This is without doubt the saddest column I’ve ever written coming, as it does, just 24 hours before the funeral of our friend and colleague Emily Bull.
When the news came through just under 2 weeks ago that Emily had died from a rare form of lung cancer, there was a feeling of total shock and numbness. We knew, of course, that Emily was very unwell but I don’t think anybody can really be prepared to see a friend die aged only 32.
As Managing Director of KL.FM I’m not only responsible for the financial performance of the business, important as this is, but it’s also my job to take care of the emotional welfare of the team. I can’t pretend that the last few days have been easy for any of us, but there’s a great team spirit at KL.FM and we’ve all been looking out for each other.
I first met Emily about 5 years ago when she did some freelance work in the news team of our sister station, Star Radio in Cambridge when I was Managing Director there. Right from the start it was clear she was a very special character...quirky, funny, very intelligent and with a great broadcasting style.
I was delighted when I was able to hire her for KL.FM and she made an immediate impression on the team and the listeners. Emily’s twin passions for news and supporting the charity / voluntary sector combined brilliantly almost from day one. As a radio broadcaster, nothing is more important than your voice and it quickly became apparent that Emily’s voice was perfect for us. She had real power and gravitas to deliver serious stories but was also able to be funny and to join in with the more light hearted side of what we do.
She had a fantastic relationship with Adam Newstead on the Breakfast Show and I think they produced some of the funniest and most entertaining radio that we’ve ever broadcast. My personal favourite was Emily’s hilarious fashion advice “it’s cold now but warming up later...so you can either wear a jacket now and carry it later, or freeze now but look fabulous later. It’s up to you”.
Emily completely revamped our Charity of the Month feature and I know that she helped raise the profile of many local organisations, often working in her own time to not only ensure the coverage on-air was absolutely as good as it could be, but giving advice about PR, the best way to use social media and much more.
Her final project with us was the ‘Bring a Pound to Work Day’ that happened in May. We were able to raise over £2,000 for the KL.FM Charitable Trust as well as having a lot of fun...exactly as Emily planned it would.
So as we get ready for the funeral, I’ll end this column by saying a personal goodbye to a really special person; Thanks for everything, Em. You’ll be sadly missed.