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BBC North West Tonight

bbc buildingWhen I tell people I did my TV work placement with the BBC North West Tonight regional news programme I usually hear something like “but we didn’t see you on TV!” That’s beside the point really; screen time on any TV programme only accounts for what viewers see. There’s a whole team working hard behind the scenes to get content to air as smoothly as possible – I loved being part of it!

There would be so much to mention about time working on the programme, and alongside so many talented journalists, but then it would become more of a epilogue than a blog post – so this will have to be a whistle-stop tour. (In no particular order, terms and conditions apply… Oops! Didn’t need the bit about T&Cs!) Here we go…


Having footage I shot myself air on the North West bulletins during BBC Breakfast was an honour. My footage was shown after interviewing the family of John Marshall, who died suddenly from an undiagnosed heart condition 18 years ago. His family were holding a screening session at Edge Hill University as part of their campaign for heart screenings to become more widespread and to raise awareness of heart conditions affecting young people.


A drug called Perjeta had been granted licence for use in Europe; it prolongs the lives of some breast cancer patients by over 6 months. Although not yet available through NHS treatment, the drug has been trialled by The Christie in Manchester – I was going to interview a doctor about their findings. Case studies are what illustrate news best and when I got there I was able to talk to someone who had experience of using the drug. As this was all very spontaneous I was about to do my most emotional interview to date with no preparation! This is where my initiative journalistic skills came in and I was able to come back to the newsroom with poignant footage used in a big screen presentation by NWT health correspondent, Nina Warhurst.



Andrew Jones was killed in 2003 after injuries sustained after falling to the ground from a single punch. 10 years on and his parents, Christine and Andy, were appealing for anyone with information to speak out. I interviewed them at Merseyside Police Headquarters ahead of their weekend vigil. I found out the embargo had been lifted on this story while there and after relaying the messages to producers my work featured in Dave Guest’s top story for the lunchtime and evening programmes.


One of the last official duties that Pope Benedict XVI had to approve was the resignation of Liverpool’s Archbishop Kelly. I spoke to him at the Metropolitan Cathedral in Liverpool and helped film one of his last masses in tribute to the outgoing Pope that featured on the late bulletin.


It was a privilege to be on placement with the BBC during Comic Relief . I particularly enjoyed helping Carol Lowe film her report on how some of the money was being used in the North West at Stick ‘n’ Step. A charity helping children with Cerebral Palsy, in Wallasey. I also got to shoot footage of what was happening to fundraise around MediaCity. Particular highlights of mine were the Bake-Off, Harlem Shake out on the piazza and the Zumba-thon in Liverpool, all of which I filmed and were shown in the North-West opt-out during the evening’s main Comic Relief programme.


enoEno Eruotor and I went to the press launch of this year’s MIF, we heard about what was to come in the festival, which featured an appearance from Shakespearean actor Kenneth Brannagh! He wasn’t giving any interviews (and at that point he didn’t even know I was in control of the lighting!!) but we did speak to one of my favourite actresses, Maxine Peake. She gave me a bit of competition for being NWT’s biggest fan too!

Sadly, I can’t cover everything that happened on my placement or mention everyone, but those are the main things I talk about when people ask me about my placement. Thanks to all the NWT team for making me feel so welcome, trusting me with their content and giving me a TV placement I will never forget!

My next blog post will be about my radio placement with Real Radio… Stay tuned!

Quays Cam

Roving reports from MediaCity…

ITVEver since I can remember, I’ve always wanted to work in the media industry and have been fascinated by the broadcast side of things. Starting out on student media laid the foundations for my radio work and when I graduated I was fortunate to earn a place on ITV’s Runner Pool. I was based in Leeds and at Granada working as a production assistant for factual / entertainment programmes and got a real buzz from working in such a fast paced environment. Since enrolling on UCLan’s Broadcast Journalism masters I’ve been able to create content for all broadcast mediums, as well as learm a new journalistic skill. Now I’m looking forward to beginning the courses’  BJTC work placement period with the BBC at MediaCity.

Any big change prompts me to get wistful about where it all began. I can remember vividly where my inspiration to work in media comes from – it goes back to when I was in primary school. My parents’ friends, Mavis and Laurie, owned a company that got commissioned to make TV sets for lots of different programmes. At the time they’d just finished the set of a new Sooty show for Blackpool Pleasure Beach. You can imagine my excitement when they said I could see Sooty’s set… Come to think of it, I’d probably still get excited about that now!

It was an amazing experience to see the sets I’d seen on TV  in front of my eyes. As we walked along the shopfloor I did get to see Sooty’s new lodgings, alongside a fascia from Coronation Street’s Rovers Return and Gordon Burn’s new North West Tonight desk. When the show got re-branded there was the desk that Laurie had made on the screen!  I’ve been a fan of NWT ever since. I love regional news and have watched the programme for years, so I think it must go back to that moment.

It’s been great to have been taught by a producer and cameraman from NWT while at UCLan. The packages that I’ve filmed for our news days are all available for you to watch on my YouTube channel. To quote Blue Peter – here’s one I made earlier! It’s my latest TV report about the Book Cycle project in Wigan…

More of my reports are available my YouTube channel:

camerasI’ve enjoyed both our UCLan radio and TV news days, where we got the chance to broadcast news bulletins for both mediums as well as creating web content. I already had a lot of radio experience prior to joining the course but it’s definitely sharpened my skills and the voice training has been beneficial – especially in getting, what the vocal coach described as, my “lazy tongue” into shape!

I learnt new skills as well as lots about myself with our TV news days too I can now self shoot my own reports. This was an ambition of mine and I’m glad that I can say I’ve achieved this and can put it on my CV. Having made my own videos for years with a camcorder it’s been good to learn how to professionally edit reports too. These are all skills that I will be using on my work placement with BBC North West Tonight. The news desk that I saw and even the studios where the programme broadcasts from have changed over the years but I’ve watched the programme throughout, so it will be a privilege to spend my placement with the NWT team.

Maybe one day I’ll be able to sign off with my own standard out cue, but until then here’s a photo from our course trip to MediaCity…

The post-grads with Roger and Annabel on the North West Tonight sofas last week.

The post-grads on our trip to BBC North West Tonight with Roger Johnson and Annabel Tiffin