Friday, 5 July 2013

VIP Visit to the BBC Wednesday 3 July

Continuing on the Master's theme of Great Brands make Britain Great, the Marketors arrived at New Broadcasting House in Portland Place for the first VIP tour since Her Majesty the Queen officially opened the new building.  We were met by our tour guides, Lorraine Dance and Simon, both brilliant interpretors of the magical world of Radio and TV. We first visited the original Broadcasting House to see the supoerb art deco refurbishment.  The sculptor, Gill, created in 1928 the statues of Prospero and Ariel to sit above the entrance porch. Did you know that Ariel was subject to the first BBC cutback? We returned to New Broadcasting House and overlooked the absolutely enormous Newsroom where Nick Porter, News Duty Operations Manager, gave an explanation of the layout of both the Newsroom and the Weather area. As Murray's match was reaching to five sets the six o'clock news was postponed until the tennis finished over an hour later.  The people in the newsroom were watching and waiting to deliver their 'packages'!  We then visited other areas of the building, including the balcony of the old building, a scene of many activities over the years and still in use.  NBH is the most amazing place one can imagine to work in.  We saw the 'railway carriages' (meeting rooms), creative pods, resource centres, kitchen areas,  as well as meeting rooms named after a wide range of BBC presenters, from Alistair Cooke to Frank Gillard, where we had refreshments and met with Matt Taylor, weather presenter on News at Ten.  Matt, like all his fellow weather presenters, is on secondment to the BBC from the MET office and comes with a huge knowledge and experience in every subject from the Gulf Stream to forecasts for military operations. For his three minute slot he preforms without a script as weather changes are frequent and unpredictable. Matt escaped from us admirers to get back to the studio in time for his next broadcast. I got back home after our visit and just in time to see him on the late news.  The hospitality, food and wine provided were excellent and we returned to reception where there was the opportunity to “have a go” at reading the News and deliver a Weather report!  After several attempts we decided to thank our hosts, Simon and Lorraine, and left after some three hours of sheer fascination, education and entertainment.

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