BU Lecturer works on BBC Radio 4 production

Jo Tyler, Programme Co-ordinator of MA Radio Production at Bournemouth University, has been involved in a stage radio production of the classic ‘Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy’ as part of BBC Radio 4’s character takeover day.

The production brought the 1978 classic into the 21st century and took place at the BBC Radio Theatre. Jo performed the role of production assistant on the script and assistant director for the Live performance.

Tyler said, “As an experienced live producer it is always fun to push the boundaries of your medium. So when you find yourself running a live stage for radio with a robot, live band and actors for company, that has to be close [to pushing the boundaries]”.

“I’ve been involved with the stage version for two years and this performance marks radio history bringing the show back home to the BBC Radio Theatre in London, with a live audience on air and in the theatre. You have to think carefully about the audience experience in both places and to assist Director Dirk Maggs in achieving this was a privilege. Dirk has always inspired students with his guest lectures, most recently on his ‘Neverwhere’ (Neil Gaiman) adaptation for Radio 4.”

The show which was originally broadcast across multiple platforms, is now available to listen on BBC iPlayer until 4th April 2014.

The Bourne Legacy: sharing top tips for industry success


Media School alumni who have gone on to industry success came back to Bournemouth University to give advice and inspiration to current students.

Top directors, writers, radio producers and business owners were among those who returned to talk to third year Media School students as part of the Bourne Legacy event.

The speakers for the day-long event, which is now in its third year, included Richard Senior.

Since graduating from the BA (Hons) Television Production course in 2002, Richard has gone on to become the youngest ever Director of Doctor Who, Lead Director for children’s drama M.I. High and an award-winning promo producer, creating ad campaigns for BBC dramas.

He said that his advice to the current students was to: “Work hard, build good relationships and don’t be afraid of taking risks.”

He added: “I’m here because I wouldn’t have got where I am without Bournemouth University.

“I think some of the most useful sessions when I was here were when industry people came back to tell us about their experience. I wanted to be part of that and I hope that the advice I give is equally useful.”

Bob Fletcher, who graduated from BA (Hons) Scriptwriting in 2007, was also speaking at the event.

Bob is now working as an associate TV Producer, coming up with new comedy formats, as well as a comedy writer – creating sketches for the likes of Miranda Hart, Jack Whitehall and Harry Enfield.

“Bournemouth University has a really good reputation in the TV industry,” he said.

“If you say you went to Bournemouth, people’s ears prick up.

“People who leave here have every advantage, you just need to make sure you sell yourself and make yourself employable.”

His advice included making yourself stand out by creating and sending short films of your work, rather than just scripts, and not being afraid to hound people.

“You just have to make sure everyone knows who you are,” he said.

“Be really enthusiastic and have ideas. You have got to get past feeling bad about being a nuisance.”

He added he wished he made more of the extra-curricular activities and equipment available to him while at BU.

“I wish when I was at university, I’d made more effort to do things outside the course and collaborated with students in other disciplines.

“I wish I could come back and make some more films and sketches and use all the equipment you have here for free.”

Other speakers at the event included MA Radio Production graduate Mog McIntyre, who is now working on Chris Evans’ BBC Radio 2 programme, and Hollywood horror writer and BA Scriptwriting alumni Richard Hobley.

As well as talks, there was a question and answer panel sessions and the chance to network with the alumni.

Gavin Williams set up his own company, Fishrod, after completing the Interactive Media Production (now Digital Media Design) degree in 2010. The company, which develops web applications and interactive technology, now has clients including BskyB and WWE Wrestling.

Gavin said that he hoped his talk at the Bourne Legacy event would inspire current students.

“I hope it gives them inspiration and confidence to go out and do their own thing. They have the skills to do it,” he said.

“The most important thing is to seize opportunities. You do really tiny things and never know what it is going to snowball into.”

BU receives number of nominations in Student Radio Awards

Student radio at Bournemouth University has been recognised with a number of nominations for the Student Radio Awards (SRAs).

Online radio station BIRSt, which is run by BU MA Radio Production students, has been shortlisted in the Student Station of the Year category, while MA Production student Aoife Allen has been nominated for Newcomer of the Year.

Aoife, who has just finished her Master’s degree at BU, was Head of Marketing for BIRSt and worked on a variety of content for the station – including audio drama, alternative Irish music shows and a female-led current affairs discussion show.

She said: “I think it was the opportunity I had at BIRSt to delve into all the areas of a radio station, both on and off-air, that has led to the nomination, in conjunction with being lucky enough to have had a team of nine other amazing producers to work alongside.”

Former Nerve Radio station manager Charlotte Gay has also been shortlisted for Best Female Presenter at the Awards.

“When I found out, I was ecstatic,” said Charlotte, who is graduating from the BA Multimedia Journalism course with a First Class Honours degree in November.

“It’s something I’ve worked really hard to achieve over the past three years working with Nerve Radio and even just to be nominated is something I am extremely proud of.

