A few months a go, at the beginning of 2012 in fact, I was advised to go for a presenters course that would be sponsored by the BBC to seek new presenters. This presumably was an equal opportunities initiative and aimed at disabled people. I was very hesitant about applying at first because although I suppose technically I am disabled by the fact that I have had to loose an eye and have no vision on my left side (and as a result do occasionally bump into little old ladies in Morrisons) I didn’t feel terribly unable to work normally.
However, I got in touch with the department running the scheme and asked them if they thought I qualified and they said yes, absolutely. At the end of the day, the BBC and the license payer want great presenters and often the smallest disability can put interviewees off from taking part or putting themselves forward. This is an opportunity for anyone with something ‘different’ to proudly say I would like to have a chance.
I had to send a detailed email about myself, likes, hobbies, work experience and background and a short video of myself presenting something. Naturally I sent a clip from the Bald Explorer. It must have worked because I was then shortlisted for an audition.
Last month I nervously travelled up to London to the Wood Lane digital city buildings and presented myself to the people running the auditions. As soon as I entered the building I was became, calm, totally relaxed and very confident. I was warmly welcomed by all the staff and flew through the audition.
I confess I was totally in my element. I felt so at home in the BBC studio with the commissioning editors and other senior executives watching me. They viewed a few pieces I had to do to camera, and although I cocked on of them up, I carried on as if it were ‘live’ and found my place in the script and rattled on to the end. Thanks to endless Vobes Show podcasts for that I am sure. After the performing came the questions and answers, which again I felt most comfortable with and demonstrated my passion for the medium of television and the genre of history and heritage. It was fabulous fun.
Something must have worked as yesterday I received a call from one of the executives informing me that I had been selected and had a place with nine others on this professional and highly rated presenters course. More details to come after Easter apparently, but in the meantime I am dancing on air.