Midlands’ first-ever careers fair attracted 600 young people to the Edgbaston cricket ground in mid-October to hear from industry experts.
Panel sessions took place throughout the day at the RTS event. “The secrets behind TV sport”, hosted by BBC WM presenter Richard Wilford, featured Sports Personality of the Year deputy editor Michael Jackson, BBC sports news correspondent Natalie Pirks and BBC Sport editor Jo McCusker, who offered advice to budding sports broadcasters.
The entertainment panel boasted award-winning producers Mark Sidaway (The X Factor) and Charlie Irwin (I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here!), and Panda TV development executive Francesca Palmer (Let It Shine), who spoke to a packed room in a session hosted by television presenter Trish Adudu.
The panel for the session on making factual shows, hosted by ITV News London newsreader Suzanne Virdee, reflected the wide range of documentary programming on television. Jodie Allt, production coordinator on Blue Planet II, Love Productions’ Simon Evans (Benefits Street) and director Jeff Wilkinson Award (In Solitary: The Anti-Social Experiment) gave valuable advice and answered a mass of questions from the floor.
BBC Academy offered tips on how to shoot short-form content, before the final panel of the day, which featured BBC Three commissioning editor Nasfim Haque, BBC Radio 1 head of programmes Aled Haydn Jones andLove Island series editor Mike Spencer, revealed the secrets of making audience-grabbing shows. BBC News Midlands correspondent Sima Kotecha hosted the session.
At the end of their sessions, most panellists joined the teams in the exhibition area where they gave advice and tips on writing CVs to the young people, aged 16-25, who had their eyes on a career in television.
In the exhibition area, a team from BBC One daytime drama Doctors invited the students to try their hand at acting, be part of the crew and learn the secrets of realistic medical injury make-up. The Midlands Today team gave advice on making editorial decisions and BBC WM Sport offered the young people the opportunity to commentate on football. Workshops also covered how to spot fake news and shoot videos on mobile phones.