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Matthew’s story

Matthew, who is supported by us through music sessions in Glasgow, talks about fulfilling a lifetime ambition to visit the BBC Scotland and STV news studios. He was accompanied on both visits by Family Adviser Pat Brown.

During my visit to the BBC, I was amazed how big the newsroom was. I met Katrina Shearer who is a reporter on Reporting Scotland and Daniel who is head of all the news reports. He explained to me how the news stories are constructed to capture the public’s attention. He told me that presenting on TV and radio are very similar.

I then met the head of the presentation department called Peter who explained how the systems they use to broadcast programmes work. I went into the BBC2 continuity studio where I met Tony Currie who I really admire. He explained how all the operating systems work and let me try some of the equipment used to announce titles of shows, info about shows and what’s coming up next on the programme schedule. I even got to use the microphone to hear myself, as I would sound on TV. I hope to become a radio or TV presenter in the future and this visit has given me a taste of what it would be like to work for the BBC. I will be returning to the BBC to work with an editor in the newsroom who is also blind. It will be great for me to work with someone who has the same disability as me and will be able to explain to me how he manages to complete his work.

I was very excited when Pat Brown told me he had managed to arrange a special visit to STV studios with the help of Andy Kerr. I most wanted to meet John McKay as he is my favourite news reporter. I listen to his news reports every night. Andy took Pat and I in his very posh car. I told Andy that I didn’t know the Chief Executive of Sense Scotland was a chauffeur too! When we arrived I met Gordon MacDougall who is the producer of STV news. I got to meet Bernard Ponsenby who is the political editor for STV news and Raman Bardwadge who reads the sports news on the evening bulletin. Then came the moment I was waiting for. John McKay came over and introduced himself to me. I told him that he was my top, favourite news reporter. We had a long discussion about school as it turns out the head of the VI unit at my school was John’s PE teacher.

John took us over to a computer so he could show us the scripts for that day and let me feel the earpiece he wears during the broadcast which is made from a mold of his own ear so that it fits well. Pat, Andy and I went to the gallery with the production crew. The gallery is where all the behind scenes work is done. We were able to listen and watch if you can. to the live broadcast being filmed.

Afterwards I was taken through into the newsroom itself and got to sit in the actual chair at the actual desk where John sits during broadcasts. I had photographs taken with John and I had some taken earlier with Bernard and Raman. John kindly gave me his autograph, which he signed on a copy of the news script foot that day. It was a fantastic visit and I loved learning more about how newscasts are made. Everyone made me feel welcome and John was very sociable. He also has a great sense of humour. I would like to thank everyone who helped make this visit possible and maybe one day it might be me who you see sitting in that chair!