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Brookes TV 100th Episode

9 August 2013

On Friday 9th the usually calm Wheatley campus was invaded by a number of Brookes past staff and alumni for a particularly interesting reunion, the 100th episode of Brookes TV. Brookes TV was born 7 years ago, and key to its beginnings were Alla Cordery, James Gray and the (at the time) student Nik Pinks and his classmates who took on an independent study module to start making the show. James ran the module and Alla was key in securing a location and funding for it all to happen. Two years into the project Joe Carr and James Templeton were students on the module, and enjoyed their work so much that they stayed on as instructors for series 3, 4 and 5 whilst James Gray ran the show.

After James retired (from a very exciting life in the media, and a very productive time at Brookes) Joe Carr took on the role of running the show as module leader, and seven years and seven series after its launch Joe decided that it was time to celebrate the success of the module project. Upon the realisation that BTV had officially filmed 99 episodes, the 100th seemed the perfect excuse for a reunion. With this in mind Joe thought he'd take it upon himself to organise and produce a special 100th episode, he wanted to ‘get people back from over the years to actually run the studio like when they were students.’ He invited presenters and technical staff back to Oxford Brookes to resume their positions both behind, and in front of the cameras, to re-live the buzz of working in the media during their time at the University.

Alumni to return to help behind the cameras were Samya Fraser, Guru Gnanasambandan (also a post grad student), Andy Fraser and Adam Peddar. Amongst the use of the ‘steady cam’, and in the exciting atmosphere of the (new to some) Brookes TV studio, our alumni worked closely with past and current staff members, Peter Craven, James Gray and Gillian Kelly. Just like its technicians and presenters, the studio has come a long way since 2006, and several of the visiting alumni remarked on the change from what was described as a ‘broom cupboard’ to the excellent industry standard studio BTV film in today.

Alongside the technical staff, Lucy Jones ’07 and Ben Constanduros ’09 both returned to the show. Lucy and Ben were some of the first presenters on Brookes TV (neither of whom were actually studying a Media course when they began BTV), and you could say, inspired by their time presenting they have both pursued successful careers in the media. Lucy, who began by covering local stories, and was the first BTV presenter to interview Jon Snow, went on to work at several radio and television stations and won the UK Commercial Radio Newcomer of the Year Award in 2010. If that wasn’t enough she was nominated for the Sony Rising Star Award as well, and is currently writing, producing and presenting the 4Music breakfast show every week day, whilst she also has her own show on heat radio.

Ben also began by presenting on Brookes TV, from which he then went on to present on the MotorsTV UK Karting championship and later SkySports in-house show. He is a consultant and producer, commentator for the F3 Euroseries and also presents on the World Touring Car Championship. When Lucy and Ben returned to their former positions, full of excitement and memories, they were also armed with years more industry experience. (Profiles of the two stars are soon to follow so check our website for a more detailed view of their stories since Brookes!)

Over the years the show has presented a mixture of news, music, cooking, events and interviews. Some of the interviewees include our very own ex-chancellor and celebrated broadcaster, Jon Snow, infamous politician Boris Johnson and (probably the most interviewed VIP on Brookes TV) our local celebrity chef Raymond Blanc. In recent years the show has become much more focussed on producing a solid and professional local news magazine programme with good journalism, so although the VIP interviews will certainly continue, sadly for some this does mean the cooking and music will be left to another show. However, all the highlights from these interviews, along with the cooking and music and all the amusing stories, were shown in the 100th episode. A combination of old footage and new thoughts, many in the studio laughed as amusing hairstyles, long forgotten stories and hilarious bloopers were seen on the 100th episode, for the first time in years.

Fun was had by all in the filming of the 100th episode, but there was also recognition of how far the show has come, and the real success of 7 series of Brookes TV. The 100th episode in all its glory can be seen on the BTV youtube channel here, we hope you enjoy watching it as much as the crew enjoyed filming it!

You can see all the photos from the event on our Flickr account.