How I ended up on TV – My Coffee Adventure

So, this weekend was ever so slightly a whirlwind.

On Thursday I was told that there was work experience with the BBC on their show ‘The Big Questions’ at a local secondary school in my area. Without hesitation, I e-mailed who I needed to e-mail, rang who I needed to ring and somehow ended up being a runner on the show for the weekend. Little did I know that a lot of people had applied (I only thought it was a small thing) and that myself and the rest of us there had actually been hand picked to take part. So that was pretty cool.

I showed up on the first day, expecting structure, peace and instructions. But apparently this is not the case when you work in TV. When I arrived everybody seemed to be stressing that there was no coffee, ‘we can’t work without coffee’, ‘oh my gosh we ordered coffee in our Sainsbury delivery, where is it?!’. I am not a coffee drinker myself, so unfortuantly I couldn’t understand the apparent dysfunction in the temporary production office without it. Besides this, I remembered the countless articles that I had read about jumping to opportunities whilst on work experience, so I offered to run to the local shop and buy them coffee. To which they were evidently ecstatic about.

But little did I know that they didn’t just want regular coffee. Oh no, they wanted ‘cafetera coffee’. And I didn’t have a flipping clue what that was (don’t judge me). Despite this I smiled, walked out the door where I couldn’t be seen, and panicked.

I didn’t know where the nearest shop was, what type of coffee they wanted, how much they wanted or how much time I had to get it. After walking extremely fast around the location, I found a couple of corner stores, and went in, looking very frazzled, praying that whoever was behind the counter knew what the hell cafetera coffee was. Which she did. Although she probably was very scared at the fact a small blonde person, who has eye liner down her face and windswept hair was looking at her as if she could fulfil her hopes and dreams just some with coffee. This wasn’t even an hour into my work experience.

When I eventually made it back to the filming location, I was informed that my job for the Sunday would be ‘coats’. Apparently that was my official job title. The coffee was whisked out of my hands faster than the speed of light, and I was sent to go and find a coat rail. I have to admit, I was feeling deflated, and stressed out. Where in a secondary school, would there be a coat rail for me to just casually use? At one point I seriously considered using a full-on cupboard, instead. Bearing in mind I’m 5ft and this would have required me carrying it down 2 flights of stairs, it had the potential to go horribly, horribly wrong. In a desperate attempt, I rang the school’s caretaker, who quite literally saved my life and sourced the perfect coat rack.

But the fiasco didn’t end there – it was coat hanger time. Luckily the team on the show had a huge bag of coat hangers that they used every weekend, all with numbers on, from 1 to 60. Supposedly. This was not the reality. It felt like my whole life was wasted trying to organise those bloody coat hangers. We finished the first day at around 5pm, which at that point was time for me to rush off to work, where my dinner was 4 pieces of garlic bread, and I didn’t finish till past midnight.

This is a perfect representation of what I looked like at 6 in the morning on my way to the filming set:

bad hair day

I hadn’t eaten properly for 24 hours and barely got 5 hours sleep. I am not used to this. I was not prepared for this. Besides this, the preparation for the filming flew by, despite snotty audience members refusing to take off coats, or claiming they wanted their notebook to take notes during the show (erm hello, it’s live, ¬†everybody in the world will see you taking notes, why can’t you just watch it on iPlayer after?!). When coat-duty was over, the lady who had been looking after us all weekend, and who’s job was the organisation of the whole thing, gave me a seat number to be in the audience and said that I could be part of the audience.

I was genuinely shocked that she’d offered it to me. At first I thought it was to get me out of the way, but then I realised I had actually been helpful that weekend, and that it was a way to say thank you. Little did I know, I would be sat right in the spot where cameras can see you all of the time. This is how I ended up on TV this weekend, looking very bored (I wasn’t, just exhausted):



I’m the blonde one in the background, staring wistfully into the distance, wondering when the next time I could eat would be….


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