ON Saturday August 20, the bulk of the BBC Radio 4 ‘Today’ programme was broadcast from the Mons Calpe Suite at the top of the Rock.
The programme was presented by Matthew Price with the assistance of a producer and engineer. The MH Bland company arranged for the cable car to open especially early in order to get equipment and guest speakers in place ready for the programme to start to broadcast live at 8 o’clock (Gibraltar time).
The main subject under discussion was Brexit and its impact on Gibraltar. First to be interviewed was Ed McQuisten of the Chamber of Commerce who was followed by an on-air discussion with Gemma Vasquez (who had led the Remain campaign) and Tarik El-Yabani (who voted to Leave).
Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, arrived for his interview dressed in his sports kit, having walked to the top of the Rock from his home in the south district, a fact that Matthew Price was quick to mention on air during the Chief Minister’s interview.
The interviews were interspersed with several news bulletins from London and with the programme’s other regular features such the weather forecasts, sports reports and thought for the Day.
The final conversation was with Tito Vallejo Smith who was dressed in his full General Eliott uniform and he explained the background to several local Llanito expressions.
In between interviews, Matthew Price frequently described the fantastic views from the top of the Rock and the antics of the monkeys which was good publicity for the tourist trade although from a political point of view it allowed the various participants to give their heartfelt opinions on a post-Brexit Gibraltar and Europe.