When BBC Bitesize came to town

by | copywriting, mentoring

Share Share What do you get if you cross a copywriter, a software developer, a television line producer, a lecturer…

What do you get if you cross a copywriter, a software developer, a television line producer, a lecturer in radio, a photographer, a post-production director, the owner of a modelling agency – and not two but three radio DJs?

Two weeks on the BBC Bitesize school tour of north-east England and Yorkshire… hosted by BBC Radio 1Xtra DJ, Nick Bright (Arsenal fan, carrot cake fan… and fan of the green Power Ranger) and the official young voice of BBC Sounds and host of the KISS Weekend Breakfast Show, Swarzy Macaly (I don’t know what that woman has for breakfast – but I want some. #bounce).

BBC bitesize

Welcome to BBC Bitesize on Tour

Thanks to my role with This is Creative Enterprise, I was invited to get involved in four days of the tour, which involved sessions for students across years 8, 9 and 10 at five schools in the Newcastle area.

Each session combined a Q&A, videos and photographs – with each panellist considering the subjects that supported their career choices, sharing some words of wisdom – and recalling a career highlight.

Career highlights

In week one, I learned how:

  • DJ Chris Felton from Metro Radio fulfilled his dream to present Night Owls
  • Dr Caroline Mitchell from the University of Sunderland took local radio worldwide with
  • Television and film line producer Debbi Slater shipped a double-decker bus to Dubai for an episode of Dr Who (and how she reacted when she took a phone call that explained how a shipping container had landed on said bus, rendering it more of a single decker scenario…)
  • Phil Jeffes, Director of Electro Cat Studios and my fellow TICE mentor, was involved in a project to measure paint layers on ships and bridges using only drones and sensors.

And me? I talked about how I asked over 120 delegates from national and international brands to eat white mice, smell samples of perfume, and reminisce about their childhoods with crayons and notepaper at The Copywriting Conference in London in 2017.

Image shows a Crayola wax crayon and a white chocolate mouse used in a creative copywriting exercises at The Copywriting Conference 2017

On my second week of the tour, Debbi and I were reunited and were on the panel with photographer and director Chris Davis, from Specular photography whose work has featured in Vogue Portugal, Grazia, NYMag, Homme Style, The Guardian,, Bello, Papercut, IN dubai, and JONmagazine.

On the final day, I caught up with my old friend, Dave Hindmarsh from HT Media – whose brilliant showreel packed with drone imagery, massive machinery and rolling hills left the kids wide-eyed with wonder.

Then it was over to Terry Costello, founder of boutique model management agency Savalas Models for his tales of scouting for new talent, setting up a business from scratch and how to stay true to yourself in the fast-paced world of modelling and advertising.

Savalas Models and HT Media

I’m not sure who had more fun, the panellists or the students – but each session seemed to fly by once the producers had called “Run VT” and Clara Amfo‘s voice filled the school halls with her introduction to the tour.

Brilliant Bitesize support

At the end of each session, the students heard from our host DJs about the benefits of using the BBC Bitesize website – a fact-filled resource for students who can use Bitesize to help with homework, revision and learning.

There are free videos, step-by-step guides, activities and quizzes by level and subject…. (and I can vouch that it was invaluable for fellow TICE mentor, Chloe Rodham and I when we needed a video about India and the Victorians to support our recent primary school workshop).

Thanks to the whole team for looking after us so well #Slay x

Written By Katherine

Katherine Wildman is a copywriter for creative agencies and multinational brands – and the Creative Director of Haydn Grey.

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