BBC Radio 1 & 1Xtra Interns

Find out what goes on behind the scenes at Radio 1 and 1Xtra - as told by our interns.

R1 intern on tour at T in the park

Oh hi everyone - I’ve just got back from T in the Park. This involved getting a car, a plane, a bus, a train, a tube and then my own feet - that’s pretty much every mode of transport, right? Maybe I should have hopped on a bike just to complete the set. 

Anyway, that’s enough about transport. I had an amazing time in Scotland with the BBC Introducing and Live Events teams.

For the whole weekend Rob Adcock (presenter of the BBC Introducing show in Staffordshire) and I put together interviews with each band playing on the BBC Introducing stage at T in the Park. I filmed as we chatted to the bands and heard about their journeys through the Introducing uploader to a stage at a major UK festival. Pretty good stuff. 

We were constantly busy watching bands, tracking them down after their set, finding good locations to shoot, and then uploading all of our footage for it to be edited together this week for various Introducing packages and local shows.

All at the same I was able to observe all the production processes behind the BBC Introducing stage run by the fab Lyndsey Boggis. The production was flawless; every change over was smooth. Throughout the weekend I was fascinated by the sheer scale of what had to be organised and how well it had been done. 

So there were a lot of acts on the Introducing stage over the weekend, and you should take a peek at them all HERE. It’s definitely worth a browse. In fact, I’ll give you a few of my favourites…

  • Story Books - a lovely band from Introducing in Kent.
  • Roman Nose - a mask wearing, tech-electro group supported by Introducing in Scotland. Their performance is pretty special.
  • Model Aeroplanes - a scarily young band with a good look from Dundee who I’m sure are destined for big things.
  • Baby Strange - Glaswegian band who look as if they’ve travelled forward in time a few years with a definite punk vibe.

and…

  • La Fontaines - you’ve gotta watch just for their performance headlining on the Sunday night. 

So, BBC Introducing was a big success and I can’t wait to see the results of all of my work later this week.

Apart from working we did manage to see a few performances on all the other stages. My absolute favourite major act was Kraftwerk. I was VERY excited their 3D show on the Friday night and when I got into the tent there wasn’t one bit of me that was disappointed. It was an incredible show, and the 3D really, really worked. The crowd at Latitude next week are going to be impressed. Definitely try and check it out if there are any videos out there.

One last thing:

I’ve put together a photo diary for Phil & Alice’s show (below) and will be talking to them tonight about my experience of T in the Park at 10.45 - so tune in!

Just Got My Daily Dose LIVE

So earlier this week I received a request to help out with MistaJam’s Daily Dose live. I agreed, of course, and what went down that night was simply epic. It’s one thing to listen to MistaJam’s show with all these guests performing live but to actually be in the SAME ROOM as them whilst they are prepping themselves, chilling and then to go on to perform is something else. My role that night was to collect the artists and their entourage from reception and bring them to the Live Lounge where they would wait for their turn to enter the mighty studio of MistaJam. I was also tasked with running the Facebook interaction, which is updating the 1Xtra account with statuses about that night’s on goings. Around 9pm was when I had to start collecting the guests. They consisted ofProfessor Green, C4, Sinead Harnett, Little Nikki & Zoe Kypri.

 When I had finished collecting all the artists, the ambience in the Live Lounge was crazy what with each artist bringing their entourage along and MistaJam playing the liveliest music imaginable. I also got to tweet from the 1Xta account, LOOK FOR MY TWEET: “Daily Dose live from 9pm with live performances @professorgreen, @OoRITE_C4, @KCATmusic, @SineadHarnett, @LittleNikkiSays @ZoeKypri #1XJAM”. Wicked!!

Loads of people were tweeting in for shout outs also with the hashtag #1XJAM, and as this was being streamed live I had to work fast to ensure their favourite artists held up a sign with their twitter handles on; a silent shout out for the listeners that were viewing.

I have to add that there were times when I in concentration mode; working and listening in on the show from outside the studio; listening to brilliant melodies and vocals only to look up and see the likes of Sinead Harnett and Zoe Kypri performing their hit songs LIVE. You know when you go to a concert and hear your favourite artist sing live and they sound so different from the record you love? This was definitely not the case for these talented lovely ladies, I’m still in awe.

