Our One

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Brian Lehrer Show says goodbye to Executive Producer Nuala McGovern, who has worked on - and been the heart and soul of - the show since 2000. She shares some of her favorite memories and some tips for putting together a great BLS segment. Nuala is moving to London. Any advice for her? Post your London insider tips below!


Nuala McGovern

Comments [64]

isavella Gonsalves from Bangladesh

i want the architectural section and plan of the Imperial war Museum- Manchester by Daniel libeskind urgently for my report on this project.

can you kindly help me about this information. i will b so glad if your organization will help me.

thanks for your cooperation.

Sep. 08 2009 02:38 PM
Yotam from Rome

Nuala, I have listened to the show almost every day for 6 years and completely dug the stories you produced.

Mar. 11 2009 06:19 AM
Carol from Brooklyn

I highly recommend the restaurant Just Around the Corner, in North London. There are no prices on the menu and diners give what they feel the meal was worth. The food is terrific and the system works for everyone.

I also like the Silver Vaults and Sir John Soane's Museum, both near Covent Garden.


Mar. 03 2009 08:03 PM
Matt from New York

We will miss you terribly!

Feb. 26 2009 01:50 PM
Stotts in Buffalo

That was great, Nuala, you do such a good job!

See you at Dirty Dick's the weekend after next.

Feb. 22 2009 01:50 PM
Jay from New York

I will miss %17 of you, the rest I hope to keep.

Feb. 19 2009 04:07 PM
Eileen from Dublin Ireland

Nuala's sister here!

We are so happy to have her closer to us.But we know she will be missed.

Feb. 19 2009 03:33 PM
Kris from new york

take every price number you are used to in the US and put a Pound Sterling sign in front of it. For eg. Dell PC = $499? It's GBP 499 in UK. Starbucks = $4 = GBP 4. In short life is EXPENSIVE. OUCH. BETTER GET A J O B.

Feb. 19 2009 01:34 PM
Mark from Greenwich Village

Nuala, what a great name!

This native Greenwich Village boy was sent to London for a 1-3 year work stint and stayed for 11+ incredible years. Make friends with some London locals and have some long term Yank ex-pats introduce you to the Brits who can be standoffish at first...great way to make local friends for life. Make Time Out Mag your weekly activity bible. All of the previous tips offered are on the money and you'll figure out London in no time (but make sure you have a street map at all times). My best a travel maniac because your time will fly...years will seem like months. Visit Cornwall (Port Issac & Torquay), hop the train/plane/bus to Edinburgh and also take in the Scottish & Irish hignlands and of course the UK Lake District. Make Europe your second home at least once per month if not more...Paris, Rome, Florence, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Barcelona, Madrid, Budapest, Vienna,Prague, the Italian & French countrysides(Positano,Capri,Ischia,Normandy,Brittany) are all a 30 minute to 1.5 hour flight. Get off the tourist trail and see the real UK & Europe. Plenty of reasonable comfy B&B's everywhere and the best cusine you'll ever have is in the small villages. So get out of Dodge and make the most of it!! Cheers Mate!

Feb. 19 2009 12:25 PM
Dominic from Brooklyn

"Phil from Queens; as a NYorker, you are quite ungracious. "

I second that; he's also tragically wrong. A critical part of what made America great is its willingness to absorb people & ideas from around the world - conversely, what is encouraging its decline is rejection of the same & confabulating non-American with anti-American.

Feb. 19 2009 12:24 PM
lucy from manhattan

Phil from Queens; as a NYorker, you are quite ungracious.

Feb. 19 2009 12:13 PM
Tania from Brooklyn


I am a native New Yorker and a devout listener of the Brian Lehrer Show. I just wanted to say how much your work is valued and has enhanced my daily life by providing tons of information and entertainment over the last several years. Thank you for all of your hard work and good luck!!

Feb. 19 2009 12:06 PM
Jerome from Prospect Heights, Brooklyn

My only London-life suggestion is pretty commonly known: Indian and Pakistani food is the way to go for tasty, widely available cheap eats. I've also occasionally tried more high-end Indian food there--it was the best I've had outside of India.

