Essential Classics

Another radio program I’ve worked with on my internship at Somethin’ Else has been BBC Radio 3’s Essential Classics. I’ve shadowed the producer and broadcasting assistants at interviews, editing sessions and in the BBC Broadcasting House for the live shows. This has given me great insight into how a daily radio program is put together, and has inspired me to work in radio. Hear the most recent Essential Classics’ full interview here with Rick Wakeman.

BBC Broadcasting House

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Economist Thursdays

On Thursdays I help produce the audio book versions of the Economist for their subscribers. These have definitely been the hardest working and most fulfilling days. I do a range of jobs including editing, where I receive the raw articles and edit them on Cubase Elements into the final versions that the subscribers hear. I hope to use these skills more in the future.

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Jazz on 3 episode

BBC Introducing at the Manchester Jazz Festival

Manchester Jazz Festival

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BBC Introducing and the Manchester Jazz Festival

Week 2 on the internship merged two of my favourite things, jazz and Manchester, which teamed up last Friday night at Band on the Wall where I helped BBC Radio 3‘s Jazz on 3 record the event. Four contrasting, upcoming bands were selected by BBC Introducing and performed half hour sets which will be broadcast in next week’s Jazz on 3 (10th Aug @ 11pm).

My favourite of the groups was the first, an (almost) all girl group from South London called Nérija. The Hebrew word means lamp (or light) of God and such powerful energy is ubiquitous in their sound. Listen out for their unique style which blends jazz improvisation with afro-beats and I was particularly impressed by Sheila Maurice-Grey on trumpet, and Guitarist Shirley Tetteh, the latter who took lead in the changing atmosphere during their set. Maurice-Grey’s clean tone, mature presence, and versatile solos were impressive and she was my stand out performer of the event.


My role on the night was assisting with the production team whilst helping out the artists with any requirements. It was new and interesting to see how the sound engineer and one of the producers spent the whole evening parked outside the club in a small, sweaty, high-tech van listening to the event and doing their individual jobs. The whole day taught me a lot about events management and radio production. The role of radio producer is becoming ever more appealing to me and I appreciate the way they find the balance between what will work live and what will go well in the program, and how they interact and benefit each other.

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Pixie Lott, coffees, and running

I’m a week into my internship at Somethin’ Else, a content company who create radio and tv programs, films, digital, apps, and work with brands. I first came into contact with them a few years ago while on the Headstart program, run by A New Direction who share the same building. Since the 2012 Games I’ve been relatively quiet on the blogging front, concentrating on my studies and now go into my final year at university! Anyway, this is a good excuse to get back on the blog.

Being a general intern at Somethin’ Else is a great opportunity to learn and get involved with a vast array of creative areas. During my first week I spent two days as a runner for a film crew working with the likes of Pixie Lott and yes, doing a lot of running. Being a runner is the first foot in the door in this exciting industry and it was inspiring to see how a crew come together from the director to the gaffer, and the producer to the cameramen. So here are my ten top tips for being a runner from what I’ve learnt so far:

1. Don’t be on time. Be early. It shows you’re reliable and enthusiastic and gives you more time to help with tip 2.

2. Learn everyone’s names. I try to put name to job title which helps especially when everyone seems to have a four or five letter name beginning with J. (Yes, my name’s Joe…)

3. Eye contact. I always try to keep eye contact when listening to anyone in life but it’s so valuable with your team and those above you.

4. It’s obvious but be comfortable with making hot drinks in the various ways even if you don’t drink them!

5. Have a smart phone with data and full battery. It comes in very handy with maps and notes is also useful with taking down food and drink orders.

6. Dress appropriately. I learnt this the hard way unfortunately. Turning up to my first shoot in thick black jeans and a shirt on a hot summer’s day was stupid and made the day very sweaty. However, speaking to one of the crew that day he said he had seen a girl turn up in high heels once… she didn’t last long.

7. Bring a small rucksack. This will help to carry lunch and your money/receipts.

8. Run. Not in a crazy, out of control manner, but if the nearest shops are 15 mins away then you need to get your skates on.

9. Be honest. If you don’t know what a piece of equipment is that someone’s got you to collect, tell them.

10. Show interest. At the end of the day you’re there to learn (especially if you’re not being paid) so ask questions and try to get involved.

That’s my advice! More to come over the next few weeks.

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Published article!

I’ve had an article published on the Free Word website. I’ve written about how my version of the 2012 Games compared to my grandmothers’ in 1948. Click here to read it.

