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Shropshire Star launches new podcast

The Shropshire Star has announced the newest addition to its team as it welcomes former BBC presenter Eric Smith who will be hosting an exclusive weekly podcast.

Shropshire Star launches new podcast
Eric Smith: “Having been involved in local news in Shropshire for 35 years, it’s a great pleasure to join the team at the Shropshire Star to launch a new podcast series.”

The Shropshire Star says Eric is well known in the county for his years as the breakfast show host on BBC Radio Shropshire. Now he is set to bring his wealth of experience and in-depth interviews to the Shropshire Star through a weekly podcast series titled ‘In Conversation With Eric Smith’.

Each podcast promises to be engaging, focusing on various influential personalities who play pivotal roles in shaping Shropshire's landscape, added the publisher.

The first episode can be found here, is an interview with Shaun Davies who is running for Labour in the next election and says why Telford should never have a mayor, issues at the Princess Royal Hospital, and why investing in youth services is essential for tackling anti-social behaviour and mental health issues among young people.

Eric said: “The Shropshire Star has been at the forefront of local journalism in the county for almost 60 years. Having been involved in local news in Shropshire for 35 years, it’s a great pleasure to join the team at the Shropshire Star to launch a new podcast series.

“The weeky podcast will take decision makers to task and provide fascinating conversations with people from all walks of life in the county who have stories to tell. I’m really excited to join the team and to explore what makes this county tick. From politicians to personalities - there are so many who have stories to tell.”

The publisher says upcoming episodes will feature interviews with notable figures such as local council leader Lezley Picton. Discussions will delve into the issues of managing council funds, navigating financial pressures, and making impactful budgetary decisions.

Other guests include John Campion, the Police and Crime Commissioner for West Mercia Police, and Midlands Today's Nick Owen, who will talk about his love of the county and his appeal for more men to be tested for prostate cancer after his radical surgery.

The series also promises intriguing personal stories, such as that of “Vern” Stokes, a military sergeant major born in Coalbrookdale, responsible for choreographing major events like the coronation of King Charles III. Listeners will gain insights into his upbringing, military experiences, and surprising achievements, including the BAFTA he has on his bookshelf.

Eric said: “I arrived in Shropshire in 1988 knowing very little about this beautiful county but like most people who come here I was soon smitten by its charm and wonderful people.

“Over the years I have met, and interviewed, some fascinating people in Shropshire and in this series I can now bring you extended conversations with the people who matter in the county - the people who shape the landscape of Shropshire and the characters who bring this county to life.

“I hope these podcasts answer some of the listeners’ questions about Shropshire and certainly give them food for thought.”

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