Your successor will have a hard task meeting the high standard you've set! Best wishes to you and yours!

Feb. 19 2009 12:04 PM
Scott from Cambridge, MA

We'll miss you, Nuala!

I love the Pogues send off. It's like the wake from The Wire.

Feb. 19 2009 11:59 AM
Padma Surampudi from Forest Hills

I rarely get to listen to Brian Lehrer due to my schedule but I love the show, his voice, his style, so much I hated it when he is on vacation these past few days. Congratulations

Enjoy all the Indian food. I know NYC has enough Indian food, but London, by God is the best if you can't be in India.

And ENJOY the rain. I know Dublin has a lot of it. But London rain is different.

Feb. 19 2009 11:58 AM
Maria from NY

Best of luck in London.

You must try the restaurant Rasa W1. They do fantastic south Indian food. They're located on a quiet little lane just a few blocks off Oxford Street.

My Grandad was a journalist in Dublin, and I spent the most wonderful summers with him in Clontarf. His press pass got me into the press box at the RDS for the horse show every summer, and it was the best time ever.

Feb. 19 2009 11:57 AM
Phil from Queens

While Nuala may have done a good job when it comes to technical things, I believe that quality of Brian's show has gone down while the political bias of the show has gone up. These are two fundamental failures. Part of this reason is that the show went from longer segments to shorter segments. It went from interviewing professors who have spent years objectively studying a subject to interviewing reporters with shallow and biased positions or people flogging a hastily put together book. It went from lots of listener participation to less and less though not as little as under the rule of King Lenny who used to take lots of calls. Under Nuala, Brian’s show went from having people who actually held opposing positions to having people who were basically on the same side of the fence. It’s been a shame.

I believe that it is a mistake to have someone who wasn't raised in New York to produce a show like this. There is a unique nature to Americans raised in New York. You don’t have to have been born here but to truly understand things; you need have been raised here. As a non-American, she also didn’t understand and was not sympathetic to mainstream America – those people clinging to their religion and guns who support killing terrorists in Iraq before they kill us, but are against killing millions on unborn babies.

Finally, I love the Irish and I have been to Ireland and I love it, but the Irish have an unusual understanding of things colored by being in the shadow of Britain and America and the Catholic Church and their rebellion to all three. This has been reflected in Brian’s show during the past few years.

I wish you good luck!!! Bon chance!

Feb. 19 2009 11:57 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Daniel [33], I thought that was mad cow disease, not botulism, that's called steak & kidney pie!

Feb. 19 2009 11:57 AM
Barry Nelson from Foxboro, MA

Boo hoo. London is about to get brighter, literally and figuratively.

Nuala, remember to pay your TV tax!

Feb. 19 2009 11:54 AM
Mickey Bitsko from Downtown Mahattan

Good luck to Ms. McGovern! You've been simply brill.

Feb. 19 2009 11:53 AM
Dominic from Brooklyn

Live in North or West London, near Hampstead Heath, Regents or Park Hyde Park. If you are super-urban go for Waterloo, or Clerkenwell, or if money is tight, Peckham - Bellenden area.

You'll need a pub guide - is reliable.

Don't fall for the London IS expensive trap. How? Never buy single tickets for public transport, always buy a daily/monthly/yearly pass. To get home late at night, use minicabs (not black cabs). Seek out the honest restaurants, of which there are plenty; but you will not stumble across them. Do dinner parties rather than eat out - people will reciprocate soon enough. Don't get cable TV (get a freeview box).

Listen to Radio 4!

Feb. 19 2009 11:53 AM
Mari steverlynck from Brooklyn

Spend Saturday mornings at Borough Market! Best sampling of fresh foods and vegetables.

Feb. 19 2009 11:53 AM
Syd from Swintonbury Castle

Check out The Pink Floyd Sound at the UFO Club. Swingin'! Yeah baby!!!!

Feb. 19 2009 11:52 AM
Mo from Brooklyn

Take a cheese tasting class from the great folks at Neal's Yard Dairy in Borough Market. They select and age great cheeses from England, Wales — and Ireland!

