Documentries News

Learning About Black Scottish History!

Tomiwa has a degree in history, but she still doesn’t know much about the history of Black people in Scotland. After a quick search online, she finds out so much more about black Scottish history!

International News News

BBC World Service Jobs with the Igbo Language Service


Africas media landscape is changing. It is one of the fastest developing news markets in the world with mobile technology transforming lives, internet connectivity increasing, the radio market remaining relatively strong and Television migrating from analogue to digital.

The BBC World Service remains the leading international broadcaster in Africa, reaching a weekly audience of more than 100 million across all platforms and Social Media. Globally, the BBC reaches a weekly audience of 320 million weekly across various platforms.

Over the next four years, the BBC World Service will be expanding its multimedia operations in Africa by doubling the number of language services from 6 to 12.

Three of the new language services, Igbo, Yoruba and Pidgin, will serve our audiences in Nigeria and West Africa. They will be based in Lagos, working alongside our operation in Abuja from where the BBC currently produces its Hausa service output. There is a strong emphasis on reaching and connecting with young audiences.

Please find below the current vacancies for the Igbo Language Service


·       Editor

·        Senior Broadcast Journalist

·        Broadcast Journalist

·        Digital Technical Producer

·        Igbo Reporter based in Enugu  


Award Winning Broadcast Journalist and Former Sky News Presenter Launches ‘Quintessential Voices’ Podcast

Marverine Cole is a name you might not know, but she’s a veteran black female Journalist & Broadcaster whose media career spans almost 25 years. The last 13 of those have been spent in various roles, including Television Newsreader for Sky News, Radio Presenter for the BBC (WM and 5Live) and a Radio Documentary Producer.

Born and bred in England’s second biggest city of Birmingham, Marverine’s been described as one of the most experienced British female broadcasters when it comes to the arena of live television: having clocked up well over 3,500 hours of on-air time in a variety of roles, including presenting talks shows for BBC Radio, and solo-anchoring the 5-hour ‘World News and Business Report’ programme on Sky News.  Throughout her long-standing media career, Marverine has witnessed how much the voices and opinions of black British women and women of colour are excluded from mainstream media in the UK.

She says:

“We are rarely allowed a ‘seat at the table’ to share our views about politics, news and current affairs, to tell our stories in a wider forum. To be unapologetically black. If we’re talking about sport, music, we get a pass. If you’re a black American woman, you get a pass. But this doesn’t go far enough. What about the academics, the scientists, the GPs, the entrepreneurial Mums who are black? They can contribute to mainstream conversations as much as anyone else, but they, we are excluded. There’s a huge swathe of smart, funny women of colour, who are experts in their field or who are making an impact in their local communities, but whose stories very rarely get a platform.  So for me – not only is Quintessential Voices a podcast for anyone and everyone interested in enjoying the aural experience of hearing fascinating female voices – I consider it my personal love letter to British women of colour”.

Marverine bills “Quintessential Voices” podcast as Britain’s biggest conversation celebrating women of colour. Within many of the episodes some may hear similarities with BBC Radio Four’s Woman’s Hour, and ITV’s Loose Women, as Marverine offers up a mixture of one-on-one interviews, and round-table studio-based conversations. Some guests are famous, including Singer Laura Mvula and Eastenders actress Tameka Epson, whilst others are everyday women of all ages, from all walks of life. Each one entertaining, inspiring and motivating listeners, discussing topics across a wide spectrum: from coping with anxiety and depression, to being LGBTQ, from tackling homelessness in our communities to how to become a politician, from being a creative writer to exploring the beauty market for women with darker skins. All of these topics either have already been, or are set to be, on the Quintessential Voices’ agenda.

Using the power of technology, social media and her many years of journalistic experience, Marverine allows BAME women to open up in surprisingly frank and refreshing ways, which mainstream media does not always allow. She is a ground-breaking media personality who is set to make waves with the “Quintessential Voices” podcast.

Listen to Quintessential Voices podcast at


BBC accused of ‘abandoning’ Birmingham after removing almost all TV and radio shows from city’s production hub

The BBC has been accused of “abandoning” Birmingham by removing almost all of its television and radio shows from what was once its biggest production hub outside London.

