I said I would publish my leaving speech on this blog and having just read it again, I realise I need to as I didn’t actually say everything I had written as it was so dark, I couldn’t read it properly!!
So here it is, in all its glory. It followed a bit of overwhelmed mumbling trying to thank everyone for the leaving film and for so many people coming out on such a cold night ……
So as you all know, we had to move tonight’s party as the original date clashed with the “Goodbye Television Centre” party. I was going to say March 2013 will always be remembered as the time you all had the opportunity to say farewell to TWO clapped out, creaking OLD institutions but David Sillito clearly got there first, in the film….!!
Apart from the last few months at New Broadcasting House, I spent all of my BBC career at Television Centre and when I started thirty years ago, there was no internet, or email or mobiles and it was even before the fax came in as the latest state of the art technology. PCs didn’t exist and in fact we all worked off VDUs which wasn’t a sexual disease, but screens that were connected to a huge computer that had an office all to itself!! And the newsroom was full of typewriters and smoke, as pretty much everyone chain-smoked at their desk in those days.
I’m seeing nods of recognition from my older colleagues and pure horror from the younger ones ! I realise it sounds like a whole other world from a different time, but in spite of that can I just make it clear that I am NOT RETIRING. The official line for anyone who asks is that I’m still 39 !
Lots of people have asked me what I plan to do. When Jim asked me, I told him that I planned to do absolutely nothing for a while and of course he said – “no change there then”.
For all those that have asked what I have done in the last week since my last working day, I can now reveal that I….. have spent pretty much all day and every day in bed ……with my husband …doing nothing more exciting than sneezing at each other.
In all honesty, I don’t have many plans. I want to do a bit of writing to see if I could be any good at that, and I plan to renovate our house which seems to be stuck in a bit of an 80’s timewarp. A bit like me really, with my huge shoulder pads. Oh, actually, I’m not wearing shoulder pads today– these are just my own large fat squishy shoulders.
My family too, especially my mother, have lots of plans for things they want me to do for them and I must admit to looking forward to spending lots more time with them.
Quite honestly, I’ll need them to stop me missing my family here who I know I will miss terribly. Especially people like my Duncan, Declan, Adam and Thea, the brilliant David Sillito who has always been my favourite correspondent to work with, the gorgeously crazy Tracey, my darling funny Stephen who probably makes me laugh more than anyone else I know, the irreverent Matthew of course, and more recently the lovely Rachel and Tony.
This job has been great and I’m sure I’ll never do anything like it again but it really is the relationships forged with all of you over the years that has made it so fantastic. So, thank you so much for that.
In thirty years here, I have had some spectacularly bad managers. I’m not going to dwell on them. It was great finishing off with Morwen and Debby who gave me some great jobs in my last few months. Thank you both for that. It has allowed me to leave with a belief that actually, you know, maybe I’m not so bad at what I do. That’s not up for discussion by the way as I’m sure there are a fair few of you who might choose to take issue with that.
In terms of great managers, the lovely Alison Ford probably comes top of my list. For no other reason than I think she’s got a brilliant mind and she always made me feel like I was a real asset to her team. That is a very empowering feeling. Of course, even as I say that, I can hear the huffing and puffing of my second favourite manager – the great Jim Buchanan. I am well aware, that this may not be a view shared by everyone in the room!! But for me, he has been a great mentor, a great encouragement, a great adviser and actually over the years, he has become a great friend. He has pushed me on and most importantly, he made me believe in myself. He’s not afraid to tell me I’m a moody old cow and he in turn, can be an impossibly grumpy old git. He has a temper when he is crossed and believe me, I have been on the end of that but….regardless of it all, I really do love him to bits and I do want to say, in front of everyone, thank you Jim.
I suppose the word that would sum up most of my years here is laughter, which you captured so wonderfully in the film. Over the years I know my laugh has got more and more raucous and you lot have let me get away with that. I know I wont be able to laugh like that in any new job but in truth, I doubt there is anywhere on this earth that will make laugh as much as this place has
Thanks again to all of you for coming tonight. Please stay in touch. I’m on Twitter – @cheryoncake – and I’m hilariously funny so do follow me. As most of you know, I’m not a Facebook fan but I am on there, and I’m toying with the idea of writing a blog too but we’ll see how that goes.
My darling late dad loved the BBC and he was so proud that I worked for a company with such an amazing worldwide reputation.
He was so right. It really has been a privilege, and I will truly miss it.
I plan to talk to all of you tonight, so do stay around. I’ll put a few bits of food put out shortly. So get a drink and thank you again for being such fabulous people to know. I really will miss you all and can’t bear the thought that I won’t be seeing you on a regular basis.
Here’s to you, here’s to the BBC and all that’s left to say for now is….goodbye!