Monday 31st March
The BBC tour was a great success. The Portland Place headquarters is such a bustling venue, with lots of other tours coming and going, school parties working on quizzes and studios being prepared for a variety of programmes, including the World Services Freedom Day debate.
The tour started with an explanation of how various programmes are made and our group would soon have some very hands on experience of this themselves. However, before that, the first port of call was the gallery that looks out onto the vast newsroom where editors and researchers, divided into domestic and international halves, provide the very considerable back up to the news readers. When ‘on air’ the familiar people who deliver the news sit in a small studio of their own, where cameras wielded by unseen editors glide eerily back and forth. The weather presenters are in a class all of their own, all meteorologists and, unlike the newsreaders, they work without any scripts. They must not only know the weather prospects for the day by heart, but also bow to the greater importance of the news, so that if it is a heavy news day, they must deliver the weather in record time, and if it is a slow news day, they must extend their report to fill time.
From here the ATS group were led to the ‘do it yourself’ bit where three ATS brave souls read the news and gave the weather report to camera and were rewarded with the fame of being seen on screen. Then it was on to the newly set up ONE show studio, complete with green sofas and a backdrop of a picture window looking out over the piazza from which passers by could stop and stare.
After a visit to another studio which was being prepared for a debate on Europe, the group were invited to try their luck at recording a bit of drama in which the participants were eventually eaten for dinner. It was a really fun filled outing.
Calendar of Events
Sunday 9th April
Songkran Festival at Buddhpadipa Thai Temple, Calonne Road, Wimbledon.
Friday 28th April
A concert of 'Schubert: The Lord is My Shepherd' at St Paul's Church, Covent Garden. 6:00 pm.
Tuesday, 16th May
Talk by David Hallmark on The Travels and Trials of an English Adventurer Advocate in Thailand 1970-1971. For more details and how to book please click here