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12
Capybara87 posts since 24 Jul 2018
Granada North West Today
//Edit: I didn't know where to put this, so I put it here. Hope you don't mind.

I know Mr Newmarch has an account here, whether or not he still uses it just to browse I don't know.

(For context for users who don't know, I'm 13, so most likely the youngest member of the forum.)

In August, I contacted the Enquiries department of the BBC Careers department, asking which subjects would be good to take if I wanted to become a continuity announcer for the BBC.

I was genuinely excited when I saw that I had received an email back. It was from Adam Laughlin, who sent me a standard email about checking the BBC Careers website, which was rather disappointing.

Quote:
Hello Kai,

Thanks for taking the time to get in contact, it's great to hear from you.

It's fantastic to hear that you are interested in getting involved in broadcasting. It can be such a rewarding experience and you sound very passionate about it.

The best way to get information on any job opportunities within the BBC is to keep an eye on the BBC careers website:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/careers

I hope this has helped and thanks again for getting in touch.

All the best!

Adam Laughlin

BBC Enquiries Team


I got back in touch explaining that I had followed the instructions in Mr Laughlin's reply, but to no avail. I asked if there was anybody within the Continuity department who could help me with my question.

After two weeks of no reply back from the BBC, I stopped checking my email (as I don't use it for anything else anyway).

However (and this is where I get genuinely ecstatic) I discovered today resetting a forgotten password that I had received an email back. The subject line: Continuity. The sender: Duncan Newmarch.

Before I even opened the email I nearly squealed the house down in delight, adding to the fact I was already rather happy somebody posted a good mock in the Gallery. Duncan is one of my biggest role models, and I've already seen his work in action not only seeing his announcements of course but also from multiple YouTube videos, such as this BBC News piece from 2009:



I opened the email to learn how nice a guy he was. Not only was he great at his job, but he was a great person too. He said this:

Quote:
Hi Kai



Thanks for your message, I’m pleased you’ve got in touch



When I was your age (before the internet was around), I used to wonder who all those people were! Things looked and sounded a bit different back then but I used to pretend being a continuity announcer… BBC of course!



I think the best thing I can say to you is… do your best at school and get the best grades you can, in the subjects that interest you. You never know what you’ll need for jobs you might go for the in future. As people decide to watch shows via Netflix/Amazon- there may not be so much need for announcers in the distant future. You don’t need specific grades to be an announcer but you may decide to go for other jobs (you usually need some kind of degree to work on BBC local radio).



Being a continuity announcer- the tone of your voice is naturally important. Ideally, if you’re on the telly or radio, the viewers/listeners should be able to hear what you’re saying. These days, the BBC purposely listen out for regional accents or voices that get away from the old announcer sound I used to enjoy.



With time and experience, you can bring in your own sense of humour. I still say that warmth is THE most important skill an announcer could have- would you want to meet up with him/her for a pizza?



I would strongly advise you to join your local hospital radio station- they look for volunteers to help present radio shows to the patients. It’s not paid but the skills you’d learn there are priceless. The ability to talk into a microphone, talk to a specific time, writing scripts and learning to cope when things go wrong around you. The other skill, which isn’t so easy to learn is the art of being creative, coming up with ideas etc. I can’t tell you how many episodes of Bargain Hunt I’ve introduced and you can’t keep using the same line day after day. Avoid any kind of forced delivery/radio voice, keep it natural if you can.



If you really love telly and the announcers, and it sounds like you do, keep your enthusiasm and when you think the time is right, make a short demo. My advice is to do something towards the beginning which will get people’s attention- not the same old boring thing everyone else would do.



Keep it short, make it sound like the channel you’re sending it to (I can’t tell you how many people have applied to the BBC, introducing programmes for Channel 4) and I’m sure you’ll get where you want to be… in time.



Just don’t steal my job.



All the best Kai, I hope this has been some help.



I can ask my bosses if you and a parent/guardian want to make a visit one day- to see what we do. We’re based in London though, White City.



Finally, here’s a fun radio show I made earlier this year. I grew up in the 80s, loving the radio when it was fun. https://soundcloud.com/user-813277564/duncans-stuck-in-the-80s-in-stereo



Duncan


What a nice guy. If your bosses allow, I hope to take you up on your White City offer soon.
Thanks, Duncan. You've really made my year (literally).
Aspiring continuity announcer.
27
thegeek5,001 posts since 1 Jan 2002
London London
Top man. It was really good of him to write back. (And good advice too! Hospital radio has been a jumping-off point for plenty of famous names.)

Some time ago - I think before I even started uni - I got in touch with Tony Currie, of this forum and elsewhere, but also a familiar voice on BBC Scotland. He was kind enough to offer similar words of encouragement and a tour around the old studios at Queen Margaret Drive.

Being a continuity announcer wasn't for me, but his advice and getting to see how things worked did plant a few seeds about the sort of thing I'd like to do. A few years down the line, I'm making telly work. Occasionally even doing things which get mentioned on this forum...

I realise it's not the easiest of industries to get in to, so always try to repay the favour, and have pointed a few people in the right direction (and given plenty of tours of my own workplace) if they're interested in getting involved too.
15
JasonB5,130 posts since 20 Sep 2003
London London
I still take part in Hospital Radio and my station reached its 50th anniversary this year. We use ex BBC Cambridge and Norfolk desks and I still enjoying producing radio programmes seven years later.
"623058 The whole thing has been a dump squirt."
commseng262 posts since 8 Dec 2016
London London
I agree that encouraging the next generation to get into the industry is important.
Work experience for me at a BBC local radio station was a major part of me getting a full time job back in the 1980s, and I've not stopped since.
The firm I now work for is running a graduate trainee programme, which over the last few years has recruited 20 staff, and I can see that they will be big names in the industry many years after I have retired.
The thing is to ask for work experience, and see what the different roles are, either in studio or Outside Broadcast locations.
You may not even be aware of some roles - mine in the Communications or RF engineering jobs are not ones that most people have even heard of.
If someone knows what they want to do, that's great when interviewing them. To have an idea which roles interest them, even if they have no experience yet, is a big plus compared to someone else who doesn't have any ideas at all!
1
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DeMarkay500 posts since 29 Oct 2015
London London
Well, as a 19 year old, I'm so inspired to see someone as young as you, be so passionate about being a continuity announcer. I'm a Broadcast and Digital Media Graduate turned Audio and Radio producer, occasional presenter and voiceover artist.