Feb. 19 2009 11:52 AM
lucy from manhattan

Join the Tate as a member; you get access to a gorgeous lounge up the top of the Tate Modern; it looks out over the Thames and the food is okay. Nice for a glass of champagne

Feb. 19 2009 11:51 AM
Dan from NJ

Break eggs???

Interviewers of all stripes have become so timid as to be embarrassing and painful to witness.


Feb. 19 2009 11:50 AM
Paul from Bronx

Go to the Orangery for tea. It's relatively cheap and right by Kensington Palace!

Feb. 19 2009 11:50 AM

would that Brian would break more eggs; and have fewer right wingers on; and do some reading on the Israel Palestine conflict that's not biased toward the Israelis.

Feb. 19 2009 11:49 AM

brian also missed it just now when sen judd stepped pulled himself from consideration.

it's so funny, i've heard pretty much everyone of these clips as they were broadcast live.

you guys were a great team. who's taking her place, and is that person listening to this right now?

Feb. 19 2009 11:48 AM
Bryan Keller from East Village

Don't let Tristan take you away from us! I will miss you both, but now at least I know people in England again...

Feb. 19 2009 11:47 AM
Ken Franklin from London England

Like playing Poker, I'll take you to the Imperial club in the City.

Good eating, St.John's on St.Johns street

Feb. 19 2009 11:44 AM
Daniel from Brooklyn

As Marge Simpson said, "Remember: a mile is called a kilometer, an elevator is called a lift, and botulism is called steak and kidney pie."

Good luck, Nuala!

Feb. 19 2009 11:44 AM
Kate Perry from Brooklyn

Hampton Court Palace is one of the most beautiful places to visit just outside London - an easy day trip on the train or even by boat. The Palace is incredible, the gardens wonderful - enjoy!

Feb. 19 2009 11:43 AM
Robin Williams from NYC

Go to Wagamama's. Best noodle house in London, and it means "cranky child" in Japanese. The Tate Gallery is amazing and so is Regent's Park on a warm Spring afternoon. Even though is it a bit touristy, you must go to Abbey Road. Get some friends together and re-enact the famous Beetles album cover walking across the street. Oh, and for great shopping, you can't beat Camden Town. I'm jealous! Have fun!

Feb. 19 2009 11:43 AM
Peter from Prospect Heights

It's been a few years, but during a six month stint in London, I would spend Wednesday evenings at the Victoria & Albert Museum in Kensington where a Jazz trio would play live in the lobby. Strolling through the halls of a lovely, intimate art museum while listening to live Jazz...doesn't get much better than that!

Feb. 19 2009 11:42 AM
Beth from NYC

Borough Market - best grilled cheese sandwich and/or potatoes and cheese

McViddy's biscuits - so good and so much cheaper in England

Feb. 19 2009 11:42 AM
alex from Brooklyn

Try to live near Hampstead Heath - the most beautiful park and area of the city.

Feb. 19 2009 11:42 AM
mary from brooklyn

In the summer, the maze at Hampton Court Palace is really fun.

Feb. 19 2009 11:41 AM
a woman from manhattan

The best thing to do in London is go to Paris. Great access to the Tunnel.

Next best thing: eat samosas.

Feb. 19 2009 11:40 AM
Chris from Phoenix, AZ

I love this show, have never called, but listen every day. I'm so thankful for what goes on behind the scenes to help Brian make the show so wonderful. Thanks for all your efforts and best of luck.

Feb. 19 2009 11:39 AM
Avivah from Brooklyn, New York

Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Feb. 19 2009 11:39 AM
Charlie Roberts from Oceanport, NJ


When crossing the street, look right!!!

Feb. 19 2009 11:39 AM
Drew N from New Jersey

I agree with Victor (#10) who suggests going to Shakespeare's Globe Theater as often as possible, and purchasing a "groundling" ticket. They only cost £5 and I too saw Vanessa Redgrave in that production of the Tempest, as well as Twelfth Night and a production of Midsummer wherein they used pajamas for costumes and bathroom toiletries for the play within the play's costumes... A really great time.

