Hexham Rotary visits the BBC

groupLast Tuesday, a morning outing to the BBC in Newcastle was arranged by our President, Roy Dallison. We arrived at their offices slightly early to complete the signing in details and were then taken on the tour of the facilities by Deborah and Simon – two excellent historyguides. Simon started off by showing us a wallscape that encompassed the history of the BBC in Newcastle. This started in 1922 in a shed before moving into the old maternity hospital. With the developments in radio and TV, the BBC expanded into several locations across Newcastle before being brought together in a purpose built building in their current location in 1988.
AlisonWe were then shown round various studios, including the main one for the Breakfast Show and the various News programmes. Some members even sat at the Announcer’s Desk. We were delighted to meet Alison Freeman who explained how desk worked and how the programme was put together. We then moved on to the “Gallery” which is the control Janeroom for the broadcasts. This was a mass of TV screens with seats for the Director and Producer and the all important Timekeeper. Moving on, we visited a small interview studio which is set up to be controlled entirely by the interviewer and contained a “colour mask background”. This enabled the interviewer to superimpose local views on the screen to make the interview seem breakfastmore realistic. We also saw the associated Sound Studio for the radio programmes and the library where all the material used since 1982 is stored.
studioThe Tour ended with a question and answer session in a room where it was possible to try out at radio broadcasting for ourselves. Deborah persuaded half a dozen of us to take part in a 5 minute drama complete with sound effects. A fitting end to an excellent tour by two very good guides.
PlayWe then re-joined our coach and drove to The Swan at Heddon-on-the-Wall for lunch. A splendid outing arranged by President Roy.