BOLTON News Deputy News editor Craig Archer got the chance to appear on Jo Whiley and Simon Mayo’s new Radio 2 show to talk newspapers this evening. It was all part of a feature on Local Newspaper Week...

I FINALLY got the chance to prove that I knew what I was talking about when I appeared on the show.

I was up against two non journalists in a feature to guess which of us was the real deal and really worked in the newspaper industry.

What could possibly go wrong on a live news show with millions of listeners? After all, I was the real journalist so how could they choose someone else.

In a flash 6.45pm arrived and we were told by the producers we were going live as part of The Line Up feature.

There were two callers pretending to be journalists and me. The idea of the show was that Jo and Simon had to ask us all questions and then guess who is the real journalist.

The first caller was Becky from Darlington. She explained she worked for the Northern Echo. After a couple of questions about her stories this week, I was almost convinced SHE was the journalist.

She spoke about a cake story called Bake-ingham Palace and, to be honest, sounded very much like a journo.

Next up was Valerie from Swindon who said she worked for the Gloucester and Wiltshire Standard. She said she covered the Cotswolds and her favourite story was about a fleece fair. She said her best story was about the largest chicken egg in the UK.

Next it was me. “Hiya, Craig from Bolton.”

Gulp. Jo asked me about my job role and Simon asked me about our headline in yesterday’s paper. I explained it was about calls to reduce speed limits on Wigan Road after various crashes. Nervously, I banged on about the road story.

Jo Whiley chipped in with “My mind is made up already. Totally. I know exactly who it is.”

Simon went for Valerie and good old Jo Whiley went for me. She said “Craig just has that voice like somebody who works in newspapers.”

Simon said: “What tired and exhausted?”

“Yes,” she said. “And a little bit cynical.”

I then had to identify myself.

Simon said: “ ‘I was sure it wasn’t you Craig, but apparently you sound cynical and exhausted.” Cheers Simon.

Turns out the first caller worked in crafts industry and the second was a life coach.

Anyway, the special guest on the show (apart from me) was Benedict Cumberbatch. So I shared the show with Simon Mayo, Jo Whiley and Benedict Cumberbatch. Not bad, eh?

Back to the real story, we celebrate Local Newspaper Week (LNW) every year by highlighting how important local papers are to the communities they serve.

We pride ourselves on representing the ‘little man’ and taking those in power to task over the decisions they make and how they affect our communities.

According to 2018 YouGov survey, local newspapers in print and digital are read by 42 million adults and are the most trusted source for local news and information.

The Bolton News has a proud history of campaigning on behalf of our readers and reporting on the news that local people really care about – ever since our first edition in March, 1867. See tomorrow’s Bolton News and go to for another LNW feature.