Also, National Portrait Gallery is one of my favorite art museums, the Imperial War Museum one of my favorite museums, The Boro (Borough?) Market my favorite food market, and Portabello Market my favorite market for everything else.

Also, visit my former home – Hampstead! You'll love it! Much to see, and the Hampstead Heath – a more open, unrestrained park compared to the other groomed London parks!

Have a great time!

Feb. 19 2009 11:39 AM
NC from NYC

The program is so great. She will be missed.

Feb. 19 2009 11:39 AM
Leonore from Stuyvesant Town

The theater is to die for!! Check out There's so much and it's much less expensive than NY. You have to buy the program, but it's often full of good information. AND - you can take your interval (intermission) drink back with you into the theater.
We'll miss you here, tho!

Feb. 19 2009 11:31 AM
David from Inwood

Having interned at BLS this summer I got to work for the incomparable Nuala McGovern. Not even a Cray supercomputer can process and filter information so quickly. Whatever crisis in sound quality, softare or scheduling is going on, she knows the quickest way out, and it always involves being sweet and upbeat to everyone around her. She was a tremendous asset to the show all these years and, personally, an inspiration. Thanks Nuala!

P.S. Check out her blog posts form when she visited Uganda with other journalists last summer. They give you a sense of it.

Feb. 19 2009 11:27 AM
George Bulow - "George of the Upper West Side" from Manhattan

One of the hidden gems and most unusual museums in the world is that of Sir John Soames' Museum. He was the architect who designed the Bank of England, among others. As he was estranged from his children, he bequeathed his entire estate, including his very unusual hodge-podge (what the Britons call a "hotch-potch") of paintings, sculptures, drawings, architectural elements and the like. He was the first person to ever do this.

Each Saturday, at about 1 or 2 pm, either the Curator or Assistant Curator conducts a tour of the Museum for the first 20 people to place their names in the queue. It is truly the only way to make head or tail of what the collection and is great fun. But it only happens once a week and is severely restricted for obvious reasons. I strongly recommend that you try to take this tour.

Feb. 19 2009 11:24 AM
Patrick from rockland

Take the tube up to white hart lane and watch fellow Dub Robbie Keane playing for Tottenham Hotspur.

Feb. 19 2009 11:16 AM
Miles Hunter from Newark, N.J.

When you start to miss the metropolitan area's live music scene, check out Ronnie Scott's club (jazz and other live music) in London's SoHo.

Feb. 19 2009 11:09 AM
Madlen from Long Island, NY

I am so jealous ! Enjoy your London move. It'll be so much fun.
Firstly, of course, look right B4 crossing!

Take the tube, and don't hesitate to take the lift/elevator in the tube, they can be really really deep! We made the mistake of thinking 'oh we'll walk down the stairs, after all we're New Yorkers, and are tough, we don't need to wait for the lift' Well, it was about 4 or 5 stories down this big, EMPTY spiral staircase !

Feb. 19 2009 11:09 AM
Suzanne Bradbeer from New York City

One of the best meals I have ever had was at The Cinnamon Club in London, not too far from the Houses of Parliament. This is a special occasion destination - expensive, but oh, so good! The cuisine is Indian Creative, in the way that Aquavit in New York is Swedish Creative.

Feb. 19 2009 11:01 AM
Meg from Cambridge, England

I'm moving to London next week from Cambridge.

Perhaps you already know where you'll live, but if possible make sure that you are on a reliable tube line (Central, Piccadilly). Unfortunately a number of them (ie. the Distric line) break down quite a lot.

Also, you might pay lower rent to live outside central London, but the transport operates according to zones so that you pay more the further you live out.

Good luck!

Feb. 19 2009 10:59 AM
alysia from brooklyn

Nice bangs and glasses. I want to know when this photo was taken!

Feb. 19 2009 10:58 AM
Jess from Richmond, Greater London, UK

Here is what I have discovered after moving from NY to London a year ago:

The museums and parks are wonderful. I would definitely take a trip to the Tate Britain, National Gallery, British Museum, British Library, Churchill Museum, V&A and Museum in Docklands. Kew Gardens is absolutely phenomenal. Check out Hyde, Regents and Richmond Park & Hampstead Heath for green open spaces. Also be sure to visit Greenwich.

