My Yorkshire: Radio presenter Paulette Edwards picks her favourite people and places

BBC Radio Sheffield presenter Paulette Edwards. Picture by Claire Wood.
BBC Radio Sheffield presenter Paulette Edwards. Picture by Claire Wood.
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BBC Radio Sheffield presenter, Paulette Edwards, has been on air since 2007. Born in Sheffield to Jamaican parents, the former teacher started her working life in radio running the station’s reception.

What’s your first Yorkshire memory? It’s difficult to say. As a child I was aware of the fact that I lived in Sheffield and had relatives in Jamaica, but we didn’t go very far out of the city when we were little; Millhouses Park in Sheffield was the furthest we went. I was shocked when I went out to Mayfield Valley with school and saw all these fields and sheep grazing. I didn’t really realise I spoke differently until I went to Huddersfield Poly and the southerners thought how I talked was funny. I never really felt from Yorkshire until then.

Wentworth Woodhouse is one of Paulette Edwards' favourite spots.

Wentworth Woodhouse is one of Paulette Edwards' favourite spots.

What’s your favourite part of the county – and why? I love living in a city with an industrial heritage. I find the industrial part of the city really romantic and I love that I cross or go under several bridges to go to the gym or to go to work. I also adore the countryside; fresh air in 15 minutes. I don’t think I would last long in a rural setting but I love visiting.

What’s your idea of a perfect day, or a perfect weekend, out in Yorkshire? A picnic at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and a look at the exhibitions there. Going out for a good no nonsense pub lunch followed by a light headed yomp is a treat too, or yomp then nosh!

Do you have a favourite walk – or view? Standing in Tudor Square and looking at the Crucible Theatre and Lyceum when lit up in the evening, makes me feel really proud to be from Sheffield. My favourite walk is through Endcliffe Park up Porter Valley. When I did my A-Levels and revising got too much I’d take a bus to the other end of the city and feed the ducks then walk up the valley. Whatever the season it is beautiful!

Which Yorkshire sportsman, past or present, would you like to take for lunch? It would have to be Fred Truman. I think I would start off feeling a little nervous then he’d make me laugh. I would love to hear him talk about his time playing cricket against the West Indies. Hopefully he’d pay!

Paulette Edwards admires fellow Sheffielder, Richard Hawley.

Paulette Edwards admires fellow Sheffielder, Richard Hawley.

Which Yorkshire stage or screen star, past or present, would you like to take for dinner? It would have to be Charlie Williams, hearing that laugh again would be great! The more I find out about him the more I adore him. I recently found out that his father fought in the First World War like my grandfather.

If you had to name your Yorkshire ‘hidden gem’, what would it be? Wentworth Woodhouse. I went there for the Antiques Roadshow and couldn’t believe how magnificent it is. It is a definite jewel in Yorkshire’s crown.

What do you think gives Yorkshire its unique identity? The fact that everyone is a comedian and everyone is an expert. I love the sense of pride and the spirit of hard work and appreciation of the real stunning beauty of where we live. We know we are the best county!

If you could choose somewhere, or some object, from or in Yorkshire to own for a day, what would it be? I would love to own the Lyceum Theatre in Sheffield for a day. I would flounce around that stage. When I go there to see a production, and I’m eating my ice cream in the interval, I marvel at just how beautiful the interior is. I would have a great big party there followed by a selection of great artists doing cabaret, like Marti Caine, with a reading from Alan Bennett, and a few tunes from Pulp. That, topped off with the Human League would be delightful end to proceedings!

Do you follow sport in the county, and if so, what? I daren’t divulge any allegiance to a football team but I’m on the brink of taking up basketball... who wouldn’t want to watch the Sheffield Sharks. I have only ever been to one football match and it got rained off!

Do you have a favourite restaurant, or pub? I like eating at places that are ambitious with their menus and serve substantial portions.

Do you have a favourite food shop? Any shop that sells the spices and bits and pieces that help me to put together a tasty meal does it for me.

How do you think that Yorkshire has changed, for better or for worse, in the time that you’ve known it? Yorkshire has become more diverse both in the variety of people who have come to live here from other parts of the world and the people who are moving from within the UK. A few more younger people who are artists or have set up their own businesses, are more keen to work and stay in Yorkshire rather than seeing their fortune in London. That keeps lots of talent here.

If you had to change one thing in, or about Yorkshire, what would that be? Nothing. I quite like Yorkshire as it is. Maybe file a few of Sheffield’s hills down for a while. Save on petrol.

Who is the Yorkshire person that you most admire? Rony Robinson. He has been broadcasting for on BBC Radio Sheffield for over thirty years and continues to relish and adore every conversation, every interview every day.

Has Yorkshire influenced your work? I am doing my work because I am from Yorkshire. I feel more Yorkshire than I ever have. I feel I don’t want to compromise my Yorkshire accent or pedigree... maybe that’s just maturing and feeling more comfortable with myself.

Name your favourite Yorkshire book/author/artist/CD/performer? I love Richard Hawley because every time I see him he speaks to me as if I am his long lost sister. We are from the same part of Sheffield. His take on life resonates with me. He is really down to earth, reflects deep and real feelings through his music and yet is connected with the world and universe his through his wonderful talent.

If a stranger to Yorkshire only had time to visit one place, it would be? The heart of Sheffield which has changed vastly over the past few years. A whizz around the Millennium Galleries, The Peace Gardens, Tudor Square and the Winter Garden.