Routes into radio
The CoP Show's Sophie Lording talks to radio presenter Sean Thorne, freelance comedy producer Dave Cribb and BBC Radio's James Cook, Maggie Ayre and John Byrne at the Student Radio Association's training day hosted by Burst Radio in Bristol. They give their tips on how to make that first break, get noticed and learn your craft.
Sophie also talks to students Richard Queree, Tom Sturdy, Jennifer Bell, Michael Adair and Gabrielle Westington about their next steps after student radio.
Sean Thorne is a presenter for children’s digital station Fun Kids. He also works for BBC Radio Bristol.
James Cook is the arts and poetry editor for BBC Radio, producing programmes across BBC Radio 2, 3 and 4 including Poetry Please, Word of Mouth, With Great Pleasure and various documentaries.
Maggie Ayre is an award winning documentary producer for the BBC, with credits including Soul Music, Costing the Earth and The Food Programme.
Dave Cribb is a freelance radio comedy producer who has worked for both independent production companies and the BBC.
John Byrne is a radio producer who has worked in radio for over 24 years for commercial, independent, BBC local and BBC network radio. He currently produces documentaries for BBC Radio 4.
How to be a TV presenter
To become a TV presenter, do you need to specialise or be an expert? How do you go about getting your first break, and what can you do to make sure you keep landing the jobs you want?
Simon Smith has four guests to offer insight and guidance on the skills you will need to develop and what to expect from life as a presenter. They are Lisa Rogers, Anita Rani, Hilary Murray and Alvin Hall.
Lisa Rogers got her first presenting role thanks to her passion for sport on Channel 4's late night show Under the Moon. Since then she has presented Scrapheap Challenge and currently presents Sport Wales for the BBC.
Anita Rani presented India on Four Wheels and Four Rooms and is a regular current affairs correspondent on The One Show.
Hilary Murray is an agent for Arlington Enterprises, who represent a host of talent including James Wong, Ben Fogle and Kirstie Allsopp.
Alvin Hall is a money expert who came into presenting "by accident" because of his ability to clearly explain finance. Since then he has gone on to present Alvin's Guide to Good Business as well as guest present Jamie's Dream School and The Apprentice: You're Fired.
Media job interviews
Simon Smith and guests talk about job interview skills, from researching the job, handling standard and difficult questions to tackling interviews at the BBC and what to do when asked along for an informal chat.
Simon's guests are Emily Gale, talent manager at TV production company Talkback Thames, Simon Wright, a BBC Talent exec and Neil Walker director of Unlimited Performance (an independent recruitment, talent management and employee development consultancy) and former head of Production Talent at both ITV and BBC London Factual.
Disability in broadcast: getting in and getting on
Forging a career in TV, online or radio production is difficult enough, so it’s understandable how the addition of a disability might make someone reluctant to enter the industry. Ben Toone speaks to three guests who all work in the media while managing their individual disabilities.
The panel members discuss how their disabilities affect day-to-day working life – from the difficulty of not spilling the tea, to breaking the ice by asking colleagues if they will help take you to the loo! All three agree that being as upfront as possible is essential, and that encouraging others to ask questions is the key to setting your colleagues at ease.
“You have to manage others’ knowledge of disability.” – Emma Tracey
The show looks at the help available to media professionals with disabilities, such as the government Access to Work scheme, which can assist with arranging transport, carers and assistive technology. The scheme has a dedicated media team who are sensitive to the time pressures, travel requirements and unusual working hours of the broadcast industry.
The guests encourage media professionals with disabilities to be proactive, and demonstrate what they can do, rather than focusing on what they can’t. Taking a full portfolio of audio or video clips along to an interview shows that your disability is not a barrier to you creating great work. Letting interviewers know exactly what support you might require shows that you are knowledgeable about and at ease with your disability.
For those within the BBC, Emma recommends getting involved in BBC Ability, the company’s disability staff network. This provides help with accessing technology, getting around the BBC’s many buildings, and advice on career opportunities.
All three guests conclude that honesty, a sense of humour and a passion for your chosen career are essential.
Claire Burgess is a producer for the Drivetime show on BBC Radio Lancashire. Previously, she worked at BBC Radio Merseyside as part of the BBC’s trainee scheme Extend.
Dominic Hyams is an assistant producer at the independent sports broadcaster Sunset+Vine. He is currently working on the International Olympics Committee’s YouTube channel, and has previously worked on on Channel 4’s Paralympic coverage.
Emma Tracey is a producer for the BBC’s Ouch disability talk show, a monthly podcast with a candid take on disability. She is also active in the BBC forum for employees with disabilities, BBC Ability.
Getting into radio
The radio industry is as competitive as ever and demands an increasingly wide range of skills, so what can you do to convince someone to give you your first break? Our panellists Greg James, Paul Robinson and Ruth Gardiner join Simon Smith to share their own experiences in radio and some dos and don'ts that they've learned along the way.
"Even with more channels, it's harder now than it was twenty or thirty years ago to get into radio." – Greg James
Paul Robinson has been managing director of Talk Radio and managing editor of Radio 1 and is on the panel for the 30 Under 30 competition at The Radio Academy
Ruth Gardiner is the head of the General Factual department at BBC Radio. The department produces programmes mainly for BBC Radio 4 and The World Service including Woman's Hour, Outlook and Desert Island Discs.
Greg James is a presenter for BBC Radio 1, landing his role at the station after picking up the 'Best Male Presenter' award at the 2005 Student Radio Awards for his work on University of East Anglia's student station, Livewire.
Getting into TV
It can be hard to break through the catch-22 situation of needing experience in order to secure a job, and moving from work experience to paid employment takes diligence, hard work and creativity.
"Do your research into what kind of job you think you want to do, what that job entails and how your skills will fit." – Jude Winstanley
In the studio are Jude Winstanley, creator of The Unit List, Shu Richmond, author of the blog So You Want to Work in Television, Elsa Sharp, talent manager at Dragonfly TV and author of How to Get a Job in Television and BBC talent manager Sarah Grout, who looks after the Vision Intake Pool.