Alice meets Lenny Henry and the stars of Comic Relief

A smile from Dermot and I go weak at the knees, pictures with Lenny Henry and David Tenant – how have I wrangled these? Michael McIntyre, James Corden and Jonathan Ross walk past, -surely this degree of celeb spotting can’t last? Then appears a newly shaven Jessie J – this is simply the best BBC day.

My day at the BBC, courtesy of my second cousin Jon, was yesterday.

tvc history

After five years of plans, cancellations and more plans, it finally happened – I got to go to the BBC. As fate would have it (we were supposed to meet a month ago but I went to Portland Place rather than White City), this coincided with the last ever broadcasting day at the Television Centre branch (which is closing and moving to Portland Place!) and the 25th Comic Relief.

I met Jon at the TVC reception, was given a visitor’s badge and then led through the revolving doors into the broadcasting labyrinth. Following close behind him, certain that if I lost sight of him, I would be lost forever, we wound our way up flights of stairs, down lifts, up more flights of stairs, along corridor after corridor before arriving in his office – the News room, just in time for the 10 o’ clock meeting.

Here, a list of the day’s main news stories were distributed and debate began on what should lead, what could be ditched and what angles would work. It was fascinating – what was decided in this room, is what the country would see later. It was exhilarating.

After the meeting finished, my tour of the building began. Once hustling and bustling, the place was now practically deserted as everyone was moving or had moved to W1 (Portland Place). Though this meant that I didn’t get a true depiction of what it used to really be like, it also meant that I got to go into studios that I wouldn’t normally have been able to go into – and that I got to live my dream of becoming a news presenter.


Alice Audley reports for duty


And on the screen at home

After lunch, Jon returned to constructing a story on the JP Morgan case and I went off to watch the preparations for a Comic Relief package for the 6 o ‘ clock news – headed up by presenter Lizo Mzimba. Clips of One Direction in Ghana, Mel C on the Zambezi and interviews with Richard Curtis (Comic Relief founder) and Matt Smith, were blended together with Lizo’s voice-over. How much work that goes into a two-minute clip – put the art of television into perspective.

After the 6 o ‘ clock news aired, Lizo said that I could, if I wanted to,  join him in the main foyer as he interviewed the Comic Relief stars (who were arriving).

“I would absolutely love to!”

And so it began…

IMG_1592 Lizo interviewing John Bishop (who last year raised£3,412,261 for Sport Relief)

IMG_1593Matt Smith (Dr Who)

IMG_1597Claudia Winkleman

IMG_1599Jessie J walks past with her entourage and freshly shaven head

interview lennyLenny Henry

Then Lizo had to make a phone call to BBC Breakfast, so I took up the reins:

camera 2
camera 3

And what with my new-found authority, I couldn’t resist asking for a few presenter/celebrity snaps:

david 1With David Tennant

And the main man himself, Lenny Henry:

lenny 1Lenny Henry

There aren’t many jobs in which you willingly want to stay working at until 10 p.m on a Friday night – but a presenter at the BBC is an exception. I had the most incredible time yesterday – thank you very much Jon, and watch out Lizo, I’m after your job!


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