stood in for Olivia Newton-John!) My love of Grease has stayed with me; I recently chose a medley of songs from the film as one of my favourite discs when I was ‘Gudgin’s Guest’ on BBC Radio Norfolk. This summer the show is being staged at the Theatre Royal by their youth theatre company. My daughter is taking part and so I’m having the pleasure of her practising the songs at home.

3. I will be interviewing the BBC’s world affairs editor John Simpson at this year’s Holt Festival. The veteran journalist has experienced many of the major global events during his 52 years at the BBC – I don’t think we will be short of things to talk about! The following day my husband Alex will be interviewing Frank Gardner, the BBC’s security correspondent, who was paralysed when he was shot in Saudi Arabia. Both fascinating guests, with so much insight into the world we live in.

4. I was very honoured to be asked to be a patron of the Norfolk charity Assist Trust a couple of months ago. I had previously been to visit their members to see the work they do, and was very impressed. The charity’s aim is to help people with learning difficulties progress and move forward in their lives. This month they will be holding an open day, so everyone can see and celebrate their achievements. I know it will be a wonderful, uplifting day.

And, away from events and diary dates, I am just going to enjoy the smell of the garden, the long summer evenings that are mild enough to eat outside, bike rides with the family and having bare legs. We may not get warm, sunny days as much as other parts of the world, but a British warm, sunny day beats all others!

Cricket has real appeal for Sonya

Talking of British summers – how could I not mention cricket? I want to congratulate a friend of mine, Sonya Roebuck, the first woman to qualify as an umpire in Norfolk.

Sonya’s family all loved cricket – but she hated it. Her wonderful father Roy used to take her son to play several times a week, but things changed a few years ago when Roy died suddenly. Sonya had to start taking her son to the cricket club herself, and bit by bit she began to get involved.

Then six months ago she heard an interview on Radio Norfolk about the need for more umpires – and they were particularly appealing for women. She said it was a light bulb moment. She completed the training course, and is now in her first season umpiring for Hales and Loddon Cricket Club.

I love Sonya’s story; she is trailblazing for women in a male-dominated sport, she has turned something she loathed into something she loves and she now shares a special hobby with her teenage son. I know her father would be immensely proud.


Find BBC TV’s Look East presenter Susie Fowler-Watt on Twitter

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