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Reflecting on the Games

It’s still too early to talk about a legacy for East Londoners. The park doesn’t open till next year and that’s only a couple of bits of it. By Rio 2016, the effects will be there and the Olympic Park will have residents and users of the facilities (hopefully). Here’s three SMJs and I reflecting a bit on how the Games affected us and our areas.

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The Olympic Experience

Last Monday, I went to the Olympic Park and took part in the Olympic Experience. This is how I describe being in the Olympic Park all day and joining in with the activities and watching the event in the evening. I had a ticket to the evening session of Handball where I saw two quality matches between Croatia and Spain, and France and Sweden.

My event started at 7.30pm so I decided to get into the Park earlier on with my ticket and see what it was all about. The Park was crammed full of fans all excited to see their event and just take part in this special occasion.

I spent a few hours sitting on the grass at the ‘Park Live’ area. This was where the big screens were and where hundreds of fans watched live action at the Park. I saw Team GB win a gold medal at the Velodrome and also one in the Equestrian. During the medal ceremonies, the crowd all stood up and sang along to God Save The Queen!

Having spent too much money on over-priced food and queued for almost 20 minutes for some tap water, It was eventually time to enter the Copper Box Arena. This stadium has been nicknamed, ‘The box that rocks’ from its lively atmosphere. The enclosed venue was filled and although most of the fans were British watching a sport we suck at, the spectators were still enjoying the action and joining in with the chants. I supported ‘Les Bleus’ in the second game as their fans were loudest singing ‘Aller les bleus!’ and their team won comfortably.


Even though my ticket was the cheapest in the Arena, my seat was still great and I watched the action just above where all the athletes from the nations competing that night were sitting and supporting their team. I was pleasantly surprised to see how many Croatian athletes came out to cheer their team to victory. There were Olympic medallists in the corner and it really came across to me that the Croatian team spirit was far more apparent than other nations.

I left the Park at 11ish and cycled back home from Victoria Park where I could lock up my bike in the free space in the park and get a free service on my bike if I wanted. A great aspect of the Games for locals.

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Volunteers are the heart and soul of the Games

When I visited the Winter Paralympic Games back in 2010, one of the things that I remember most well was how friendly and helpful the volunteers were. I thought to myself at the time, ‘how will grumpy ol’ Londoners be in 2012?’

Image source: The Telegraph

But much to my pleasure, visiting the Park for the first time yesterday to watch Handball at the Copper Box Arena, I noticed how similarly friendly and excited our volunteers were all round the Park. They’re really showcasing Londoners in a fine manner and without them, the Games wouldn’t have been able to run, so I think they deserve a post dedicated to them on here!

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Olympic challenge in a day

Three other Headstarters and I were set a task to travel around London for the day while visiting as many Olympics countries’ houses as we could. We would see what the venues were like and try to establish which country best represented themselves here in London during the Games.

After visiting six countries’ houses from four different continents in seven hours, we feel we have travelled the world. We travelled to Switzerland, France, South Africa, Brazil, Qatar and finally Ireland. Each house had something unique to offer which included their culture, history and sport.

Our group concluded that the French house was the best sports fan experience for the nation. However we felt we were unwelcomed and isolated as Brits and as young journalists as we struggled to interview anyone.

South Africa presented a great display of national art, music and culture. The atmosphere was very quiet but the few people that were there were very proud of their nation. They failed to represent their sporting side though, with very few memorials or presentations displaying sporting values or history.

Brazil had the most spectacular display of culture and strongest sense of national identity, as well as attendance. Many people of a variety of ages indulged in what Casa Brasil had to offer.

We were then very pleasantly and unexpectedly surprised by Qatar’s relaxed and luxurious experience. On arrival we were treated to free drinks at the sports bar while watching live action from the Games. Here, we found out the building cost tens of millions of pounds to rent, renovate and show case to the public for free! Shahan Akkawi, Head of Media, very kindly gave us a private tour educating us on Qatar’s sporting history and the development of their sustainable infrastructure. We also went on the roof garden with the most amazing view of central London’s skyline. There was also a theatre and lots of other interesting stuff going on. This got me very excited for what could happen in Qatar’s 2022 World Cup.

Some nations avoided the stereotypes, however the Irish lived up to theirs, by setting up base in a pub. The Irish came out in full force to support their own though, and it was a warm and lively atmosphere as you would expect.

We were welcomed by the Swiss stereotypes of chocolate, cheese and an out door climbing wall. From an interview with a Swiss representative, we found out that the Swiss were trying to challenge the stereotype though with out door concerts, the gaming facilities as well as a late night club, all open to the public for free. We concluded that this House was the most fun, friendly and it’s free. They were also so co-operative and gave us a mini tour and let us into the closed bar to their director of house, Manuel Salchli. Here’s the interview:

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