Paul Vassallo

paul vassallo
I can recall listening to BBC WSR late at night in Australia from a young age and never thought I would ever have the great opportunity to work in Bush House and on a programme like WHYS.

 A big hello to the WHYS community! I have just joined the team from BBC Newsgathering.

 It is a big step for me as I have never worked on programme production before.

BBC News runs a very enlightened internal programme whereby staff from other areas and skill sets can bid to work in another department to learn new aspects of our news work and to my surprise I did get offered this great opportunity to work on WHYS and learn with a very experienced and diversely skilled group of colleagues.

The team has given me a great welcome and I hope in my time here, I will deserve a similar warm welcome from the WHYS community.

I have worked for the BBC for 17 years, starting in a now long gone department called, ‘News Information’ which housed our huge newspaper cuttings library. It was there I first started to learn about BBC News, having no previous media experience.

I then went to the Central News Traffic Unit where I have worked for 15 years. It is the central 24/7 hub for incoming audio material. We act as the main audio interface for our world based bureaux and news correspondents.

 I do love this work and working with our far flung news correspondents in this operational role, but I thought it time to try something new, so you all have me here and I will do my best to help the team deliver a quality programme forum for the WHYS community.

neighboursAustralian born, from a mixed family background with parentage of Anglo-Maltese ancestry (sorry, my Maltese is very poor). Yet, very much the product of the cross cultural melting pot that is Australia.

pastizziBy the way, If anyone has a simple fool proof recipe / tips for cooking Maltese Pastizzi and Mqarrun il-Forn (baked macaroni-I am a crap cook) please let me know.

I have lived in the UK for 20 years now. I graduated in Politics and History from Melbourne University and have tried my hand at various employment fields before the great opportunity came to me, to work for the BBC.

Probably biased, but I think BBC Radio news is the best and I gain most of my news from the radio.

I am also a keen reader of magazines like the New Statesman and the Economist. I also normally read the Guardian and the Times.

I guess my big concession to all things with technological bells and whistles is reading more on line news material these days. I am a reforming technophobe, still in therapy, but getting there!

I have quickly realised this programme will challenge the way I see, hear, read and source news material and after only a day on the programme, I have been struck by the fact, I have some technological catching up to do!

A keen traveller, I have been given the opportunity to do a fair bit of it in my life. I have the privilege of having set foot on 5 continents. In more recent times I have discovered the great joy of South America, Argentina and Buenos Aires in particular stand out. buenos airesI know this could be very controversial for some, but it is truly one of the great cities of the world.

Mi encanato! In the last 5 years I have studied Spanish and love the language very much. Amo la lengua que es llena de vida! I am not great at it, but it was a joy to learn and through it I have seen first hand how difficult learning a second language can be, particularly in later life.

That’s more than enough about me. I hope to get to chat with many of you over the coming weeks and listen to your views and opinions on the stories of the day.

21 Responses to “Paul Vassallo”

  1. 1 Dennis Junior
    November 2, 2009 at 14:40

    Welcome to WHYS Family, Paul…Enjoy the time…..

    =Dennis Junior=

  2. 2 patti in cape coral
    November 2, 2009 at 15:10

    Bienvenido, Paul! I hope you enjoy working on the show as much as we enjoy listening.

    November 2, 2009 at 16:30

    Welcome Pual to WHYS. After a few weeks here you will be so much world oriented that you will forget who you were in your earlier life.

    Great have you join the staff and community.

    I am ARTHUR from KENYA.

  4. 4 Tom K in Mpls
    November 2, 2009 at 16:59

    This sounds good. I hope you occasionally express an opinion and work to keep all sides talking. As for cooking, get a slowcooker, start simple and you will have a good meal waiting when you get home. As for technology, be a minimalist. Once every few years something comes out worth having. Digital Access Units (cell phones to most) are still about a year away from being ready. I haven’t owned one yet, but I’m getting ready.

  5. 5 Ibrahim in UK
    November 2, 2009 at 17:26

    Hi Paul and welcome to WHYS! 🙂
    As a fellow Mageirocophobic, I recommend a telephone and a takea way menu!