As the night slowly came to an end, I sat back and reflected on what had just occurred in front of me, the experience I had been given and the fun I had. The words that kept floating in my head on the cab journey back (courtesy of the BBC by the way!!) were: Grateful, Milestone, Wow, Striving, Achievements, Future, Crazy, Potential and a few others along those lines. I’ll leave it up to you to figure out my thoughts. Until next time…

On air with Phil Taggart / GLASTO / Recording Station Sound

So, since my last update…

Last week I was on air EVERY DAY at 11.30 with Phil Taggart and our listener phone caller Ryan playing Curveball. Considering I didn’t think I’d be getting any on air experiences, this was tons of fun. It took me back to doing student radio and how brilliant it is to just be ‘on air’. 

Also during that week I did a lot of audio editing, Tweeting and Facebooking for the show, sorting out the release dates for lots of new music so that the tracklistings on each show can be structured in the right way, researching acts, and LISTENING. This hands on listening aspect to working on Phil & Alice was amazing. Assistant Producer Mel and I took a bunch of CDs into a plugger room with proper speakers, listened, discussed what we thought and ordered the priority of each single. To be able to see how the production team on a specialist team operates in order to choose exactly the right music was a really great experience. 

Oh AND, last week Crystal Fighters were in the Live Lounge peforming their song You & I as well as a cover of Rudimental. Dressed in glittery tops and brandishing Spanish wooden instruments, they were great. 

Then, as you will all definitely know, it was Glastonbury. Towards the end of the week people started to leave to go on site. I managed to get a shift over the weekend working on the digital hub that was BBC Centre House in White City. Just working as part of the huge operation that Glastonbury 2013 has been was very exciting. I worked on the Live Blog on the Sunday evening/night shift pulling in hundreds of social actions across the webisphere. We drew from the tweets, Instagram images etc. of people at Glastonbury and those watching/listening from the comfort of their own homes to create that sidebar you will have seen on the Glastonbury home page. It was a live feed of everything that you need to know, rolling all day, every day. So to be part of that was great, and something I didn’t imagine I’d be doing when I started here a few weeks ago.

And ON TOP OF THAT, I was asked to record some stuff for station sound at the begnining of this week. (Station sound being the things you hear in the middle of shows saying ‘YOU’RE LISTENING TO…RADIO 1’. I had to record for the Surgery with Aled on Sunday nights, saying things like ‘This is Radio 1’… ‘You’re listening to the Surgery with Aled and Dr Radha’. They’re all going to be used on Sunday apparently - so listen out!

Right, that’s it for now. I’m back with Live Events until the end of next week in the run up to T In The Park. And I do actually get to go to the festival which is very exciting. 

Definitely going to have a lot to update about after then.

Millie x

YOU’RE LOCKED IN TO DJ TARGET!!

It has been such a busy two weeks for me that I’ve completely forgot to update you all on what has been happening!! I’ve been working on DJ Targets shows for the past week and the atmosphere is like nothing else I have experienced. I’m usually used to accompanying the guest to a radio station but being on the other side; writing up the schedule, researching about guests that are coming in and little things like interacting with the listeners was a whole new experience for me and I’ve loved every minute of it. I come in on my days off just to be nosey!! Being on Targets also show came with a bit of déjà vu for all of us involved as I told them that I had previously visited them accompanying an artist they had booked in.

So during this week Emily, Targets producer, assigned me to create a montage of previous songs that were currently available to download on the BBC 1Xtra homepage as part of the 100% Homegrown section. The software I was using was quite easy for me to get to grips with as it was very similar to the program I use back home for visual editing purposes. Whilst doing the montage of the songs I quickly learned that there was no right or wrong way of editing & mixing audio together: my producer had her preference whilst my Assistant Producer had his.

It’s quite weird but my most prized moments have been the build-up to each show; preparing documents, verbal’s and montages and seeing all our hard work come together live on-air via the man himself, DJ Target.

I have thoroughly enjoyed this week and wish to be back in that environment very, very soon.

Working on Phil & Alice 10-midnight !

So this week I started a two week stint with the lovely Phil & Alice and their wonderful producers. It’s been pretty jampacked so far.

I’ve been loading in songs for the playlist, researching possible guests, setting up the schedule where all the music is played out of, getting texts/tweets together for Phil & Alice to read out during the show… and I’ve even been playing a bit of Curveball [read more later…].

A massive learning process for me has been finding out and being part of all the production processes that go into a BBC Radio show from the inside after doing work experiences at independent production companies over the past year. Seeing how everything comes together in the studio and observing how the team decide the order and tone of the show has been very, very interesting.


