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Co-presenting on BBC Radio West Midlands

The students behind pop-up radio station FADE were recently given the amazing opportunity to work on a joint show with BBC Radio West Midlands, working with their producers and presenters to broadcast live from the Mailbox in Birmingham.

FADE's Station Manager, Gavin Randhawa worked as an assistant producer, whilst Steve Pascall and Ella Roach co-presented the 7-10pm show with BBC presenter, Nikki Tapper. We caught up with Steve and Ella to find out more about the broadcast and what they enjoyed most about presenting.

Co-presenting BBC WM blog primary

Can you tell us more about your roles at FADE?

Steve: I am the daytime controller of FADE. This means I am responsible for all output of the station from 8am-6pm. It was my duty to put presenters together and create a coherent programme schedule for the 2 weeks of broadcast.

As part of my role I have to collaborate closely with daytime producers, ensuring they are assisting and advising presenters with content including in their shows. I also closely work with the entertainment news team and podcast producers.

Ella: My role at FADE was specialist producer and day time presenter - specialist producer involved producing content for shows such as; the R&B show, Fade Girls, Funky Soundz, The Drum and Bass show, Raising The Roof and Throwback Thursdays. 

How were you chosen to co-present the show at BBC Radio West Midlands and how did it feel to be chosen?

Steve: I was chosen to co-present the show at BBC WM by Gavin who is the station manager of FADE and Neil Hollins who is the Lecturer of our module. I was really surprised when they asked me to present the show on BBC WM, as it’s an amazing opportunity for me to improve my presenting skills in a professional environment, as well as promoting the station to a wider audience.

Ella: This is hard to answer, I would say hard work and a naturally bubbly personality. 

What did you enjoy most about co-hosting the show?

Steve: Prior to this, I have co-presented before but never with Ella or three people, so I was nervous and excited to see how it all panned out. Nikki Tapper who presented the show with me and Ella, made it so memorable. She was full of energy and the perfect co-presenter for this simulcast show. I enjoyed the show itself because of the topics that were discussed, they all related to a younger audience so me and Ella could have our input into it.

Ella:  I enjoyed all of it really, helping to produce the show and presenting, the whole experience was amazing!!!!

What responsibilities did you have during the broadcast and did you do anything to prepare?

Steve: My responsibilities pre-broadcast were to collect ideas and topics ready to be formed for our show. Within FADE we use something we call a prep sheet to collate ideas and content that we print out for our presenters to have for their shows.

Also as part of preparations for the show, me and Ella recorded a makeup package linking to the No Make-up Movement trend. Ella took all her makeup off and I had a full makeover, after this, we asked the general public for their views on me wearing makeup.

Did you learn anything from the experience?

Ella: I learnt how a radio show is produced in the real industry and that everything is fast-paced. For example, if you have an idea you have limited time to contact interviewees, and I enjoyed the pressure of hitting targets. 

Why do you think it’s important to be able to work with industry whilst at university?

Steve: Although university teaches you everything you need to know about radio, working within the industry gives you the real life experience.  It’s amazing that the School of Media can provide us with these opportunities, as it puts Birmingham City University and our amazing course on the map.

I would like to say a massive thank you to Sarah Jones and Neil Hollins, who ensure that students like myself, get opportunities to shine.

Has the experience helped you with your future career aspirations and if so, how?

Steve: I was never sure if I wanted to work within commercial radio or at the BBC. This experience opened my eyes and made me realise I could work within any sector of the radio industry. My aspiration is to become a radio producer, so it was insightful to work alongside producers at the BBC and understand how to undertake a role like this.

Ella: The experience has helped me understand what I aim to succeed in when I finish university, which is radio presenting. It really enabled me to explore the real world of local radio which I am extremely grateful for.