Being at the Beeb. Part Two.

A short testimony of working inside the BBC

One day I shall arise from an interview chair and they shall knight me- Sir HannARGH, BBC employee! They shall hand me a copy of the BBC guidelines and make me swear an oath to PUBLIC DUTY.

“Go forth- do good unto the world- serve your nation and ride the BBC horse of impeccability up the steep terrain of knowledge!”

And all will be good in the world. Naturally I will wear a cape.
Everyone at the BBC wears capes. Unless they’re floor-managing, because well, then it would just get in the way. 

The court room

There is a secret society hidden deep into the depths of the nation’s courts.  It is…..THE PRESS ROOM. It is a place reserved for the pen-chewing, short-hand taking, coffee driven hacks whose jobs it is the report of the day’s no-gooders, axe-wielders and awry citizens who are hurled in front
of judge and jury.
Hey, look! They’ve even got plug sockety things for charging laptops and our uber necessary smartphones. And a kettle? For making tea?
*swoons* They know our needs!

Yes, the Press room was rather exciting.
Alas the art of court reporting is dry work. They should also have a stack of crossword puzzles and an on going darts championship inside too. But I was in good company. The honourable weezer John Cundy was my guide to the who-done-its, who-probably-did-its and the small wave of other reporters who lounged alongside me in the secret society room. They were trying not to look at
me as if to say “Who the heck is she?” they were failing, miserably.  Nor do I blame them- they all knew each other, probably who each of their dentists were and the particulars of each other’s pension plans. I like to imagine that between them they could map out each of Yorkshire’s underground mobsters, vandals and troublemakers.

They seemed a friendly bunch and were discussing a new vacancy (OMG A VACANCY!) that had come up at the paper. “I know someone who’d be keen, did work experience with us a whenever ago. She was really good.” SOLD. That is how jobs go in this industry; waiting on a sex offending charge in a windowless room. I don’t know if the girl who was mentioned got the job- but a personal recommendation? ‘Corr, blimey.

So how had I gotten here? I had turned up at the office at the usual (there is no usual in news) tea-brewing, marmite-spreading hour and was promptly strapped into the back of a BBC van alongside some complicated looking equipment. We were off to court! The verdict was due for a police officer and previous Mr Gay UK winner, Mark Carter, who had been charged with multiple counts of rape and sexual assault.

The Jury were in, the Jury were out, the Jury shook it all about. The reporters were in, the reporters were out, the reporters dashed frantically about. I got to sit in the press bench next to an over-worked looking scruff-ball and a sharp eyed, blonde bobbed newspaper reporter. We were all taking notes. All wigs in the house were neatly perched.

When finally, after a day of being a human ping-pong ball, the verdict- not guilty- was announced there were screams and tears from the public gallery. Fists punched the air, a woman promptly burst into tears and a peculiar noise came from the defendant.

As public, press and court room officials drifted out the Press Room gang huddled in a circle.

“Would you class that as retching?”
“He wasn’t sick was he?”
“Definitely retching…”

We all agreed, nodded, and patted various notepads and bits of stationary into ink stained pockets and walked out.

Whilst I had been huddled with the other hacks discussing the definition of retching my colleague and guide John Cundy had snuck off to follow the relief hugs from Carter’s entourage. Outside I found our camera man, driver and good-egg Keith who had camera and tripod ready pointed and white-balanced at the court entrance. Interview time.

It’s nice to know even the BBC gets ignored sometimes. We didn’t get an interview but Keith and John did dash off, mic in hand to get shots of Carter leaving whilst I was left guarding the rest of the equipment and the mini satellite truck. The defendant had rushed off (to the pub we were told by a debatable source) and our interviewee had vanished. Hmmm.

Still, an interesting day in court.

HannARGH x

p.s. Stay tuned for Part Three: Out on the road


2 thoughts on “Being at the Beeb. Part Two.

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