Is this Christmas?

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll notice that I don’t like celebrating Christmas that much!

I said to myself “I won’t celebrate Christmas until 1st December”. And here it is! But I still don’t feel Christmas-like and I think others are the same.

The radio stations are still debating whether or not to play Christmas songs and I know at Cross Rhythms that they’ve not yet started with the onslaught of seasonal music.

I personally don’t think it’s time for the Christmas music yet. Some here and there is fine but I feel sorry for those that work in large supermarkets and other shops which play Christmas music non-stop from mid-November! (A previous workplace of mine did that, but fortunately I was in the office most of the time.)

I got myself an Advent calendar and have eaten the first chocolate. There was no feeling or emotion when I ate it. All that crossed my mind was “that was a nice bit of chocolate”.

For me it will start to feel like Christmas when we sing carols at the CU’s Carol Service in a couple of weeks time and when I take the long journey back to Spalding to spend time with my family and friends.

Is this Christmas? Not yet.

The OMG Rebrand

At the start of the 2011 academic year, the incoming management team of Staffordshire University Students’ Union’s One Media Group (OMG) decided that it was time for a rebrand.

According to reports from students and people around the university, OMG has a ‘rebrand’ almost every two years. But this year, the team didn’t want to completely lose the brand that had already been built up.

The team’s aim for the rebrand is to make it more appealing to students. The main thrust of this will be the redesigned logo which shows more creativity, as we are a creative group on campus. The old logo didn’t reflect this.

My part in this was helping to redesign the website. I was asked at the beginning of the summer if it was possible and necessary to move the OMG website off the Staffs Union website and content management system, MSL. I suggested WordPress straight away. When the rebrand idea was announced, I immediately knew that the website could be an integral part of this.

The new website is hosted by a professional company and I am able to do what I want with it. The website is simply WordPress with a theme on it. Since the hosting being available, I’ve been able to play with it until there was something that I and the management were happy with. I’ve also worked with the Promotions team to ensure that it has the best effect possible.

One big thing that I’m excited about with moving to WordPress is that it means we can continually develop the website. Also it means that the students that are going to be using it to post articles should be familiar with it, as broadcast journalist students who post to StaffsLive use WordPress very regularly.

The theme that I’m using has some great features such as additional review information, YouTube and SoundCloud embed short codes and also built in share options.

The new website will be on and as part of the rebrand we are not using any other variations of the website address, including in our studio email address.

The Day I was on BBC Three’s Young Persons’ Question Time – Riot Special

Click here to watch the programme on BBC iPlayer (Available until Friday 19th August 2011)

So over the past week or so there’s been talk of all the riots in London and other parts of the UK.

In response the Prime Minister came back from his holidays and the BBC decided to do a Question Time and a Young Persons’ Question Time Riot Special.

On Tuesday I filled out an application form to become part of the audience and possibly ask a question on the show. I didn’t expect to hear anything from the show; I don’t think anyone ever does! But on Friday I received a call from the makers of Young Persons’ Question Time, asking me to be part of the audience. I jumped at the chance to be part of a piece of history. So my mum drove me to Peterborough, where I caught a train straight to London. I was outside the BBC Television Centre on Wood Lane by 5:30pm!

As is with all BBC audiences, you have the obligitary bag search and metal detector routine. But after that we were all sent to a conference room under the world famous Television Centre. It was pretty hot and stuffy and all the YP audience was in there! They did provide us with tea, coffee, water, biscuits and KitKats. This was also a chance for us to write down a questionm with a chance that we might be able to ask it.

With less than an hour to go before the show went out live on BBC Three at 8:30pm, we were taken to Studio 8. Being a media student I was facinated to see what the set up was going to be.

As usual there was the teared seating where most of the audience would sit, and as I was close to the front of the line into the studio, I was placed on the end of the second row from the front (on the left as you looked at the panel).

The floor manager introduced himself and decided to get us to help test their mics and cameras. Five members of the audience were picked and they sat in place of the panel. The floor manager then went around the room and get us all to answer the question ‘If you won the £116 million lottery prize, what would you do with it?’ Laughter ripped through the audience as both the panel and audience members answer the question. Then on walked the main man, the host of the show; Richard Bacon, most well known for his talk/discussion show on BBC Radio Five Live.

He started to get to know a few in the audience but also asked some questions to get our brains thinking. He managed to get a good reaction and said that he hoped we were like that when the programme was live.

It came to 8:30pm and the show started with Richard introducing the panel and getting the first question. I was rather excited to witness what was about to happen, even if I wasn’t actually caught on screen! Most of the audience was rowdy and almost everyone had an opinion. I think Richard did very well to control the audience, I don’t know anyone who could of done better.

I do think that some of the outburst were un-needed and people spoke of respect; at times there didn’t seem to be any in the studio from the audience!

The show was trying a new format; Richard was not placed behind the desk with the panel, but on his feet walking amungst the audience. Maybe if he had been behind the desk, I don’t think he would’ve had such command of the audience.

Even though I did have my hand up for ages (and even shouted out once!) I didn’t get the chance to put my view forward. But I am thrilled that I rushed from Spalding to London to be part of a great show and audience.

At the end I got the chance to shake the hand of Richard Bacon and tell him he did a great job. You weren’t supposed to take photos, but as a media student I felt I should anyway!

And if you was wondering where I was sat throughout the whole thing, I was on the end of the second row from the front, on the left as you looked at the panel. To prove it, here’s me in the closing titles:

Here’s a few of photos of the set as I went out and also as I went around BBC Television Centre in London.