If you are missing American baked goods, try a place called Outsider Tart ( The two guys that run this place are from NY and make the most creative cakes, cookies and other treats. They have stalls in the farmer's market in Richmond and Barnes.

Also a place called "Daddy Donkey" in the Leather Lane Market (Chancery Lane Tube) is the best (and perhaps only) authentic burrito in town.

And Borough Market near London Bridge is worth a walk through, although it is best visited during the week to avoid the crowds.

Be sure to bring lots of umbrellas and your own peanut butter (I prefer Skippy Chunky) as they don't have much of a PB selection over here.

Feb. 19 2009 10:55 AM
Victor from Hudson Valley

So much to see and do. I'm envious-
Go to Shakespeares Globe Theater and buy a 'groundling' (standing room) ticket every chance you get. Arrive early and put your elbows up on the stage while watching the likes of Vanessa Redgrave in The Tempest.
And the cafe under St Martin in the Fields on Trafalgar Square offers great food, clean bathrooms and a unique setting for resting ones feet and recharging in a really hectic area. Bon Voyage!

Feb. 19 2009 10:51 AM
Sybil from New Jersey

Take an umbrella and a sun lamp you will need these in the summer.
Avoid steak and kidney pie.
The tube is too deep. To many round-abouts (circles).

Things I like.

Fish and Chips. Bangers(breakfast sausages), British Bacon. Strawberries and Deavonshire Cream. Pubs. Rose Gardens. Train rides to the countryside. Shephards Bush Market.
Try to get a flat on the ground floor or one with an elevator.

Feb. 19 2009 10:47 AM
Melanie from Manhattan

I have but one insider tip: LOOK RIGHT. Relocating to London won't mean much if you get clocked by a bus on your first day. Good luck!

Feb. 19 2009 10:47 AM
Dubai-Boy from NYC

You can find cheap stuff on Braganza st - and explore the dodgy areas, GO East young lass - and find the 99 Pence store! (yes, its true!) and buy a CAR - very cheap actually. Don't hesitate to drive to the south coasts and even up to other UK urban mecca's Birmingham and Liverpool. Don't be a "yuppie" -- hav fun. We're ure MOTHER. lol

Feb. 19 2009 10:46 AM
New Yorker in London from London

Get a copy of Living in London: A Practical Guide (published by the Junior League of London). Lots of practical info (including cooking conversions). Also, if you're renting, be aware that you have to "bid" on your apartment, even though a price is posted. In this economy, bid lower (when I arrived from NYC two years ago, we had to bid higher than the listed price to snag something). Prices are falling fast here. Good luck and welcome!

Feb. 19 2009 10:45 AM
stephanie from Ringwood NJ

Just once go to the Chelsea Flower Show. Go early in the morning before the huge crowds and look at the perfect vegetables, flowers/roses and various terrains displayed inside. By 11, the grounds are packed and if you can deal with the all the people, the garden design displays are creative and really amazing.

Feb. 19 2009 10:42 AM
Dubai-Boy from NYC

I went back to UK in 2007 and 2008 broke - after former years there living quite posh. (London Tip#1) Use the public services - don't be a yank and hire private doctors. UK has the best health system. douse ur USA pride!

Feb. 19 2009 10:41 AM
Judith Kozloff from Manhattan/London

London is expensive - resign yourself to it.Take over as much as you can ( I have homes in both places and go east laden and come back virtually empty handed except some local things I can't get here)
Don't expect the natives to be friendly - they won't be, don't take it personally. London is full of foreigners and Brits are very tribal.But a friend, once made, is a friend for life
Few cheap eats options but supermarket ready meals are good and easy.
if you have any specific questions you have my email. A Brit in New York.

Feb. 19 2009 10:41 AM
Dubai-Boy from NYC

Is Nuala a yank? And wots her new job?

Feb. 19 2009 10:38 AM
Brendan from East Village

Between now and mid-April, you must see the extraordinary exhibition on Charles Darwin at London's gorgeous Natural History Museum.

Feb. 19 2009 10:36 AM

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