BBC Oxford Work Experience – Day 5


Today, I walked into the studios slightly sad at the fact it was my last day. A week just isn’t long enough! For years I had tried to get work experience within the BBC and now it was over. The week ended on a real high though!

The day started off finding out about the days talking point. The newspapers had reported how cheese and chocolate was the next big food mixture. The discussion requested from listeners was, therefore odd food combinations. The first job was to get people within the food industry booked to talk about the news. I was given the contacts of a few local chocolatiers and a local cheese maker/shop and was told to contact them and find out who would be free to talk, on air, later that morning. One thing that has got a lot easier this week is picking up the phone and asking. The attitude really has to be, ‘you don’t ask…you don’t get’. It really is worth asking and people seem to be fairly accommodating.

20140309-030853-pm.jpgAfter this was done, Liz wanted me to head out into Summertown and get some vox-pops, asking people what odd combinations of food they have tried. I went out with preconceived ideas about what was going to happen.  After filming various vox-pops for Exposure, I know how hard it can be to get these. Being repeatedly turned down by people can be soul destroying and really put you off trying to ask the public. However, as with phone calls, people are a lot more willing to be involved when you show them a microphone compared to when they see a camera. It’s also a lot easier when you can walk up and say “Can I ask you a quick question for BBC Radio Oxford?”. The BBC seems to be some magical code word!

One mistake that I did make when recording these vox-pops was not giving people time to think up their answer. If I was to record something similar again, I would give much more guidance on what the question is going to be and what I want, giving them time to think up an answer.

After these were recorded, it was back to the studio for a quick edit to get the vox-pops ready for the show.

20140309-030906-pm.jpgDuring the show today, it was decided that with so much discussion about the chocolate and cheese combination, it needed to be tried on air. I was tasked with a trip to the supermarket to pick up some brie and dairy milk (one of the tougher tasks this week!). This was then piled up and tried on air by Malcolm and Christine Wallace from the Great British Bake Off, who is a regular friday guest on the show because she is local to the station. The one benefit of her coming in has to be the delicious Banbury cakes she brought along!

After all this, we had the final post-show meeting of the week, in which they discussed how great the days show had been. The audience had been really willing to get involved and all the guests (studio based and on the phone) had great chemistry. It was then back up to the newsroom for the last time. My first job for the afternoon was to clip down the best bits from today’s show, mainly so that I could have a copy to take away. After this, I needed to set up a fact file in ENPS surrounding a future guest on the show. It’s important that when the interview is recorded, the whole team know loads about the interviewee. This creates a better atmosphere within the interview and also allows for a more focussed and interesting discussion. I won’t mention the guest but it’s impressive!

That marks the end of an amazing week working for the British Broadcasting Corporation! It’s been a great week of learning new things and finding an evolving love for the radio industry. This week has been very different from the week I spend at Jack but both have shown the creativity that is possible even without the visuals of TV! It shows even more, the power of the mind to make up the images!

One thing that I have definitely learnt from this week is why I personally listen to radio. It’s so easy in an on-demand world to simply press play on a playlist in Spotify and listen to endless songs. However, you don’t really gain anything from this. Radio allows you to learn, laugh, cry and share all through a small box in the corner of the room. Whether it’s completely useless facts like that Cheese and chocolate go together better than you expected and that Humpty Dumpty wasn’t mentioned to be an egg (Found that out on Radio 2. Look it up!). Or the hard-hitting story of a student who lost his friend in the Ukraine (someone we had this week) that really pulls your heart-strings, radio provides parallels which you just don’t get on any other medium. And when you listen around you really discover the range that’s provided, all to the benefit of the listeners!

Within this clip of the show, the introduction to the talking point and vox-pops runs until 1:32. The interview runs until 8:15. Christine Wallace and Malcolm trying the cheese, plus re-spins run until the end. I hope you enjoy!

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