BBC Radio Northampton

Transcript of a radio segment from BBC Radio Northampton’s ‘Drivetime’ show. Hosts Annabel Amos and Richard Savage discussed the subject of roundabout sponsorship with their roving reporter Willy Gilder.

Annabel Amos: “Well the reason why we are talking about roundabouts at ten minutes past five is because…well, we have wondered about the wise and wherefores of sponsoring roundabouts haven’t we?”

Richard Savage: “Well yeah, it became a bit of a trend didn’t it some years ago? And you see them everywhere you go that there are little advertising hoardings on them, you know…‘this roundabout is brought to you in conjunction with…whatever…BBC’. You probably haven’t actually because you’ve probably got more important things to do with your life like: ‘A. watch where you’re driving’. But who sells the sponsorship, is there are any point in doing it and would you have to mow it, if you sponsor it?”

Annabel: “If it’s got grass on it.”

Richard: “I suppose, yeah. Willy Gilder is our roundabout correspondent and he knows more about roundabouts than he cares to mention quite frankly; Willy where are you?”

Willy Gilder (via phone): “I’m in Northampton, I’m at the roundabout – the very sexy roundabout it has to be said – at Park Avenue and the Wellingborough Road and as far as I know this roundabout isn’t going out with any other roundabout, but it is sad, lonely and looking for a sponsor and it’s got a notice on to that effect saying ‘Would you like to sponsor this roundabout?’”

Annabel: “So it’s looking for love at the moment, it has no company sponsoring it?”

Willy: “It’s looking for love and that’s the important thing. Now, the thing is that actually most of the roundabouts in the county are looking for love, only about four or five are sponsored at the moment, and the reason for that is because the County Council has just negotiated a new five-year contract with a company who will, in turn, sort out the sponsorship deals. So at the moment all the previous sponsorship deals have come to an end and this company, which is called Keegan Ford, they’re the people behind ‘’, and they are inviting local businesses, companies and organisations to sponsor roundabouts. And I can tell you how much it would be to sponsor this very, very lovely, but really rather lonely roundabout.”

Annabel: “Couple of quid.”

Willy: “A little bit more than that I’m afraid…”

Annabel: “Tenner.”

Willy: “Four and-a-half thousand pounds approximately…”

Richard: “A year?”

Willy: “…per annum, on a three-year contract, but the company in question were saying ‘If you think about that in publicity terms, that doesn’t buy you very much advertising in the press, and it certainly buys you very little advertising on the telly’. Now, the way this works is that the company at the moment are going round and they’re looking at every single roundabout in Northamptonshire. What an exciting job that would be, aye?”

Annabel: “Wouldn’t it.”

Willy: “I want to do that job. In fact, I’m thinking about moonlighting for them. They’re going round looking at every roundabout in the county and assessing what needs to be done in terms of maintenance. They’re still maintaining all the roundabouts up to an agreed standard with the County Council, but if a roundabout gets sponsored then the sponsor has a say in what happens on that roundabout. They won’t do anything tremendously, overtly commercial. So if you’re a car company you’re not going to be allowed to park your new model car in the middle of a roundabout or something, but it could be that you could have perhaps…plants in your company’s colours or something like that, but that all has to be agreed to a code that’s been worked out between this company and the County Council. And with a sliding scale of costs a roundabout [sic]; they’re about a hundred and fifty roundabouts in the county that can be sponsored, so according to how high profile they are you might be able to get one for as low as about a thousand pounds a year apparently.”

Richard: “What’s the king of roundabouts? What’s the most expensive roundabout, do we know?”

Willy: “Well I think it’s probably these high profile ones, like this one here. There was another one I was quoted, but on the A6 – just outside Market Harborough – that’s another four-and-a-half thousand pound roundabout. So it’s the big ones, the ones where people…well, there’s a lot of traffic going round that are the more expensive ones. And it’s only the roundabouts on the major roads and the industrial estates that are up for sponsorship…come to think of it, that’s just about the only roundabouts there are anyway.”

Richard: “Now listen; we need all the publicity we can get. I think we ought to try and sponsor one but I ain’t got four-and-a-half grand Willy.”

Willy: “Sadly Richard I have actually already asked the BBC whether in fact we could have a ‘Richard and Annabel Drivetime’ roundabout and, to tell you the truth, I wasn’t really taken all that seriously.”

Annabel: “Gutted…”

Richard: “Typical, typical…blooming BBC…”

Annabel: …Willy, thank you very much indeed. Willy Gilder — our roundabout correspondent. You see, four-and-a-half grand, there are certain roundabouts that you wouldn’t want to be associated with.”

Richard: “I suppose there are, but then, I guess if they are [inaudible word] roundabouts where lots of people sit in traffic then they’ll be constantly staring at your name so it probably is worthwhile. Back to the issue, just briefly, of…you know…how we got onto it I don’t know, but chat up lines for roundabouts…”

Annabel: “It’s because you said they were sexy…”

Richard: “Well yeah, I was trying to ‘big it up’ wasn’t I? How about this one…you’re magic.”

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