A tour around the BBC Coventry & Warwickshire

So today, we had a tour around the BBC Coventry & Warwickshire radio studios situated right in the heart of Coventry city centre.

When we arrived, we were offered drinks in the main foyer area which was a nice touch. We then learnt about the BBCs ethos and policies whilst also learning how the station came about. Since I grew up in Coventry, I knew most of what was being said already.

We then got the opportunity to watch the 11 o’clock news bulletin being read out live from a small studio specifically built for that purpose. We were told that it was very technically advanced in comparison to other news reader studios for local radio around the country.

Duncan Jones, the chief editor of the station then came to follow up on our ideas for our ‘Undiscovered Coventry’ assignment and to give us some more information on the stations remit, listener figures and work placements that will be available next year.

Next up was a look into the Orange studio where Bob Brolly hosts his afternoon show. I grew up listening to Bob Brolly and he is somewhat of a radio hero of mine. It was great to meet him and to hear his thoughts on hosting a show. Outside the Orange studio is a small station where the producers sit and can keep in contact with the studio via a talkback system. They also use various computers to read the texts messages, set up a playlist and running order for the show and another to keep up to date with the latest news.

Then something happened we could never of thought of happening. Annie Othen who presents the mid morning show invited us into her studio to be live on air. It was perhaps a daunting experience and can be listened to on the iPlayer. It was nice to see how two presenters interact in a live environment as Bob Brolly had joined her in the studio to talk about his show, they even linked myself into a conversation about the local area. Helena even got to introduce the next song!

The final part of the tour was in the office area where producers, presenters, editors and runners all are furiously tapping away on their keyboards and computers getting ready for their shows.

It was actually quite refreshing to see how many people it takes to run a radio station and even one as small as BBC C&W. Everybody seemed approachable and friendly which I wasn’t expecting from the BBC and now I would really relish the opportunity to work in the station as part of my work placement.

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