“Working as a team is really important”

Year 9 pupil Rafi Smith looks back on his day at the BBC’s One Show, as part of John Lyon’s ‘take your son to work day’.

I started the day by travelling to the BBC studios in central London on the tube. I was going to visit my dad at The One Show where he is the executive editor.

The One Show is a British television magazine and chat show programme. Broadcast live on BBC One weeknights at 7.00pm, it features topical stories and studio guests. My Dad has worked at The One Show for nine years and I have often heard him say his job is one of the best and most enjoyable in British television and I can sense how much enjoyment he gains out of it and each successful show.

The first thing I did was to attend a meeting where we did a quick run of the show’s script with presenters Matt Baker and Alex Jones and viewed the clips that would be on the show. One of the many things I enjoy about The One Show is how relaxed everything is (at least before the show). For example the dress code is very casual just a jumper and a pair of jeans. The atmosphere is also very calm despite this being a live show and stories being changed constantly. What struck me was how the atmosphere in the office had no tension. This may be because the people in the team are fantastic at collaborating and working together as their ultimate aim is to get a good show on air. This has made me realise that being a member of a team is very important in television. What I also noticed is that no matter what role people do, everyone speaks up and has their say about things they feel passionate about.

I also went to visit the editor, Tracy in one of the edit suites. She was adding music and words to an item about a new film on Mary Queen of Scots for that evening’s show. She was working from a script written by the director Steven. This helped her know where to input the different audio and text on the pictures. Steven’s job was to then check if the information was all factually correct. It was a real insight to see the process behind the short films and how much work goes into them. Another edit suite was looking at archive material. These are TV clips taken from various other TV companies. I learnt that the issue when using archive is you have to seek license from the different companies to use the clip for free. Another issue is the constantly changing running of the clips. Sometimes an error or a change will be discovered in the rehearsal only an hour before. The editors will then be under time pressure to change the order, duration or any audio from the clip.

After the script meeting the TV script is added to an auto cue that the presenters can look at it whilst the show is live. When the show was on air I was sitting in the gallery which is a large room full of multiple TV screens – each of the six cameras has its own screen in the gallery. The gallery also shows links to other TV shows that are on air at that moment, so everything feels live and you always know what is going on. The production team all have a talkback, which is a live intercom system that communicates with the presenters to tell them information or to ask different questions to guests, when the show is live. What I found strange is that they do not have any communication with the guests on the sofa-but I suppose that would be too many voices talking at once, minimising the show’s natural feel.

Visiting The One Show has been a fantastic experience and has been very eye opening for me to see how this kind of career works and what it involves, its given me a real insight into the workings of live TV and the workings of a TV team. It’s really exciting but I’ve learnt that its hard work and you have to be on top of a lot of complicated jobs at one time. Also realised that being collaborative and working as a team is really important as is trust and respect to your colleagues. You can’t lose your temper or get short with people! After looking back on this experience I think I would very much like to work in this kind of genre of television just like both of my parents.