On 12 August staff at BBC Birmingham’s Mailbox headquarters are due to stage a symbolic “silent protest” over what is seen by campaigners and media unions as a betrayal of licence fee payers in the Midlands.

The demonstration coincides with the removal from Birmingham to London’s Broadcasting House of presenter Bobby Friction’s drive time show on BBC Asian Network, a station founded in Birmingham and Leicester. The relocation is the latest in a series of setbacks for BBC Birmingham, which has been stripped of popular TV shows Coast, Countryfile and Hairy Bikers and lost prestigious BBC Radio 4 shows You and Yours, Farming Todayand Costing the Earth.

Only The Archers, the Radio 4 Great War drama Home Frontand two less prominent Asian Network shows continue to be made for the national network at the Mailbox, which opened to great fanfare in 2004 as the replacement for BBC Pebble Mill, its iconic studios in the south of Birmingham.

For 33 years, Pebble Mill, which was opened by Princess Anne as the UK’s first purpose built broadcasting centre, was a familiar location to millions of BBC viewers as the backdrop for programmes such as The Clothes Show and Pebble Mill At One. Despite the BBC’s recent strategy to move production out of the capital, Birmingham has been overlooked in favour of other cities, notably Salford, Glasgow, Bristol and Cardiff.

The BBC rejected the notion that it was turning its back on the second city and said Birmingham had been chosen to host its centre of excellence for skills and training. It will also be home to the BBC’s Diversity Unit.

Keith Murray, BBC representative for the National Union of Journalists, said: “The Mailbox is a shell of its former self. Five years ago it was vibrant and shows were being made for BBC1 and Radio 4. Now there are studios that are unused and row upon row of empty desks. The BBC does not appear to have pride in its Birmingham operation anymore.”

Many believe that the Mailbox, a multi-purpose centre that includes a cinema and branches of Harvey Nichols and Nando’s, was an inappropriate location for the BBC to locate a broadcast production hub. Its future use by the BBC appears to be focused on training and human resources.

The BBC operates a “drama village” from the Selly Oak campus of the University of Birmingham where it makes the TV soapDoctors and period drama Father Brown. The drama Peaky Blinders – which is Birmingham-themed but filmed in Merseyside and Yorkshire – returns shortly to BBC1, while Lenny Henry’s new autobiographical show Danny and the Human Zoois being filmed in nearby Dudley.

ut the Campaign for Regional Broadcasting Midlands (CRBM) has calculated that £940m a year is contributed annually by the region’s licence fee payers and that the outlay is not being represented in the BBC’s output.

Luke Crawley, Assistant General Secretary of broadcast union Bectu, said: “Birmingham is the biggest city outside London but the BBC doesn’t seem to want to make programmes there.”

Just over 18 months ago the BBC appointed Tommy Nagra to raise the profile of BBC Birmingham. He told Birmingham City Council’s culture scrutiny committee: “It is one of the biggest frustrations for me, people think we have stopped making programmes in Birmingham. We have got a lot of work to do on that front.”

When Mr Nagra left the job a year later to return home to Manchester he told the Birmingham Post: “I think it is job done for me.” The BBC is moving its BBC Academy training unit to Birmingham and its head, Joe Godwin, has also taken Mr Nagra’s former role.

Mr Godwin said that despite recent efficiency savings the BBC was investing more in the Midlands. “The BBC is now spending twice as much in the Midlands as we were two years ago – £125m by the end of this financial year. We’re currently advertising 100 new jobs based in Birmingham as part of our plan to move 300 jobs to the city.”

Straight out of Brum


Hit BBC2 series was relocated from The Mailbox in Birmingham, first to Bristol and then to the growing production base at Cardiff.


Long-running BBC1 rural affairs show moved from The Mailbox to the highly-regarded Natural History Unit at BBC Bristol.

Farming Today

BBC Radio’s principal rural show, moved from Birmingham to Bristol.