“Radio presenting is something I’ve wanted to do since leaving school and from working with Nerve I realised this was actually possible.”

The Student Radio Awards are run by the Student Radio Association and celebrates the best of student radio nationwide, as well as launching the next generation of radio talent into the industry.

Previous winners have included the likes of Radio 1 DJs Greg James and Scott Mills, with prizes including work experience on big radio shows, one off shows on major networks or equipment for student radio stations.

Jo Tyler, a Radio Production lecturer at BU, said: “BIRSt produces drama, features and programmes on demand and has had many exciting innovative projects on air such as a live ‘choose your own adventure’ drama.

“I am very proud that BIRSt 2013 been nominated for SRA Best Station of The Year alongside their peers in Student Radio with much bigger production teams.

“The course develops production skills and theory evident here and Aoife Allen, nominated in the Best Newcomer category is proof that if you engage with the medium at this level you can produce great work. “

The awards ceremony takes place in London on November 7th.


Dr Kate Murphy talks about suffragette on BBC Radio Solent

On the centenary of suffragette Emily Wilding Davison being knocked down by the King’s horse at the Epsom Derby, BU’s Dr Kate Murphy spoke about the impact of the event on BBC Radio Solent.

Kate lectures in Radio Production and curated an exhibition in women’s history at the Women’s Library which included some of Emily Wilding Davison possessions, such as her prison diaries.

She told Drivetime presenter Steve Harris that the act had a profound effect on getting women the right to vote.

“I think the suffragettes were so iconic and important and they really did progress and start that whole movement going.

“Emily Wilding Davison was force fed 49 times and she was an incredibly brave and heroic woman I think and she died for the cause of the vote, which is quite extraordinary to think about.”

She added, however, that she did not believe that Emily intended to throw herself under the King’s horse – ultimately dying of her injuries – but that she meant to attach a protest scarf to it.

“There was a thought that she might be pinning something on the King’s Horse or the bridle, and they think now that it was a Votes for Women scarf she was going to attach, so when the horse went over the finish line it would have the sash on it, which would have been a very profound statement to have made.”

She added that there were not many more higher profile events than the Epsom at that time.

“To petition the King in that way would have been a very profound act on her behalf,” Kate said.

“But she’d done some very brave acts already – she’d been arrested many, many times, been to prison many times.”

Kate also explained that at the time of the incident 100 years ago opinion was divided on women getting the vote, and that she still didn’t think women had true equality in Parliament.

“It was a very, very contentious issue but it was the right thing – although it did take until 1928 for women to get the full vote, and even now there’s great inequality in the Houses of Parliament with MPs, so there’s still a long way to go before there’s that full political equality.”

Kate also appeared on BBC Radio Solent on Sunday morning – 100 years to the day that Emily Wilding Davison died.

Listen to the full interview

The Bourne Legacy


Alumni who have done well in the creative industries come back to BU to give advice to Media School students.

Successful Media School alumni were back at Bournemouth University to share their stories and advice with final year students.

Among those speaking at The Bourne Legacy event were BU graduates who have gone on to edit The X-Factor, work on Tim Burton animated film Frankenweenie, and have gained positions at BBC Radio 1Xtra.

The event is now in its second year, and has been organised to inspire current final year students from across the Digital Media Design, TV and Radio Production courses, Scriptwriting and Global Media Practice degrees.

Mark Shufflebottom, Programme Co-ordinator BA (Hons) Digital Media Design, helped to organise the event.

He said: “It is a chance for [the students] to meet people from BU who have gone out into industry and are doing great things.

“It is about meeting these guys and them giving some really good idea of how to get into the industry.”

The first speaker of the day was Dan Mellow, an editor who has worked on TV shows including the X-Factor and Comic Relief, and is now editing comedy programmes.

Dan, who completed a Media Production degree at BU in 1995, said: “There were so many skills that I learnt at Bournemouth University that I have taken into the industry and that continue to be useful today.

He added: “I’ve hugely enjoyed the event. I hope it’s very useful for the current batch of students for alumni to come back and share their experiences and stories of how they got into the industry.”

Also speaking at the event was producer and director Céin McGillicuddy, who has worked on programmes like Made in Chelsea and MTV’s My Super Sweet World Class since completing a BA (Hons) in Scriptwriting for Film and TV then an MA (Hons) in TVProduction at BU, and fellow Scriptwriting for Film and TV graduate Danna Wills, who worked at Aardman Animations and Disney before moving into children’s magazines.

Following the talks, there was a Q&A panel session with the alumni and the opportunity for networking.

Anna Goodridge, who studied TV Production at BU from 2005 to 2008 was another of the speakers.

She is currently working as a Production Coordinator on BBC drama Holby City.

Anna said: “I started off as a runner and worked my way up the old-fashioned way, which is how you’re always going to have to do it.

“I want to let students know that your mum or dad doesn’t have to work in television – with hard work and a bit of research you can get in quite easily but you’ve got to be patient and one day, eventually, you’ll get to where you want to be.”