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Radio Masterclass at BBC’s iconic Radio Theatre

In this month’s masterclass, our interns were taken to the famous BBC Radio Theatre, where a panel of inspiring producers and DJ’s delved into the ins-and-outs of how to break into the word of radio. For the second year running, the lucky Creative Access interns were treated to an evening of wise words, humour and inspiration brought to us by the Radio Centre, Asian Network, Radio 1 and Radio 1Xtra. 

The masterclass opened up with Controller of Radio 1, Ben Cooper and the Radio Centre’s CEO, Siobhan Kenny, kicking off the evening with a game of ‘heads or tails.’ Yet, this wasn’t just to simply amuse the audience; Ben wanted to paint a bigger picture of what it means to follow a passion.

The winner, Creative Access intern Emily Norcliffe, secured herself a day’s experience at Radio 1Xtra. This demonstrated that just like a simple game of ‘head or tales’, luck plays an important part in everyone’s career journeys. But, as Ben highlighted, following the mantra of “the harder I work, the luckier I get,” it is the people who expose themselves to new experiences and demonstrate a passion for their goals, who will ultimately seize those lucky opportunities.

Our host for the evening was DJ and presenter for Radio 1Xtra, Yasmin Evans. She opened up the floor to a panel of fantastic speakers including Jagruti Dave (Producer at LBC), Asheesh Sharma (Producer at the Asian Network and former Creative Access Intern), Keturah Cumming’s (Content Producer at Radio 1 and 1Xtra) and Pandora Christie (DJ at Kiss).

The panel each shared their unique journeys and insider tips of what it takes to get into radio. They also spoke about the wealth of different roles within the industry. Jagruti said “It’s a bit of a mystery when you’re on the outside, but there are actually tons of jobs out there. Radio is now visual too, so if you want to work in video, there’s a home for you in radio.”

When asked how exactly to get into radio, Yasmin said, “It starts off with a passion. Let it knock down the walls and overspill.”

Many of the panellists shared similar experiences of starting out in community radio. The hours were often laborious, and the work was not always glamorous, but with time, the hard work and commitment eventually pays off. Pandora stated that “knowledge is key” all the panellists agreed on the following top tips:

1. Build up a network of contacts; with each experience, get to know as many people as possible; you never know where they will take you.

2. No matter whom you are dealing with or whatever situation you may find yourself in; be professional.

3. Follow the age-old saying; practice makes perfect.

4. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes! Through every step of your journey in your career, you learn your strengths as well as your weaknesses. Take criticisms positively and build upon your progress.

The evening concluded as it began, with a room filled with bursting talent and an atmosphere of amazing energy. We were joined by students from the Bauer Academy, Global Academy, the Young Dad’s Collective and the Archer Academy school.

The message that rang clear was to never be afraid to pursue your ambitions; be sure to be creative and put your mark on everything you do, or, as Yasmin said, “put your little salt bae on it.”

A huge thank you to all our panellists and to the Radio Centre and BBC Asian Network, Radio 1 and Radio 1 Xtra for hosting and organising such a phenomenal event.