BBC’s move to Salford – Why it matters?

A foreigner to England, I’ve never quite understood the fuss about being in London especially if you are in Media. I absolutely loved my student life in Sheffield and looking back it was one of the best places to be, at the time. But after that job opportunities were slim. It was when I started work here in Soho at Feature Story News, a month ago, I gathered why most TV, PR and publishing companies are based here. Simply because, London is where everything happens. Its multicultural, its vibrant, its buzzing like any big city …and there’s so much happening in a day, guess there’s not enough time to tell.

Whether it was finding a solicitor, a property expert, dealing with the Foreign and Commonwealth office, attending the Dewani case at the Belmarsh Magistrate court and investigating the revival of the speak easy culture in London bars, its walking distance or a tube and a bus ride away. I could squeeze as many interviews in a day and have as many guests come to our offices and get a lot of work done.

So if you asked me two months ago what do you think about BBC’s move to Salford Quays? I’d say ‘Great, that’s brilliant’ if its creating more job opportunities for fresh talent. I was open to working anywhere and still am, however never quite understood the reservation from most of the BBC employees. Not entirely, but now I do understand. Apart from the hassles of families having to relocate, the other challenge is having to convince celebrities, politicians, and musicians to visit studios up North. The producers better have a good deal lined up.

Like most people, I’m still following the move every day and Why? Cause like the many MA graduates in November last year, I signed up for the BBC Talent pool and I’ve sat through a series of online tests. And now in the pool for about five months, was not quite sure where its all going.

Speaking to some presenters at the BBC world service until a month ago, and they said there’s still a lot of apprehension from most employees, especially on the BBC Breakfast team

Much has changed since and things seem a lot definite a month later. In the Guardian today I read, almost half are willing to relocate except for the presenters. With the recession, and little job opportunities, not many are left with a choice. So I hear Susanna Reid and Bill Turnbull replace Sian Williams and Chris Hollins. I have to say, I was a regular viewer of the programme and will miss them too.

But what caught my attention in the article was the bit where Former BBC chairman Lord Grade says, “It’s good news if not everybody goes up because then new people can come in. You’ll even get some vacancies at the top.” Well I’d agree with that, and more so, you never know what new talent can bring to the table. Here, I’m hoping there will be more clarity as things start to stabilise.


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