Anyone who knows me or, in fact, anyone who has spent five minutes talking to me, will be able to tell you that it is my absolute dream to work at the BBC, so obviously when I stumbled across a BBC tours advertisement I positively jumped at the chance to explore the building.
I'm pretty lucky in the respect that the main BBC Scotland building is not too far down the road from me, at Pacific Quay in Glasgow. Yesterday, I took the opportunity to drag my friend Mimmi (you can check out her blog here) along to the tour - it was the best day in a long time!
The tour started in the main foyer where our lovely tour guides gave us a rundown of what the day would entail. They explained that the building is all open plan and that there were lots of different things going on and people hard at work so we had to be mindful of this as we made our way around.
They also told us that the building is made of glass in order to reflect the idea of the BBC's open and transparent nature which I thought was really interesting. They did go on to tell us that the interior of the building was originally meant to be made of glass too but this created difficulties in that glass does noting to absorb sound - not ideal in a building where several things are being recorded and broadcast at once!
We made our way up to the fourth floor where we looked out onto 'the street' which is the name given to the open plan corridors in the picture above. We were told that instead of numbers, many of the rooms are named after old BBC programmes which I thought was a lovely quirk. It's not very visible in the above picture but the majority of the walls and furnishings are either green or pink to represent the colours of the thistle, Scotland's national flower - I love these little details! Our tour was especially interesting as it took place the day after the huge Children in Need event - if you look closely you can see Pudsey waving on the third floor!
The tour took us past all the different radio studios, some of which were broadcasting live. We then made it to the news room. Unfortunately we couldn't go into the news studio as there was a special broadcast going on but we did get to see the miniature desk used for filming some of the 'coming up' broadcasts and retakes. What do you think? Do you think I look like a good newsreader??
Next, we made our way up onto the roof. I think this part of the tour was especially interesting if, like me, you regularly watch Reporting Scotland (BBC Scotland's news show). If you do, you will be familiar with the above landscape which tends to be shown behind the presenter. The camera in the first picture is the camera that films a live stream of the view for the broadcast - it even has a little windscreen wiper to allow it to combat the Scottish rain!
We then headed to the filming studios. The above studio is Studio A, the biggest one in the building. All the funny black boxes are lights, over 200 of which had been used for Children in Need. We were told that the floor is regularly painted to accommodate different productions which use the studio and that this studio is where productions such as 'Mrs Brown's Boys' will set up their sets.
The tour took us into various other rooms including make-up rooms, dressing rooms and the green room which is where contestants and guests wait before making their television appearance.
One of the final rooms we visited was the radio sound production room. This was such a cool room and is the place where people play around creating and recording sounds for radio dramas and specific effects - did you know that frying bacon makes a sound much like pouring rain? The door pictured below had a multitude of knockers and handles which are used to create any door sound imaginable!
The tour lasted around two hours and was so interesting that I found myself wishing it would go on a bit longer. The tour guides were so knowledgeable and genuinely seemed to love their jobs - not only did they take tours but they worked in radio production, on online content and in television too. It was fab to get the opportunity to speak to them and find out what life in the BBC is like.
To top off a brilliant day, myself and Mimmi then headed to Starbucks to get our first red cups of the season. We both sampled the Honey and Almond hot chocolate - the rumours are true, it is magical! And the ginger loaf is pretty good too!
I hope you've all had as good a weekend as I have!
Lots of Love,