Chris Sykes, BBC Newcastle – How Will Buckley Started My Radio Career

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Chris Sykes, now Broadcast Assistant with BBC Newcastle, found his way into the radio station via work experience.  Here’s why he impressed the BBC, and why they wanted to keep him around:

(Here’s Tim John’s original post on tips for how to make the most of, and not screw up, your work experience placement.)

“Well the speculation in the papers this morning link Sunderland with the Brighton pair of Liam Bridcutt and….erm…who’s the other player?”

chris sykes

Chris Sykes, Broadcast Assistant at BBC Newcastle & SportsBeat Reporter

It’s about 6:15pm on Monday January 6th, 2014; the first day of my work experience placement with the Total Sport team at BBC Newcastle.

 

I’m sat in the broom cupboard-sized phone-in booth, alongside Vicki, the show’s producer.  There’s four computer screens crammed on to one work bench, which barely has room for two people.

As any football fan knows, January means the mid-season transfer window is open.  That makes it the perfect time to go on work experience with a sportsdesk, particularly one that covers two high profile, well-supported clubs in Newcastle and Sunderland.

In January, rumours are always swirling around about which clubs might sign whom and inevitably on a daily football phone-in, those rumours, truthful or not, will be discussed.

The show’s presenter, Simon Pryde, is talking about just that; speculation in the local papers that Sunderland are after two Brighton players.  One problem, only Liam Bridcutt’s name springs to his mind.

Straightaway, I press the red switch on the talkback mic into the studio and excitedly shout “Will Buckley” into Prydey’s headphones.

“Will Buckley, of course,” he exclaims.  And the show carries on as normal.

Now I must confess, the title of this post is slightly misleading.  That one small incident didn’t really get me my first job in radio.  Knowing Will Buckley’s name isn’t something listed on the BBC Careers Hub competencies for a broadcast assistant’s job.

Continue reading “Chris Sykes, BBC Newcastle – How Will Buckley Started My Radio Career”

Pete Lutz: The “Pulp-Chaser”

Texas-based audio drama writer & producer Pete Lutz is a self-proclaimed king of “making radio drama on no budget whatsoever”.  (Tongue firmly in cheek as he adjusts his crown.)

Considering producing audio drama involves finding a troop of acting talent, recording (ideally together) with quality microphones, sourcing/creating fitting music and sound effects, and hours upon hours of writing, editing and promotion…  That’s a pretty noble claim to make.

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Nick Wommack, left & Pete Lutz, right.  Photo by George Tuley/Corpus Christi Caller-Times


Pete learned a great deal of his craft from listening to the masters: the creators of Old-Time Radio programs aired decades before he was born.  Even his stories come from that era, for the most part, or are inspired by them.

“Back before any of you lot wuz born, eh? Well, ‘ere wuz summat called radio, eh?”

[Cue dramatic fanfare music…]  Ladies and gentlemen, he’s the man with a face for radio, and more radio than you can face…  Mr. Pete Lutz!

Continue reading “Pete Lutz: The “Pulp-Chaser””

Northern Bear Films – the Building Blocks of Video Production

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Hello, Creatives!  Our latest series of blogs comes from the lovely folk at Northern Bear Films, an award-winning creative film & media company, focused on creating and sharing entertaining stories.

Since launching in 2012, Aman, Jerome & the team have delivered projects for local to national brands, including names such as The National Trust, Creative England, and the British Film Institute.

Today, the basics – a very building-blocks approach to video production;
from the ground up, with or without a budget.

What is video production?

Northern Bear.jpgVideo is a great way to capture audience attention and convey the message in a short period of time, but have you ever wondered the different stages and the work that goes behind the scene before you see the polished product?

Here are the 3 main steps you need to consider if you are looking to create video content:

Continue reading “Northern Bear Films – the Building Blocks of Video Production”

How to not mess up your work experience placement

Today’s post comes from the genius audio producer that is Tim Johns, who is currently Reporter/Producer for The Jeremy Vine Show on BBC Radio 2.

I did a talk on this subject at this year’s Student Radio Conference in Cardiff.

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Yes, some of it is blindingly obvious, but I thought it needed saying because I see people come in for radio placements/internships/shadowing at Radio 2 a lot.  And so often, people get the little things wrong.

tim johns.jpgDon’t be useless at making phone calls

If you’re asked to pick up the phone and book a guest, take a deep breath and go for it. You need to be charming and persuasive. It can be slightly daunting making this first phone call in an open-plan office but if you come across badly and the guest says “no” that’s not great.

Continue reading “How to not mess up your work experience placement”

International Women’s Day

Happy International Women’s Day, Creatives!  Join us in celebrating this important campaign, which attempts year on year to help bring society ever closer to parity.

I spoke to female creatives across various industries to find out what International Women’s Day means to them, and what advice they have in store for emerging female creatives.

Click here to listen to Bridget Hamilton on the 99% Perspiration podcast

Click here to listen to Bridget Hamilton on the 99% Perspiration podcast

Bridget Hamilton
Founder of social community project Verbal Remedy, and Producer at BBC Radio Newcastle
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“In this day and age you’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t consume some sort of media every day.  That’s why I think we as an industry have to be incredibly hot on issues such as gender parity.

“Not only do we have to work on equality for those who work for us (for instance, only 36% of people in your typical newsroom are female), but we also need to improve how women are portrayed in our documentaries and dramas.

“No one should be confined to playing the swooning doctor’s assistant or the

damsel in distress.  Of course, many of us will be able to think of women whose contributions to TV and film are far from tokenism, but there’s still a long way to go.”

99% Extra – Here’s Ben Tompkins Trying to Get a Job in Radio

Back in Episode 3 of 99% Perspiration, soon-to-be radio graduate Ben Tompkins shared that he was making a documentary for his dissertation project. It’s a one-off piece where Ben interviews several people who work in radio careers.

“Ben Tompkins travels around the North East of England searching for advice on how to get a job in the radio world.”

Included in Ben’s awesome documentary…

Giles Tanner – Managing Editor of Global North East

Tom Campbell – Drive Time Presenter, Heart Radio

Tom Davies – Head of Careers and Employability Service at the University Of Sunderland

Emma Snook – Producer at Amazing Radio

Jay Sykes – Freelance Producer and Lecturer in Radio Drama

Until next time…

Stay productive, stay awesome!