Alarm set, travel plans sorted, clothes selected for the day. I am ready for anything the BBC can throw at me … here we go: day one of life as a media fellow.
Get an early train and have plenty of time for my 10:15 appointment at New Broadcasting House (NBH) reception. Seems like a plan. Do I need a jumper and a jacket? It’s mid-summer, but certainly temperate. Let’s not take chances, jumper and jacket it is. That way I can store all my bits and bobs in the plethora of jacket pockets and arrive looking vaguely smart (as good as it gets for me, in any case).
I leave with just enough time to get to the station, and no more. In the process I have to cycle furiously, search hopelessly for a bike space on the forecourt, give up, and leave my steed squeezed between two others in a makeshift “space”. 08:13, plenty of time to get the 08:15? Scurrying across the new bridge to platform 6 I arrive just in time, having built up a good sweat to start the day.
Boy it’s warm. Strip off jacket and jumper and try to relax. By the time we are at King’s Cross I have re-equilibrated and found some calm. Rather than join the throng on the Victoria line I opt for a pleasant walk through Bloomsbury, Tottenham Court Rd, then Goodge Street to Langham Place. There should be time en route for a coffee, so I stop along the way and get one “to go”. Curiously the lid comes loose as I raise it to my lips and I spill half a cup down my shirt front. It’s going to be a jumper day, whatever the weather. Lucky I removed it earlier. I arrive at NBH reception at 10:13, just in time.
Suzanne Elston brings me to the “Science Hub” on floor 2 and introduces me to my desk for the next two days. What happens on Wednesday? I’ll wait and see. Meantime I make my introductions with some of my new summer colleagues … Anna to my left works on TV, World News. We chat about her Horizon programme on The Core, and my regular colleagues’ parts in it. She recounts her pleasure at learning about the depths of the Earth. This sounds good.
Later I meet Johnny B, sitting directly behind me: one of last year’s cohort of media fellows who is back for another summer of fun, he enjoyed it so much. This sounds even better.
While I am trying to work out what I should be doing (and how Windows works) Anna kidnaps me and sets me to work on one of her projects for the week … news that is scheduled to come out with Glastonbury at the weekend (I am self-embargoed). Feeling I have already let radio down, I pitch an idea to Julian Siddle and before I know it I am roped in to do a piece for the World Service’s “Science in Action” programme, to be recorded tomorrow. This sounds “interesting”. Could be car crash radio … wait and see.
Later I chat with Paul Rincon, further down the room at the online news desks. I mention the same idea to him. Lo and behold, it seems I might have a piece on the same subject in news online, we’ll see.
Day 1 in the house. Diverse, interesting, challenging, and now with some homework to do before that recording tomorrow.
Oh, and yes, now you ask, Brian Cox did pop into the office today.