Day Three: BBC WHYS

Look who came to greet me on my last day. He made me a lovely cuppa!

Look who came to greet me on my last day. He made me a lovely cuppa!

One last day at the BBC, and World Have Your Say’s turn on TV. On Friday their production moves downstairs into a filming studio. Work continues in a similar way upstairs, except that all Skype calls must now have a webcam, or be taken to a filming studio rather than a speaker to an embassy.

My first task of the day was to find a Spanish rail survivor. I found none, and then tried to find a witness from the scene. I even tried ringing local fire stations, but found no one who could speak English. Still, I’m quite pleased with the ideas I came up with as I tried to find speakers.

At 11:35am I was speaking with 3 people on twitter, but the replies come slowly. The Spain idea has been dropped, and the team focuses on Egypt and the protests. I even watch a live feed from the square, in case anything kicks off.

3:09 We are awash with speakers. I have to let the people I found know that they will not be used for the program, but may be called on for other radio programs.

I have learnt so much about Egyptian politics, pro-Morsi, military and democratic views. I’m quite dizzy with all of it.

At 3:44 the team are below ground in a film studio, watching on screens. It is colder down here, there are more desks, more screens and much more that can go wrong.



16:00 There are problems with Skype. The program is live, and the speakers cannot hear the broadcast when they are addressed. In fact, one took a sip of water just as they were asked a question. But the team acted quickly, and smoothed over the creases in the broadcast. TV is much more stressful than Radio. Much more.

Once I leave, I join some of the team in a near-by pub. Cider and conversation. They tell me horror stories of problems with their programs, jokes and all too soon I take my leave. But rather than taking the train, I find a better mode of transport. I take the Tardis back to Toadhall. (Only joking, there’s a display in the BBC building. I had to have my bag scanned in order to get in, but I think it was worth it. The security guard took my picture for me.)

One last thanks to the BBC WHYS team, for showing me what is capable when you have talent, but not time. Ambition, and the clout of the BBC. More than one broadcast a day, with only hours of planning. Thank you for letting me pass through the revolving doors, and wake up in the morning knowing I’m working for the BBC, if only for a week.

Thank you.


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