The phone rang, I was trying to concentrate on writing a blog post and was mildly annoyed at yet another interruption to my concentration. The voice on the other end said “My name is ….. and I’m calling from the BBC”, or words to that effect, and my mind was racing thinking what on earth do the BBC want to speak to Mama Tea about and more to the point how did they find us! Now if I’m honest if it was any other media organisation I would assume they were attempting to sell us advertising and I’d be trying to get them off the phone as quickly and politely as possible but it’s the BBC they don’t do advertising. I listened on and the jist of it was they wanted to interview Mama Tea as a good news story of a growing business against a backdrop of predicted poor unemployment figures, and all of this was to happen the next day!
At 3.30pm the next day Hugh Pym, a producer and a camera/sound man arrived at our office carrying a lot of technical bits and pieces. By this stage we were a combination of nervous and excited and not really sure what to expect. The office was soon taken over by all the technical stuff and I sat watching from the corner, just trying to stay out of the way whilst they set up. Hugh was chatting to the mama and doing a really good job at keeping the atmosphere relaxed.
Then it was lights, camera, action! Maybe not quite as dramatic as that but they moved quite seemlessly into filming mode, first interviewing the mama, then doing a series of action shots of us in the office(?) and then a short interview with me (aaagghh!). The strangest thing is they ask you to be as natural as possible in the most unnatural and posed situation, and all with a big light shining in your eyes!
Then as quickly as they had arrived they had gone again, leaving us feeling exhausted and a bit shell shocked at the intensity of it all. All in all they were in the office for about 1.5-2 hours for what will probably be about 40 seconds of film, we’ll have to wait and see the final result today. We are expecting the piece, or variations of it, to be broadcast today (16th May 2012) on the 1pm, 6pm and 10pm national news. Just imagine if I hadn’t answered that phone….