BBC VISION 2022 #VISION2022

Since I was a child I have been obsessed with TV, that magic box in the living room which is the hub of entertainment, excitement and imagination and a place where you could go to if you were seeking adventure, laughs or an education. I have adored radio for such a long time, a voice from that magic box in your kitchen or your bedroom, to help tune you into the day and is there when you need to tune out. And the BBC is a corporation the provides the UK and the world with both of these services and more. I have often thought of the BBC as a distant, magical land where anything is possible. You can be fighting an evil sorceress with Merlin, chilling with your friends on Blue Peter, revising like a maniac on BBC Bitesize, or listening to the latest hits with Nick Grimshaw

When I received the email from my tutor Caroline, about a conference being held over 2 days within the BBC HQ at Manchester MediaCity. The place that houses BBC Children’s, BBC Learning, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Sport, BBC Radio Manchester and BBC Breakfast as well as the BBC Philharmonic and parts of the Research and Development, Drama and Comedy. But after I requested to be a part of the team that would be going along to one of the conference days, I received a response that said something along the lines of , “I regret to inform you that all of the available places have already been filled’, after reading this line I felt distraught that I had missed out on a great opportunity… the greatest opportunity. I just decided to forget about it and keep moving, I turned my attention to my University work and to kick starting my own career. I had essays to write, presentations to create and then on top of the University work I had to work on my own talk-show, Ours, based in my home city of Liverpool and a documentary that I needed to do research for.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/OURS/501085986669920?ref=hl

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A few days passed I noticed a email from Caroline. ‘Here is the list of people going’ I thought to myself, ‘why would she send me this list? To tease me? Punish me? Make me feel worse about missing the opportunity?’. I opened this email and proceeded to read the list just to see who was having this incredible opportunity. And there it was, MY NAME! Never has my name looked so good in a email, I had to do a double take. Then I continued to scroll down through the email to see who was going to attend the next day. And there it was again the same beautiful 5 letters that spell out my name. A-A-R-Y-N. I am going to BOTH days?!

I don’t think i have ever conjured up a grin that big in my 20 years of life. I was going to the BBC, I was going to MediaCity and as if that was not enough I was going to meet some of the decision makers within the BBC some of their executive teams, the people that decide what is going on the air and what isn’t. NERVOUS!

Over the two days of the event we talked about software’s and hardware’s that will be coming into play over the next 8 years. SUPER exciting stuff. Then we went on the talk about the future from a journalistic perspective, talking about the variety of tools and rules that journalists of the future will be using and abiding by. 

The registration began at 9:15 in Manchester, and that meant we had to leave Huddersfield at 07:45 to try and miss the morning traffic, and that meant getting up at 6ish. YAY! Early mornings!! But it was worth it. I got up (just in time) got dressed, wore my smartest clothes and stuffed as many business cards in to my bag as was possible, with the intention to shoot them all over the BBC Offices like ninja stars, ‘Network Ninja Mode’. 

TUESDAY 01st APRIL 2014: (Happy April Fools Day)

When I arrived and I was completely taken aback but the immensity of what was happening. Me a boy from Toxteth, Liverpool was walking into a place were they broadcast, influence and entertain people all over the nation. I honestly began to give thanks to whatever divine power was at work right now, I was completely amazed. I kept thinking that I was going to wake up back in Liverpool in my bed and realise that these past few years had just been a dream, it would have been one sick and twisted April Fools day prank.

As I was guided through the day by the lovely team of volunteers to each of the presentations. I was bombarded with one inspirational story after the next, one success story after the next, but no two stories were the same. Each person had found their own way into the career that was right for them. I was surprised by how many people did not have degree’s, did not set out to be in the BBC, and previously did not know many of the softwares that I thought you had to be an expert in before they even considered to hire you. 

Ralph Rivera, this is a name that I will not soon forget. Ralph is the BBC Director of Future Media and after we feasted on some ‘luxury’ sandwiches and fruit that were provided by our gracious hosts. We had the chance to meet him. His entire presentation was an experience that I will never forget but there is one slide that he showed that I will hold onto for as long as possible. He showed us a photograph of him as a youth, describing his childhood as being ‘hard at times’ and right next to it was a photograph of him shaking the hand of Queen Elizabeth II. He said, ‘…if you remember nothing from this day, the one thing I want you to remember is this slide…’ Dreams can come true ladies and gentleman, this man is proof.  

