Students from Middlesex University have been given the opportunity to make some of the last ever programme pitches at BBC’s iconic Television Centre.
Television Production and Television Technical Arts students were tasked with pitching their programme ideas to panels of senior BBC staff including a programme commissioner, a creative director and an executive editor.
The students were put into teams and asked to come up with an idea for a documentary, drama or entertainment programme. Following feedback from the BBC editors they will now pitch the ideas to their tutors as part of their final project coursework.
Aaqil Ahmed, BBC Commissioning Editor Religion and Head of Religion & Ethics, kicked off the project when he visited Middlesex University to give students a masterclass in pitching their programme ideas, ahead of the BBC visit. He shared his experience of working in television and gave tips on how to make a TV programme idea work.
TV Production student Jack Dunford (22), whose team pitched an entertainment show to BBC entertainment executive Mark Cossey, said: “It was fantastic. We got great advice and feedback on how to make the show more sellable and it has given us great confidence.”
“The Television Production course has given us practical skills and it is opportunities like this which give us real life experience to take into our future careers with a head start.”
Fellow student Alayna Hollis (22) said: “I loved every second of pitching to top BBC staff. It was such a great opportunity to have, especially in the last year of my Television Production degree. You want to build a platform for the transition of graduating to actually working in the industry and this opportunity was one of them.”
Aaqil Ahmed, who is also a visiting professor at Middlesex University, said: “It was great to give the students a chance to talk through their ideas with colleagues in commissioning at the BBC. I've seen their ideas grow over the past few weeks and it was really exciting to see how they responded to being questioned about their projects. I'm really proud of all of them for their positive attitude and approach to the exercise. There are some great ideas there and I look forward to seeing how they develop further.”
Students were also given an extended tour of the BBC TV Centre as part of the experience.