Tuesday, 20 March 2012

A week at ITV

So yesterday I started a work placement at ITV, working as a researcher on Surprise, Surprise. An absolute dream job on all accounts! Ive always been one of those people who have reaped the rewards of working at small independent companies, where working with work experience students were their sole priority, so a big part of me wondered whether I'd reap the same rewards, or whether I'd be a forgotten soul, left to my own devices! I have to admit it was quite the opposite, looking after work experience colleagues is a high priority! Which of course is lovely!

Surprise, Surprise -if you don't know is a show from the 80's and 90's with the infamous Cilla Black, where in simple terms she made dreams come true. So anyone that who needed a special treat, big or small. So family and friends would nominate someone who had suffered an illness, or helped a charity, or even husbands who wanted to propose in a mysterious way. It could be anything. The show is being brought back by ITV later this year, with the beautiful Holly Willoughby, so ITV are currently working on making that happen.

When we arrived at the building, which by the way is a little inconspicuous on the outside, but inside is stunning. Situated right on the Southbank with a beautiful view of the Thames. Which with the sun beaming down yesterday was just stunning. We went and met the team, who by the way are on the 16th floor, yes the 16th! Stairs don't really exist though, only as a fire escape, they have these 6 lifts which run through the middle of the building. We then had to fill out a few forms and things and then went with the programme runner, who looks after about 7 programmes, to coffee. She's really lovely and we had a really nice natter. About everything really, the industry, ITV, university and what she gets up to. Coffee and Tea is free by the way, win?

So I quickly learned that my role would be to help the company gather as many nominations as possible in a short period of time, to find the best and most worthwhile stories, which is harder than you might think. First of all, a lot of people nominate themselves, which is ridiculous; it's against the rules, it's supposed to be a surprise, it's damn right rude and also ITV can smell it a mile off! Normally when then person nominating and the person whose been nominated consequently have the same email address.

So me and the four other wonderful girls that are with me, are doing a range of jobs which will entitle ITV to gather stories from a range of details. So we've been preparing posters and letters to be sent to businesses, we've been locating contact details for all the newspapers in the UK, we've been finding community centres with specific goals or ethnicities. Things like that.

Travelling is not only so expensive, set me back 120 quid for the week(!) but just a royal pain. Not once yesterday did I get a single seat on any of my trains, and I had over 60 minutes of delays, due to a person being hit by a train. Everything was absolute chaos! People everywhere, screaming at staff, like it was going to solve their problems. Platforms were being switched by the second, which resulted in hundreds of people darting from one platform to the next, not particularly safe either!

It's definitely quite surreal being their, especially when celebrities walk past you  and you do a double take! It's definitely been an experience so far and I'm only on my second day! Hopefully I'll have loads of stories to tell you come the weekend!
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