James Everton, a commercial radio presenter. Despite looking a great deal younger than he is, James has one of the most impressive résumé’s I have ever heard. He has hosted tons of his own radio shows and to hear that from someone of my own age was inspiring and motivating. After he gave his talk I couldn’t help but feel like I had a lot in common with Mr. Everton. After speaking with him one on one he took my contact details and I have emailed him regarding some possible work experience he got back to me within days and was quite enthusiastic about getting me into the studio to have a look around. EXCITED!

While I was at MediaCity we got the chance to preview some up coming technology, we had a chance to preview The Oculus. For those of you who have no idea what an Oculus is, its basically something that takes watching your TV to a WHOLE other level. It takes what you are watching and quite literally puts you in the middle of it. The Oculus is a great pair of goggles and tracks your movements and allows you to view the scene in whatever way/angle you want to. Kind of like a virtual realIty. Mind-blowing right? The guy that presented this to us, Ian Forrester, was a black man. As a young black man myself, it was so encouraging to see someone who looked like me who made it into the magic box that I idolised as a child. He travelled to the magical land where I so wanted to be. He was also dyslexic. I am not saying this makes his struggle greater than anyone else’s but to overcome something like dyslexia I imagine he would have needed a very strong character and I admire that. So inspiring! Thank you Ian

To close the day we had a University Session. This was quite a daunting experience, because no matter where I looked I was confronted with the faces of people who I was competing against for a job. These are the people that I will need to outshine, over step and bypass on the ladder to reach my dreams.

On my way home I had a ‘Eureka’ moment, I need not concern myself with what everyone else is doing, my priority is me. I just need to look at what i am doing and just try and achieve my dreams. If I find myself doing something, just because I want to write it on my CV then that something is something that I shouldn’t be doing. I just need to allow my instincts to take control and listen to my soul, because they have a better idea of where I am going than I do.  

WEDNESDAY 02nd APRIL 2014: The Big Finale

As the next day began, I think I was even more excited than yesterday … if that was even possible. More of my classmates where going today I couldn’t wait to share this experience with them. We even left Huddersfield slightly earlier.

I still cannot believe how lucky Stephen Berry is, I truly hope he achieves his dreams because a major door has just been opened to him. People would beg, scratch and steal for an opportunity like this. And now is the time for him to run through this open door and grab this opportunity with both hands and both legs. GO STEPHEN!  

I also went to a presentation from a Senior Broadcast Journalist from BBC Three and after his presentation was through I asked about some advice on getting into presenting for BBC Three. He told me the he likes his presenters to have at least 2-3 years of local TV presenting experience and he would like them to be able to write their own script. However, he did take my contact details and said that if I ever wanted some tips on how to better my show reel he would be more than happy to help me out. 

When I walked into the BBC Quay House, to my right there was the reception desk and just beyond the desk was the BBC Breakfast couch. I sat on the couch and for a short period of time indulged myself in some role play. I was a big time presenter sipping out of the imaginary cup when I heard a couple of sniggers and giggles from behind me, the receptionists had gathered to watch my performance. Mortifying. 

At the end of the day, just like yesterday, we had a University Session, and there were a fresh batch of faces all wanting the same thing I wanted and craved, a job at the BBC. But after my eureka moment from yesterday, it was less daunting. I know that I will succeed regardless of whether i get employed at the BBC at ITV at Channel 4 or not, I REFUSE to fail. Towards the end of all the speakers an old family friend Cheryl, BBC Executive gave a short speech about opportunities to help shape the future of BBC Three as it moves and evolves into being on online channel. WOW! After her speech she greeted me with a hug and a short catch up conversation and then invited me down to her office to talk business. WHAT WAS HAPPENING? But before I had a chance to leave a camera man, who had been filming the whole day, grabbed me and asked if I wouldn’t mind doing a piece to camera about my opinion day. Like I would say no, come on, of course I said yes. 

When I was through being interviewed I went down to see Cheryl, she was sitting at a desk overlooking the BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Sport, I was stunned, at a loss for words, but I had to pull myself together because the time had come to show her that I meant business. During our 30 minute long discussion she took me on, what I can only describe as a ‘private tour’. I got to see parts of the BBC that not many people get a chance to see, she opened up a whole new world for me. I was soaking in as much as my eyes could take. Unfortunately our conversation was cut short because my tutor had commitments that she needed to get back to Huddersfield for. So Cheryl and I parted ways, but not before she offered her help on my talk-show ‘Ours’ her words were,“If you want me to do a masterclass …or anything. I am there!’ 