But apart from learning so much about production, being able to watch performances and interviews with this week’s incredible guests has been great. On Monday it was the turn of Peace to do a Live Lounge Late and they surpassed all my expectations. Their song ‘Lovesick’ (which they performed) has been a definite grower for me and reminds me a bit of the simplicity of the Californian band Best Coast. But beyond that their cover of Disclosure’s ‘White Noise’ was an amazing, amazing achievement. It wasn’t even exactly a cover; it was more of a mash-up. As soon as the bassline kicked we knew the Beegees were in the mix; then there was a bit of Stevie Wonder; and THEN Pink Floyd. Check out the video below.

On Tuesday Surfer Blood were in the studio talking about their new album ‘Pythons’ (well worth a listen - like a lovely mixture of Pixies, The Strokes & Best Coast).

But topping the week so far has to be French DJs C2C. They were in for a live mix last night doing some, what they call, TURNTABLISM. This basically is them mixing live with a bit of added choreography and it was brilliant. Actually one of the best ‘things’ I’ve ever seen. Apart from the fact that I love their music, there’s much more to them than just listening, which is why the Visualisation Team made this video…

So overall it’s been a pretty massive week for me.

And tonight, as mentioned above, I’ll be making my Radio 1 debut playing Curveball with Phil & Alice. Make sure you get onto Facebook and Twitter and have a guess along…

Our first week at Radio 1& 1Xtra


Hey everyone - welcome to our first proper post!

Our week in a nutshell:

  • THE red BBC lanyard
  • Toured around the amazing Radio 1 & 1Xtra offices
  • Sitting in on Greg James where we got to select callers for the Going Home Song as well as meeting the lovely team behind the show
  • Creativity and Insight training with the amazing Alex Dalton to ready ourselves for many a brainstorming session with the show teams we will be working with in the next eight weeks.
  • Radio 1 Playlist Meeting - where the songs that come through your speakers get selected…
  • R1&1X Editorials - where everyone shares the content of their shows for the coming week
  • STUDIO TRAINING [[amazing - more details below]]
  • And, erm, just having the Queen pop round. Completely standard at the BBC.

Reuben’s week:

Ok so let’s recap on the first week I spent at Radio 1 & 1xtra. It consisted of constant deja vu on my behalf, everywhere I went through the building I had some sort of recognition of individuals that I could have sworn I’ve seen before. It wasn’t until I actually sat down and thought about it hard that I realised: hang on of course I’ve seen these people before, I’m at the BBC, they are televised EVERYWHERE. Silly me…

My first day had me sorting out my login details and going on a tour of the offices and studios I would be working at for the next eight weeks. Every corner I turned, I could see collages of previous special guests that had visited plastered onto windows and walls in such a spectacular fashion. These included people from the likes of Professor Green to Adele.

It was definitely a lot to take in and if that wasn’t enough, myself & Millie got to actually sit in on Greg James’ show and even help select lucky callers to feature on the Going Home Song. Everyone from the Producer, AP and Greg were great to be around and helped explain exactly what they were doing behind the scenes. Might I add, Laura is VERY funny.

A highlight of my week was sitting in on the Radio 1 playlist meeting. It was nothing like I had expected and to be honest, I didn’t know what to expect. The meeting was to update the current playlist for Radio 1 for the next week onwards. This is done by a representative of every show discussing each track and what they like about said track one after the other. So what you’re hearing on the radio now is what was played in the meeting. Wicked. I also got to meet my mentor Rob, who has already given me tonnes of advice that won’t be falling upon deaf ears. He’s a great guy & I feel that he can definitely relate to my concerns if I have any over the course of my time here.

The last two days consisted of Studio Training in Nick Grimshaw’s studio (let’s hope he doesn’t find out). We got to practice using the various equipment inside by ourselves which was great, everything was hands-on and it was an experience like no other. Flipping through tracks and BBC idents to suit the mood of my own imaginary show!!

Millie’s week

There have been SO  many highlights so far. Even just walking round a corner in the office and seeing a famous face is enough… BUT, if I had to pick – it’s the Radio 1 Playlist Meeting and Studio Training.

So the Playlist Meeting is where the songs that are played on Radio 1 get chosen. It involves meeting a representative from every show on the network, listening to A LOT of music on huge speakers and then discussing each track in depth. We didn’t just speak about what we thought about the track but what stats it already has online, where it would sound good on the schedule, and, most importantly, what the AUDIENCE wants from the choices that Radio 1 makes. There’s not much else to say other than being in the Playlist Meeting really got the heart of why Radio 1 and 1Xtra are so important to not only the music industry but also the young audience that they strive to get listening on a daily basis. The music that’s played on the airwaves isn’t just a repeat of what might be in the chart but a reflection on new artists, new sounds and what us young’uns want to hear.

