Being interviewed on the BBC News at Six

Being interviewed on the BBC News at Six

5th March 2019 0 By Biggsy
Reading Time: 3 minutes

It’s not every day you get to appear on the BBC News at Six, the BBC News at Ten, and apparently on the BBC Radio 4 News too. The first I realised they’d used my interview was when Facebook Messenger started pinging frentically at about 18:05. Seven messages coming through in quick succession. Also a WhatsApp from an ex-housemate a short while later

Why is my Facebook news feed full of pictures of you on the news? Did you do a bad?

My ex-housemate

The BBC News at Six film crew

The date was Wednesday 2nd January. The place was the plaza outside London’s King’s Cross station and the reason? The increased rail fares. I’d just picked up a leaflet from the picketing RMT employees, but before I had chance to read it two smart-casual dressed men approached me.

Now you’re probably thinking there was a headphone-wearing soundman wielding one of those fluffy-ended booms, a companion shouldering a huge camera, behind an interviewer holding a microphone. Well it wasn’t like that at all; they just looked like two well-dressed “normal” passers-by.

BBC News at Six interview outside King's Cross
My BBC News at Six interview

Inadvertenly being interviewed

GUY 1 “I see you’ve just picked up a leaflet”

ME “Yeah – no idea what it’s about. I presume it’s the increased rail fares?”

GUY 1 “Yes it is – you must be interested in this?”

Me “Well I commute in from Hitchin and I did notice that it’s had gone up this morning”

GUY 2 [pointing iPhone camera at me] “That’s great can you say that again?!

Roughly how it happened!

So without a great deal of warning – like no warning – I regurgitated what I’d just said, added a few additional bits of information (most of that was fortunately cut out) …. and within 15 seconds that was my one-way interview over. The main reporter took my name and number and off I pedalled towards work thinking “I really hope they don’t use any of that!”

So if you were ever wondering where they get those “Vox Pox” 15 second long public opinion pieces, well it can be in the most unsuspecting of places and filmed fairly unobtrusively. Who would have thought a basic looking iPhone (not even the latest verion) could record such a broadcast quality interview AND without any external microphone attached to it. We were stood at at fairly busy, noisy King’s Cross at “Rush Hour” after all.

Andy Warhol’s most famous quote

“In the future everybody will be world famous for fifteen minutes.”

Andy Warhol

Or in my case 15 seconds! Still – the ‘BBC News at Six’ goes out to about 4.4m viewers. Plus about half that later on at 10pm (more information on the BBC website). So a lot of people were either thinking “Hear Hear!” or alternatively “What a wally!” Fortunately I’ll never know which.

All I do I know is I was going to wear a nice woolen rollneck jumper that morning but instead opted for my less trendy hi-viz green cycling jacket! Still at least that meant I wasn’t causing people to think “What a wally! Why isn’t he wearing a hi-viz jacket while cycling around Central London!”

A place where I DID intend to appear on the TV was in the background of ‘Good Morning America’, which gets filmed on weekday mornings in New York’s Times Square. Read my post about appearing on Good Morning America and how you can do the same too!