As I left the BBC MediaCity, for what was hopefully not the last time, I couldn’t help be so grateful and astounded at what had just happened, and to think I very nearly never got the chance to go to one of these days, yet somehow I ended up going to two and meeting so many incredible people, learning things about myself and about how to further advance my career. This was an experience that I truly wish all my peers could of had. I wish others from different parts of the country could get a chance to experience this. As I got closer and closer to Huddersfield and my memories from the BBC drifted further and further into the past I was filled with a sense of motivation, no more sitting and waiting the time for action is now. Everything that is or was began with a dream, time to make my dreams a reality. 

When I finally got through my front door late that night, and finished editing together the video. For some reason I decided I wanted to check my emails and what was in my inbox? an email from none other than, the team at Radio 1. WOW! Dreams here I come.

There’s Something About Ellen

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Ellen, Ellen, Ellen.

There is something about Ellen DeGeneres that just makes me so very happy. This is a woman who I would literally swim oceans for. I don’t understand why there aren’t more people like her in this world. If you don’t know who this woman is then you SERIOUSLY need to get out from under that rock that you are clearly living under.  Just bring you up to speed with who she is and what she does let me quickly go over everything Ellen.

So firstly she started out as a stand up comedian way back in the 80’s. Then in the 90’s she starred in her own self-titled sitcom from 1994 (the year I was born) right through to ’98.  During the fourth season her sitcom Ellen in 1997, DeGeneres came out publicly as a lesbian in an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show. In my opinion it seems that Ellen DeGeneres really came into her own after she stood in her truth and owned it. Many of my generation (the 90’s babies) will probably recognise her from ‘Finding Nemo’ where she played the amnesic loveable blue fish that goes by the name of Dory. This was where I was first introduced to Ellen and I must say it was love and first .. sound? She was bubbly, energetic and fun, and for me, little miss Dory stole that movie. It appears that Pixar agreed with me, because in the year 2016 a WHOLE movie dedicated to the character of Dory is going to be out in cinemas everywhere and this movie is going to be titled ‘Finding Dory’ and Ellenhas agreed to come back and play that role I am just so excited by that! She was a judge on the hit TV show American Idol, she has hosted both the Academy Awards and the Primetime Emmy’s. She has won thirteen Emmys and numerous other awards for her work and charitable efforts.

OK, so now your up to speed I really want you to understand why it is that Ellen is such an inspiration of mine. to mark her 1500th show the Ellen team put together a little montage of all of her best bits and this video truly embodies everything about Ellen which I just love and adore. So here is a challenge for you, try to see if you can make it to the end of this video without experiencing any kind of positive emotion. Take a look.

As you can see from this video she is such a positive force of energy in this universe. Every day I am going to strive to be a little more like her and find the joy in every thing I do and bring laughter and love everywhere I go, I hope that you do the same.

After seeing how well she is doing and observing how successful her show has become I began to wonder why her show is doing so great and why does everyone, including myself want to tune in and watch her. I do not watch Ellen on the daily, because her show does not broadcast over here but from the many clips that I have seen all over the internet, Ellen has yet to deliver any real ground breaking interviews. So if she isn’t delivering any REAL top quality journalistic style interviews what is making her so popular. Well I will tell you, her success is solely based on her kind nature her giving spirit and that beautiful smile, she makes us  laugh with happiness and cry with joy. Ellen is just being Ellen and THAT is the key to her success and the key to yours and by you being more of yourself. Thank you Ellen for teaching me that.

For more information on Ellen you can visit her website http://www.ellentv.com there you can find more thing Ellen.

The Guide To Change … by Iyanla Vanzant

IYANLA1. HAVE A VISION.

You can’t achieve something if you don’t know what it is! Maybe you want to start thinking more positively. The vision will give you something to focus on and writing it down will help you to stay in track

2. GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO BE DIFFERENT…

from how you’ve been in the past and what you think is expected of you. Answer the call from within to connect with what is true for YOU!

3. BEGIN WHERE YOU ARE, WITH WHAT YOU HAVE.

When you start a workout a trainer will tell you, “If you can’t touch your toes touch your knees, if you can’t touch your knees go for your hips.” So do what you can. And then…

4. PUSH

When your mind says”No!” you say yes (No, you can’t think positively about that plane train delay? Yes – 2 hours to yourself! – yes, yes you can.)

