IN THREE DECADES of award-winning broadcasting, I’ve produced and presented hundreds of programmes. I specialise in human interest documentaries and I’m known for treating difficult subjects with sensitivity. Most recently, I was awarded ‘Outstanding Documentary’ (2020) by the Criminal Justice Alliance for co-producing the Radio 4 series The Punch, and in 2018 my Radio 4 feature, ‘Meeting the Man I Killed’ won Best Documentary at the Radio Academy’s ARIAS awards. Other prizes include Best Documentary awards from the Third Coast International Audio Festival in the US and the Premios Ondas in Europe.
I’m constantly learning about different subjects: I recently produced some programmes for BBC Radio 4’s ‘Making History’ series such as one about milestones in the history of flight which included an 11th century English Monk attempting to fly from a tower in his Abbey. (Amazingly, he survived!) And last year I presented a programme exploring why so many young children are arriving at school unable to communicate properly: ‘Why Can’t Our Children Talk?’ I’m interested in people from various cultures and enjoy getting people on air whose stories have the power to challenge the way we see each other.
After completing a post-graduate diploma in radio journalism, I gained a place on the BBC production trainee scheme producing programmes like Woman’s Hour, and You and Yours. I produced live children’s programmes for BBC Radio 5 before moving to Zimbabwe for three years where I produced features about the social impact of Robert Mugabe’s policies for BBC World Service and BBC Radio 4. Back in Britain, I joined the independent radio company Loftus Media, established by the gifted producer Nigel Acheson, where we co-produced many human-interest feature programmes. I now work as a freelancer for many companies including Loftus Media, Pier Productions and Just Radio.
Living In The Memory Room
There are 800,000 dementia sufferers in the UK, and one of them was my Mum. Her illness inspired this programme which looks at techniques which helped improve our communication by going with her into the past.
Producers: Kim Normanton and Elizabeth Burke, Loftus Media for BBC Radio 4.
Dads Who Do
Over half of African/ Carribean children in the UK are raised by single mothers. In this programme, Tottenham MP David Lammy meets young fathers who are trying to buck the trend by playing an active role in raising their children.
Producers: Kim Normanton and Jo Rowntree Coombs for BBC Radio 4
It’s All Down To Ben
Nicky and Dave Potts talk about their son, Ben, a heroin addict who took drugs from the age of 14. Sometimes they have to be tough and refuse to allow Ben in the family home and even refuse to stand bail. Ben, Nicky and Dave talk frankly about the roller coaster of life with an addict.
Producers: Kim Normanton and Nigel Acheson, Loftus Media, for BBC Radio 4. Winner of the 2004 Premios Ondas International Radio Award.
Too White To Be Black
Naseem is 30 and British Asian. Ayo is 18 and lives in London with his Nigerian parents. Mian is 30 and came here from Pakistan. All three are people of colour, but they are living with albinism, and their white skin and hair provokes questions and challenges about identity.
Producer: Kim Normanton, Loftus Media, for BBC Radio 4.
Second Time Around
Three families talk about the challenges and joys of raising their grandchildren when their parents couldn’t or wouldn’t. We hear what it’s like to parent a young baby just at that time in life when you’re looking forward to retirement.
Producers: Kim Normanton and Nigel Acheson, Loftus Media, for BBC Radio 4.
She’s Alright, My Mum Is
When mothers suffer from mental or physical illness, their eldest children often take on responsibilities way beyond their years. Lewis is 10 and looks after his mother who is diabetic, arthritic and losing her sight. He cooks for her, gives her injections and helps with the wheelchair. With surprising candour and humour, Lewis, Jade and Stacey describe the day to day challenge of being young carers.
Producers: Kim Normanton and Nigel Acheson, Loftus Media, for BBC Radio 4. Winner, Best Documentary, 2004 Third Coast International Audio Festival
Living In The Memory Room: A beautifully poised mixture of diligent research and a deeply thoughtful exploration of a situation both personal and universal. Most touching of all was its reminder that Audrey – bedridden and nearly speechless – is still as fully human as Normanton, or me, or you.
The Daily Telegraph
What I liked most about Living in the Memory Room was its lack of sentimentality. Normanton was a likeable and straightforward presenter, always aware of the need to make a general point from a personal experience. Those brief, intimate moments when her mother surfaced from the depths were all the more moving as a result.
Shopping With Mother was a seemingly light-hearted half-hour, but one mother who laughed a lot cried at one point – over skinny jeans! I did too. The interviews …were beautifully done.