Hartlepool in national spotlight as BBC hosts full day of broadcasts from town

BBC 5live correspondent Nick Garnett in Nepal.
BBC 5live correspondent Nick Garnett in Nepal.

Hartlepool is in the national spotlight today after a radio station chose the town for a full day of broadcasting.

BBC 5live has been planning a series of live interviews to examine the town’s views on everything from the EU to the likely issues to arise in the Queens Speech.

Alan Wright.

Alan Wright.

And one of the proposed guests, Hartlepool Mail columnist Alan Wright, said it was a great chance to promote the town in a good light.

Alan, a former BBC Radio Cleveland presenter, said: “It is interesting. I always like to look at the positives and 5live gets a large audience.

“From what I hear about their listening figures, they are influential and opinion formers.”

Mr Wright said his plan was to use the chance to go on air nationally as an opportunity to “talk about the positives for the town.

The idea is to do a series of live pieces during the day looking at Hartlepool’s opinions of the whole EU issue and what the Queen’s Speech is likely to propose.

Nick Garnett, the North of England correspondent for BBC 5live

“There are a lot of people listening globally out there and I shall try to put forward positive angles about the town.”

The Mail understands 5live officials chose Hartlepool because of the town’s high UKIP vote at the General Election.

The party’s representatives Philip Broughton polled more than 11,000 votes in the constituency to finish around 3,000 votes behind returned Labour candidate Iain Wright.

Nick Garnett, the North of England correspondent for BBC 5live, said: “The idea is to do a series of live pieces during the day looking at Hartlepool’s opinions of the whole EU issue and what the Queen’s Speech is likely to propose. “

He said guests were likely to include local businesses, people who worry about the EU, as well as Mr Wright who Nick worked with at Radio Cleveland for four years before moving to 5live where he has been for nearly 20 years.

His recent work has included covering the deaths of the migrants on a boat off Malta in the Mediterranean, and in Nepal where he covered the earthquake and the 100 aftershocks that followed.

Liverpool-born Nick described the visit to Nepal as “the biggest story I have had and this is the first big venture since Nepal.”

He said he covered the Hartlepool area when he was with Radio Cleveland at around the time Peter Mandelson was in town.