If I've learnt anything from being immersed into the world of Commercial and Public Radio, it's to never give up, work hard, and knock down those doors.

I really do suggest that you attend the school I did way back in 2016 as one of the original students, The Global Academy. If you live in London or near then check out globalacademy.com - ask to have a tour and meet with my old teachers. If you live in Manchester or near then visit UTC @ MediaCityUK.

I hope this helps.

Good luck for your bright future.
1
Capybara gave kudos
Josh991 posts since 21 Dec 2014
Anglia (East) Look East
I've always wanted to have an experience in the industry, but due to where I live there isn't anything to try, so you're very lucky.
Well done for getting a reply and I hope you do get to take that trip down to White City!
Fan of the media industry, from the UK.
2
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commseng262 posts since 8 Dec 2016
London London
I've always wanted to have an experience in the industry, but due to where I live there isn't anything to try, so you're very lucky.
Well done for getting a reply and I hope you do get to take that trip down to White City!

Where abouts are you Josh?
You've got to be somewhere very remote to be any great distance from some form of broadcasting.
3
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Josh991 posts since 21 Dec 2014
Anglia (East) Look East
I've always wanted to have an experience in the industry, but due to where I live there isn't anything to try, so you're very lucky.
Well done for getting a reply and I hope you do get to take that trip down to White City!

Where abouts are you Josh?
You've got to be somewhere very remote to be any great distance from some form of broadcasting.

I live in the Anglia region. All of my possible opportunities are either:
Too far away
Have moved elsewhere
Aren't what I'm looking for

I'm planning on taking some work experience at a local hospital radio station soon, so fingers crossed it all goes to plan
Fan of the media industry, from the UK.
deejay2,925 posts since 5 Jan 2003
Central (South) Oxford
Work experience, hospital radio, community radio - all very relevant. Writing on-spec letters to local media companies is also sensible - you never know what will come up. Even following people in the industry on twitter and engaging a little with them (but not too much!) can pay dividends. Be patient, take it all on the chin, but above all good luck.
Two minutes regions...
3
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Markymark7,090 posts since 13 Dec 2004
Meridian (North) South Today
I agree that encouraging the next generation to get into the industry is important.
Work experience for me at a BBC local radio station was a major part of me getting a full time job back in the 1980s, and I've not stopped since.
The firm I now work for is running a graduate trainee programme, which over the last few years has recruited 20 staff, and I can see that they will be big names in the industry many years after I have retired.
The thing is to ask for work experience, and see what the different roles are, either in studio or Outside Broadcast locations.
You may not even be aware of some roles - mine in the Communications or RF engineering jobs are not ones that most people have even heard of.
If someone knows what they want to do, that's great when interviewing them. To have an idea which roles interest them, even if they have no experience yet, is a big plus compared to someone else who doesn't have any ideas at all!


I endorse all the above.

If you are interested in the engineering side of broadcasting (which I acknowledge may not be applicable to you Josh) another way in is via the broadcast equipment manufacturers. There is a flow of people in both directions between manufacturers (and broadcast system integrators), and broadcasters (inc facility companies i.e, play-out providers, OB companies, studio facility companies etc) It's actually quite a small business really. I've never met commseng, but we do have many mutual colleagues !
Last edited by Markymark on 9 October 2019 5:09pm
3
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Spencer (previously Spencer For Hire) 5,907 posts since 13 Jan 2003
Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
Work experience, hospital radio, community radio - all very relevant.


I’d add student radio to that list as well for anyone going to a university or college that has one, and most of the major ones do.

I also know a lot of people in broadcasting who began their careers doing travel news for local radio. Inrix, the main provider, has offices in Manchester, Birmingham and London. They often seem to be on the lookout for new broadcasters. If you think you’ve got what it takes, why not record them a few demo bulletins?
5
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commseng262 posts since 8 Dec 2016
London London
I agree that encouraging the next generation to get into the industry is important.
Work experience for me at a BBC local radio station was a major part of me getting a full time job back in the 1980s, and I've not stopped since.
The firm I now work for is running a graduate trainee programme, which over the last few years has recruited 20 staff, and I can see that they will be big names in the industry many years after I have retired.
The thing is to ask for work experience, and see what the different roles are, either in studio or Outside Broadcast locations.
You may not even be aware of some roles - mine in the Communications or RF engineering jobs are not ones that most people have even heard of.
If someone knows what they want to do, that's great when interviewing them. To have an idea which roles interest them, even if they have no experience yet, is a big plus compared to someone else who doesn't have any ideas at all!


I endorse all the above.

If you are interested in the engineering side of broadcasting (which I acknowledge may not be applicable to you Josh) another way in is via the broadcast equipment manufacturers. There is a flow of people in both directions between manufacturers (and broadcast system integrators), and broadcasters (inc facility companies i.e, play-out providers, OB companies, studio facility companies etc) It's actually quite a small business really. I've never met commseng, but we do have many mutual colleagues !

At last my chaotic year has finally calmed down and I have time off.
I suspect a pint or two would be good fun if you have the time!
1
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