Hairy Bikers

Also quit Birmingham for Bristol, where the BBC is also grouping food-based radio and TV shows.

The Bobby Friction Show

Drive time show on Asian Network, moved from Birmingham to the BBC’s Broadcasting House headquarters

Whats On

MEDIA WATCH: Monday 17th – Friday 21st October




10.35pm: Ebola Frontline- Panorama

NHS doctors and nurses have been working on the frontline against Ebola in clinics in West Africa. Panorama spends a month in Sierra Leone with British-born Dr Javid Abdelmoneim as he works at a treatment centre run by the charity MSF. Not only does he treat the patients, he also uses specially adapted cameras to record the physical and emotional impact of this deadly virus on whole families and on the medical staff treating them. His films reveal that, even in these desperately difficult circumstances, there are moments of euphoria as patients who have been cured leave the centre. Postponed from November 10



11.20pm: Jamie Baulch: Looking for My Birth Mum

In 1973, Jamie Baulch was given up for adoption – and the former world champion sprinter has now decided to track down his birth mother. Helping him through the process is social worker Gemma Williams, but as he gets further into the search, he begins to question his own identity and seeks to find out whether his sporting talent is down to nature or nurture





10.30pm: Innovate Africa

New advances in literacy and learning today on Innovate Africa – solar-powered classrooms, coding for robots and cheap tablets developed specially for schools.




4.30pm: Witness- Seeds of Survival

Paul Kirika may be the sharpest-eyed botanist in Kenya! His team’s detective work, hunting rare plant species, could hold the key to food security.



8pm: Witness- Casablanca Calling

Women and Islam in Morocco is explored through the work of the newly installed female Morchidat or spiritual guides.



10.30pm: Africa Investigates : Zimbabwe: Stealing Lives

Exposing the shocking trade in stolen drugs that is costing the lives of tens of thousands of HIV/Aids sufferers in Zimbabwe.



11.35pm: Obsessed

Premiere. An executive with a successful job and a happy family life finds his world crumbling around him when a temporary worker is assigned to his office. The new arrival becomes fixated on him, going to desperate lengths to seduce him. When he rejects her, he and his wife’s lives are placed in danger. Thriller, starring Idris Elba, Beyonce Knowles and Ali Larter





BBC World Service

7.05pm: BBC Africa Debate – Did teh Arab Spring do more harm than good ?

Akwasi Sarpong, Owen Bennett Jones and a panel of experts in Tunis discuss the impact of the Arab Spring uprisings on Africa.


Channel 4

7.30pm: Unreported World

Reporter Kiki King and director Daniel Bogado visit Uganda to follow the inspirational work of the sign-language teachers who are trekking deep into the countryside to transform the lives of deaf children and adults, who have never been able to communicate until now. Last in the series

News Opportunities/Jobs

BBC Academy Announce Free Event BAME Creative Professionals. Deadline Friday 17th October 2014

Bookings are now open for Welcome Back – a new free event for creative professionals from BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) backgrounds on 5 November at BBC New Broadcasting House. An event delivered by BBC Academy in partnership with The TV Collective and Creative Skillset, it’s open to 50 BAME professionals seeking to return to the industry.

The BBC currently has 12.6% BAME Staff compared to an industry average of 5.4%, with a target of 14.2% BAME staff to be reached by 2017. However, the last Creative Skillset census found that in the industry as a whole “BAME representation has seen a decline from 12,250 in 2009 to 10,300 in 2012. BAME people represented 7.4% of the total workforce in 2006, compared to 6.7% in 2009 and 5.4% in 2012.”

With this statistic in mind, Welcome Back aims to inspire, equip and inform BAME professionals who are thinking about re-entering the industry with up to date knowledge. The event will also provide a chance to network with industry executives and to gain practical help, confidence and advice.

A packed day will offer a series of informative and insightful panel sessions, hands-on training and exclusive one-to-one networking opportunities with industry talent managers and series/executive producers.

Danny Cohen, BBC Director of Television, will open the day and sessions will give access to senior figures from broadcasters and indies talking on a variety of subjects, such as career strategy, the commissioning process and the business of television.