And I can’t finish talking about my highlights from the week without talking about all the studio training we’ve had. Today, after all the excitement of the Queen, we went in the studio for the whole afternoon to learn how to drive the desk. This was BRILLIANT. Coming from a student radio background I called up all my knowledge of DJ’ing at university and applied it to a Radio 1 studio. The equipment they have is incredible, but even though there’s a lot of technical wizardry going on the desk is still simple to use once you get the hang of it. We practiced links, switching between tracks and idents, connecting up a phone into the studio, and did a bit of dancing about. All of this motivated me massively to continue to practice in the studio and take presenting forward after all the student media I did, as well as learn a lot from all the productions teams at Radio 1 and 1Xtra.

Right, now it’s time for the weekend!

It is time for some new interns: Reuben & Millie

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Oh hi everyone - I’m Millie. Over the next couple of months I’m going to be all over Radio 1 & 1Xtra and blogging about it for you here. First up I’m at Rock Week, before joining Phil & Alice in the legendary John Peel slot. After that I’m at BBC Introducing where I’ll be going all the way to T in the Park with the Live Events team… and THEN onto Scott Mills where I’m hoping I’ll experience Innuendo Bingo LIVE. The whole process is amazing, but I really can’t wait to learn how to drive the desk in a Radio 1/1Xtra studio, get some invaluable presenting advice and continue all the experiences I’ve had in student and professional radio and television so far. So thanks for reading here and stay tuned for more updates.

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Hey guys, its Reuben here, you’ll be seeing loads from me over the next two months as I take you on my journey across Radio 1 & 1xtra (Hashtag winning). I specialise (self-proclaimed) in video production and will be getting deep into the visualisation aspect of the shows I’ll be working on. Expect to see loads of pictures of behind the scenes of random things that fascinate me. I think I’m the only one, but I’m really excited to have the chance to work on the 1xtra Breakfast Show, which will include me getting to the Broadcasting House at 5am… YES 5AM in the morning. I’m also definitely looking forward to working on the Official Chart Show!!

Or vote Charlie!?!?

Are you going to vote grimmy???!

Last week was another mad one.

Started off on Monday & Tuesday on Alice & Phils team! 

Monday, we went around Brick Lane & Shoreditch filming our cover version of Macklemore - Thrift Shop. This was for Dan & Phils challenge which airs tonight, probably right now. 

I was an extra (wearing loads of fur) and also on the cameras. Basically just copying whatever Moses was doing as he’s the guy when it comes to filming! It was a wicked day and I felt like I actually made a difference towards this video as the team especially Phil Stocker (producer) were more than happy for me to do my own thing and voice my opinion. Looking forward to seeing the final thing later tonight. 

In the studio on Tuesday was a lovely lady by the name of Laura Mvula. I’ve been super lucky so far as her & Sam Smith are my favourite artists at the moment and I’ve somehow managed to be on shows with both of them as guests. It was interesting to see how they prepared towards interviewing musicians and how they approach a show. So far, every team plays it completely different to the next. One thing I have learnt is how much of a big job the producer has. The presenters essentially just voice the show that the producer has created. 

The dynamic of teams is another thing I look at while spending time with them. Zane Lowe was Thursday & Friday for me. I came into the office Thursday very excited as nearly everybody I’ve met in the building has said how incredible Zane & his team are. 

They definitely didn’t disappoint. 

James & Sam are the team behind the show and they were both ridiculously organised. I mean, overly organised. Every little detail was prepared towards the show. 

I scheduled the music for the show, edited an interview for the Hottest Record then helped with the intensive music notes Zane requires to perfect his delivery of the show. 

When Zane arrived we had a wicked chat in his studio where he gave me some brilliant advice as well as the basic formula to his show. “You let the bands tell the fans why to listen & you…" the rest I’m probably not allowed to say. But yeah, it made loads of sense. 

Zane gave me advice on how to use what I’ve gained here to go on to better things in the next few months. Advice that inspired me to work harder towards my goal when my time here is up. 

The show itself was only live for an hour where the Dave Grohl interview was a pre record so I didn’t “see the full effect." The three guys operate so well in the studio wether its editing & looping beds live in the show to updating the schedule to whatever else needs doing. 

Then on Friday, I prepared the script for Huw Stephens covering show on Monday, as well as scheduled all the music for the next week ahead. (told you they were organised) 

The interns came back together to film the Charlie Sloth response to Toddla T which will go online tomorrow along with Grimmys fighting talk. 

Look out for those as our show is WEDNESDAY. Going to be great fun. You’re in for a proper treat, promise. 

@pete_intern