Researcher – BBC Events

On November 17, 2017 by

What a year! This year I’ve been working a lot with BBC Events in London – the team behind the broadcasts of HM the Queen’s birthday, royal weddings, Remembrance Day services, Eurovision and Children in Need. It’s been year that has seen great diversity in my work, preparing research for commentary and sitting beside the commentator during live broadcasts whilst also researching for the pre-recorded VTs and live interviews – it’s a good job I learned to juggle young! Here’s a little break down of what I’ve been working on…

‘Remembrance Sunday: The Cenotaph’ BBC1 Sunday 12th November (Sept – Nov)
Working across both the live broadcast and pre-recorded VTs. This involved working closely with broadcasting legend, David Dimbleby in the lead up to the event as well as communicating with the Royal British Legion, the MOD and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport. It also involved casting contributors for live interview and pre-recorded VTs. I must say it was humbling to get to speak to so many veterans about their experiences and I feel very privileged to have heard them first hand. I also carried out vast amounts of background research into the 262 contingents taking part – each with their own stories to tell.

‘National Lottery Awards 2017’ (July – Sept)
This included working closely with the PD on four VTs following the winning projects, campaigns and charities of this year’s awards. Each VT also contained a surprise reveal to the winners. This included: Rochelle Humes surprising HeadSmart – a hugely successful campaign aiming to speed up the diagnosis of brain tumours in children, Hermione Norris surprising We’re Here Because We’re Here – a UK wide memorial art project to commemorate the fallen of the Battle of the Somme, David Baddiel surprising Man Engine – a 30m tall mechanical puppet who toured Cornwall to celebrate its mining heritage and JJ Chalmers surprising BRAVEHOUND – a charity that pairs companion dogs with veterans suffering from PTSD. It was all hugely inspiring, I had a great team to work with and it was great to be back in the again for the awards record!

‘The State Opening of Parliament’ BBC1 Wednesday 21st June (May-June)
This involved working with Huw Edwards who leads the commentary and studio discussion with live coverage of the much anticipated Queen’s Speech. My goodness if there’s a time to immerse yourself in politics, it was certainly then – with a hung parliament, a late deal with the DUP and host of daily conflicting headlines coming out of Westminster speculating the content of the speech. It was extremely tiring getting my head around it all alongside tracking down new MPs to film for the pre-recorded VT. On the day the studio was quite possibly the hottest place on Earth I’d ever been – but it was quite the experience!

‘A Service of Hope following the Attack in Westminster’ – BBC1 Wednesday 5th April. (March – April)
Dan Walker introduces live coverage from Westminster Abbey of a special service of hope following the Westminster terror attack on 22 March 2017.
This process involved an 10-day turn around, gaining access to contributors from the emergency services, archive sourcing and research for pre-recorded VTs. In addition it involved researching facts, sourcing contributors for live interview, working closely with the producer and with commentator Dan Walker on the script and preparing commentary notes for any eventuality on the day. With the nation’s emotions running high, families and colleagues present of those who’d lost their lives and emergency services answering media calls at every turn, it was incredibly humbling to be a part of the programme and to reflect upon recent events.

‘The Richard Dimbleby Lecture’
‘John O Brennan: Staying Safe in a Turbulent World’ – BBC1 Tues 4th April. (March)
Ex-Director of the CIA, introduced by Jonathan Dimbleby. My role included location scouting, archive rights and guest list management.

‘A Service of Celebration for Commonwealth Day’ BBC1, March 13th 2017 (Feb-March)
This process included working closely with commentator Reeta Chakrabarti and communicating with the Royal Commonwealth Society and Westminster Abbey to prepare notes for live commentary. It included research, archive sourcing and clearance as well as putting in requests for high profile contributors.
It was my first ever commentary role and huge learning curve for me too. It’s crucial to have notes that are accessible if events don’t quite go to plan, you have to be able to pick out faces and have something to say but the absolute key is to remain calm despite the monitors, despite the voices of directors, producers and script supervisors in your head, despite the importance of the event and despite the fact this is your first time!

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