Speakers range from Sandy Smith, Executive Editor, The One Show; Jamal Edwards, CEO and Founder, SB:TV; to David Flynn, Chief Creative Officer, Endemol; Sanjay Singhal, Chief Executive, Voltage TV; and creator, writer and star of Citizen Khan, Adil Ray.

By the end of the day, delegates will have the contacts, information and all the tools to help them step back into television.

To attend Welcome Back delegates must be a BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) professional with a minimum of three years experience in any area of television or minimum three paid broadcast credits and must have been absent from the television industry for a minimum of one year.

Jo Welch, Diversity and Inclusion manager at Creative Skillset, said: “For Creative Skillset, training and development opportunities such as Welcome Back – which is particularly aimed at talent the industry has lost – have a clear impact in improving access and progression for diverse individuals. The day will enable them to become re-connected, with industry and each other, and empower them to make direct choices about their future career and skills development.”

Donna Taberer, Head of Public Service Partnerships, BBC Academy, said: “We are aiming to provide a supportive environment for delegates to seek advice from a broad range of industry executives and we want them to leave informed and up to date with the latest changes in the industry, as well as inspired to return to TV.”

Simone Pennant Founder & Director of The TV Collective said: “Over the years the industry has lost some absolutely fantastic talent, which has fuelled the diversity debate. This not only hurts them and hurts the industry itself. So we are very excited to be working with the BBC to help craft an event that gives lost talent the opportunity to re-establish themselves, learn about recent changes and explore what the industry now has to offer. Re-introducing talent back to the industry has the potential to be very powerful, and I am confident the industry itself will be much richer for it.”

For further information about the day’s events and how to apply go to:

Article taken from British Blacklist


BBC are loooking for Presenters

The TV Collective are working with The BBC, to recruit for several BAME Talent Days across the UK, to help the BBC attract experts & future presenters from diverse  range

of backgrounds.

Please email me at to express interest
For more info click here.

Experts wanted in the following categories:

*Cultural Commentary – is your expertise in popular entertainment, the arts, literature or areas like social policy or national identity?

*History – the Tudors, the First World War, the ancient world or modern Britain, which period are you passionate about? Are you an academic, custodian, auctioneer or museum curator?

*Science – do you have expertise in a subject – from forensics to biology – recognised in the academic, research or commercial world?

*Health and medicine – are you medically qualified?

*Finance and statistics – can you communicate about numbers, from personal finance to big business?

*Food and nutrition – are you a chef, cook or expert on farming and food production?

If you or someone you know is interested please contact me:


Letter to BBC and other broadcasters: actors and writers call for action over diversity

Text of letter sent to: BBC director general Tony Hall, ITV chief executive Adam Crozier, Channel 4 chief executive David Abraham, BSkyB chief executive Jeremy Darroch and Philippe Dauman, chief executive of new Channel 5 owner Viacom

We the undersigned are writing you this open letter because together you are responsible for the most powerful broadcasting institutions in Britain and are therefore in a unique position to shape and form the future of British television.

We are dismayed at the poor numbers of Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people both on our screens and working behind the camera

Today, only 5% of employees in our creative industries are BAME, despite BAME’s making up 12.5% of the total UK population.

In order to redress this imbalance, we believe that the training, mentoring and development schemes recently announced, although welcome, are not sufficiently radical to effect significant change.

We propose, therefore a solution that would almost immediately stimulate growth throughout the BAME creative community: a ring–fenced pot of money for BAME programmes.

The effect of this fund would be to engender and encourage television that would reflect one of Britain’s greatest strengths; our diversity.

Let us be clear about how this ring-fenced money would work. It is about quality of programming, not quantity: money is only spent when quality projects are identified – not to fill a quota. The major broadcasters have already set targets for the number of programmes produced outside London, and in the nations.

To increase ethnic diversity we are asking you to look at what has worked before and extend it for BAME communities. Ring-fencing money would not only guarantee results, but also create a more stable space for BAME talent on screen and behind the camera.