5. LIGHTEN UP YOUR ENLIGHTENMENT 

Transformation doesn’t have to be deep, dark and mysterious. If you screw up fine – laugh at yourself, learn and move on.

Long Lost Family

Ever had that one family member you wish you could see again? That one who left and vanished without a trace? I bet you never thought you would see them again, huh? Well it seems that ITV is going to answer all your prayers with their series ‘Long Lost Family’.

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The general layout of the television series is it starts with a tragic story of a person/s who have lost contact with a specific family member.  This person/s has been trying for years to get in touch with their long lost relative and each and every avenue they have searched has led them to a dead end. So now clinging on their very last strands of hope they are forced to call upon the help of a ..TV show desperately believing that a team of people will stumble upon something that they have missed and perhaps find there lost loved one. Eight times out of ten they do find the lost loved one and bring them together in a very emotional moment bursting at the seams with joy and love.

Davina McCall and Nicky Campbell are the face of this series and have hosted all three seasons and they are both planned to return to film series four.

LONG LOST FAMILY Thursday 12th April on ITV 1 Pictured- Presenters Nicky Campbell and Davina McColl-787475

The Daily Telegraph gave the show a mixed review “the presenters seemed to be trying slightly too hard to squeeze tears out of their interviewees“. They went on to say “I wonder what the producers would do if the two people they brought together, instead of embracing joyfully, launched into a furious rally of accusations and blame. Perhaps I’ll tune in next week to see whether it happens, although that will depend on whether I can stomach more of Pavlov’s Piano, or for that matter Davina McCall’s habit of talking to her interviewees, even the elderly ones, as if she were their proud mother, waving them off at the school gate“. The Daily Telegraph were not the only ones to give it a review The Guardian also had something to say but they had more positive feedback for the show “Within its own parameters, it succeeds quite nicely. Davina’s common touch remains infallible and her co-host Nicky Campbell’s almost pathological lack of charisma is obscured and alleviated by his status as an adopted son himself, makes the whole thing slightly less painful than it might have been“. 

The Independent gave the show a mixed to positive review, they wrote; “It was all very warm and fuzzy and just what you’d expect, apart from the presenters, who struck me as an odd duo. His connection is obvious – adopted at four days old – hers rather less so. Still, she’s really rather good: none of the overgrown-yoof presenting she favours on Big Brother. I can’t imagine this continuing for more than a couple of series – it’s all a little one-trick: once you’ve got the hang of the tracking-down-strangers part, there’s only so much to be astonished about. But, for the meantime, it ain’t bad“. Sam Wollaston of The Guardian praised Long Lost Family calling it “very good” and “so much more interesting than the programme Who Do You Think You Are?“. He went on to say “It’s so moving because it’s real, and it’s about separation and hurt, guilt and regret, growing up, identity, belonging, family, love, life. Now I’m blubbing, like a baby.

Well Sam Wollaston I completely agree with you sir. This show is probably the onlyhappy-cuteness-overload-l TV show to have made me literally cry sitting on my couch. I don’t understand how or why this happened. Whenever the closing credits began to roll I would find myself in a sobbing mess on the floor surrounded by tissues..in a good way. I would truly recommend this to anyone who needs to fell good and just have a good, what I call, a good joy-cry. What it is for me is, this series carries a very important message, in fact it carries several in addition to what Mr. Wollaston said earlier. Persistence, redemption, new beginnings, faith, forgiveness and hope. I absolutely watched every episode that I could get my eyes on.

And it seems that my fellow British have agreed with me.

The series, which has just finished its third run, averaged a live overnight audience of 5.2 million viewers…making it the highest rating series yet.

Since its launch, Long Lost Family has consistently won its prime time weekday 9pm slot. The first series averaged a consolidated audience of 5 millions viewers, series two averaging 5.15 million and series three has leaped to an average audience of 5.9 million so far, [based on consolidated data].
Based on these statistics taken from the ITV website and the Press Centre it appears that many of us in the UK enjoy watching this series. I don’t know whether they all get all teary eyed like me but they enjoy it nonetheless. I loo forward to next series and I hope that you will all be watching along with me. If you have missed any episodes they are all available on the ITV Player website. Here is a link to the page  https://www.itv.com/itvplayer/