    • 6 PaulV
      November 3, 2009 at 17:55

      Thanks Ibrahim….I love a good curry take away and the kitchen draw is full of menus. The world centre of everthing take away re-adjusted just last week in my urb with the arrival of Dominos Pizza. Have not tried them yet, but can you get a pizza wrong? I guess I will find out soon. Cheers Paul.

  6. 8 Tom D Ford
    November 2, 2009 at 17:35

    Welcome and jump on in, this audio playground soundbox is fine.

    “…It is a big step for me as I have never worked on programme production before.”

    What does a producer do? I’ve long wondered about that. I have some vague ideas but what specifically does a producer produce? I know there are movie and TV producers, and even more, but it is not obvious what they do like writers, directors, and actors.

  7. 9 Ronald Almeida
    November 2, 2009 at 17:51

    Ronad Almeida, How do you do?

  8. 10 Tim Dean
    November 2, 2009 at 18:48

    And just as I was starting to think that women mostly take up positions at Whys, hmmm – no offense to Ros or Mark.

  9. 11 Mark Sandell
    November 2, 2009 at 19:53

    fair point Tim, but just occasionally we have to let a bloke on board…

    and Tom D Ford – it’s a mystical art this producer business..to learn it’s a bit like Harry Potter at Hogwarts..which is sort of where Paul is now….

  10. 12 patti in cape coral
    November 2, 2009 at 21:23

    Paul, I finally clicked the link to find out about the Maltese cuisine. Fascinating, I love to cook. If you ever need any South American recipes, let me know!

  11. 13 Audrey
    November 3, 2009 at 13:59

    welcome and enjoy!

    Audrey- Mombasa, Kenya.

  12. 14 PaulV
    November 3, 2009 at 14:33

    Hi Patti

    Gracias para su saludos! Please try Maltese Pastizzi. The ricotta cheese ones are just delicious. If you have an easy empanadas recipe please let me know! They are great in Buenos Aires.

    Please keep listening and contributing to the programme and thanks again for your warm welcome.


  13. 15 Tom D Ford
    November 3, 2009 at 20:43

    @ Mark Sandell
    November 2, 2009 at 19:53

    My understanding from Hollywood and Broadway is that a “producer” hustles people for money to put on a show, so has Paul changed from the “news gathering” side to the “money gathering” side? And since the BBC is publicly funded why would he be hustling for money to put on WHYS?

  14. 16 patti in cape coral
    November 3, 2009 at 21:12

    HI Paul!

    I will e-mail you an easy empanada recipe later on, but it is only easy because here in the states you can buy ready made empanada dough cut into discs. I hope you guys have that over there? My recipe is a colombian version my grandma taught me. Anyways, I will cut this short so I don’t bore everyone with my food fetish!

  15. November 5, 2009 at 18:26

    Salaam Paul, a very warm welcome to you and Inshallah you’ll make the best of your time at WHYS and enjoy every second of it… I am curious, do you happen by any means to be interested in Arabic cuisine ?! ;). With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

    • 18 PaulV
      November 8, 2009 at 16:42

      Hi Lubna

      Warm London greetings to you! Yes, I am always keen to try new foods. The Edgeware Road area of London is the primary location of the diverse Middle Eastern community here in town. There are many mid east cafes and restaurants. It has a strong lebanese influence, but the food and sweets are lovely. Baklava with pistacios!!!! I went to an Iraqi friends birthday party one year and it was all catered for with Iraqi food. There was a lamb dish that was just lovely, but I cannot remember what it was callled?

      Thanks for supporting the programme and kleep listening and having your say!


  16. November 6, 2009 at 05:21

    Hi Paul, It is lovely t have you on WHY.

    I wish you all the success you are looking forward to.


    December 22, 2009 at 19:02


    These days we wish Chrismas even to our animals.

    Happy Christmas Mr Kangaroo. And Happy new year too.

    Hey! Let’s take a leap to the coming year. You good at it; so hold my hand – I will make too if you do that.

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