Signatories (to date)

Troy Titus Adams

Simon Albury

Kenton Allen

Kwame Kwei-Armah OBE

Amma Asante

Marianne Jean-Baptiste

Sanjeev Bhaskar OBE

Juliet Blake

Alan Bleasdale

Gurinder Chadha OBE

Lolita Chakrabarti

Act for Change

Chris Chibnall

Ron Cook

Dominic Cooke CBE

Daniel Craig

Allan Cubitt

Richard Curtis CBE

Stephen Daldry CBE

Russell T Davies OBE

Gregory Doran

Nadine Marsh Edwards

Jennifer Ehle

Idris Elba

Marianne Elliott

Barbara Emile

Daniel Evans

Sir Richard Eyre CBE

Julian Fellowes

Dexter Fletcher

Aminatta Forna

Michael Foster

Neil Gaiman

Lucy Gannon

Rupert Goold

Tony Grisoni

Charlie Hanson

David Harewood MBE

Lenny Henry CBE

Harry Hill

Sally Long-Innes

Terry Jones

Asif Kapadia

Kanya King

Sarah Lam

Baroness Doreen Lawrence

Adrian Lester OBE

Phyllida Lloyd CBE

Matt Lucas

Lisa Makin

Tony Marchant

Simon McBurney OBE

Jimmy McGovern

Jed Mercurio

Courttia Newland

Bill Nighy

Rufus Norris

David Oyelowo

Ashley Pharoah

Lynda La Plante CBE

Stephen Poliakoff CBE

Lucy Prebble

Hugh Quarshie

Beverley Randall

Ian Rickson

Alrick Riley

Kristin Scott Thomas

Geoff Small

Elaine C Smith

Lord Alan Sugar

Meera Syal MBE

Emma Thompson

David Tse

Indira Varma

Sally Wainwright

Matthew Warchus

Emily Watson

Richard Wilson OBE

Benedict Wong

David Yip

Pat Younge

Opportunities/Jobs Training/Workshops

Apply for Expert Voices: BAME Talent Days

Do you want to share your expertise and knowledge by appearing on television and radio? Are you from a Black, Asian or minority ethnic background?

The BBC Academy is holding a series of free introductions to the world of broadcasting to help BAME men and women feel comfortable appearing on television, radio and online as expert contributors or presenters.

These events will help boost the diversity of experts in the media and follow the acclaimed Expert Women campaign which ran in 2013.

We are running five days across the country. The first will take place in London on 9 October and details of how to apply are below.

The days will offer a range of practical media experiences, including sessions on camera and in a radio studio as well as master classes and networking with experienced programme makers and industry leaders.


Event: Expert Voices: BAME Talent Day London

Location:  BBC New Broadcasting House, Portland Place, London W1A 1AA

Date: Thursday 9 October 2014


What we are looking for: specialist areas
If you have recognised expertise in one of the key subject areas listed below and are interested in appearing in the media and live or work close to London, we want to hear from you. If you don’t live nearby or have expertise in a different area, take a look at our future sessions which are taking place around the UK.

Cultural Commentary – is your expertise in popular entertainment, the arts, literature or areas like social policy or national identity? 

History – the Tudors, the First World War, the ancient world or modern Britain, which period are you passionate about? Are you an academic, custodian, auctioneer or museum curator?  

Science – do you have expertise in a subject – from forensics to biology – recognised in the academic, research or commercial world?

Health and medicine – are you medically qualified?

Finance and statistics – can you communicate about numbers, from personal finance to big business?

Food and nutrition – are you a chef, cook or expert on farming and food production?


How to apply
You will need to send us your CV and a short film of no more than two minutes duration. The film should be very straightforward – and can be as simple as a friend recording you on a smartphone.

The film should consist of you talking to camera:

a)     Give your name and job title at the start, explain your job in layman’s terms and talk briefly about what you do.

b)     Relate a story, within your area of expertise, that you want to tell and think the general public would find interesting.

The film should be uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo or similar so that we can view it.


Making your short film

1. We are looking for people who can really bring their subject to life in a way that would appeal to a broad audience.

2. Keep a mainstream audience in mind and avoid complicated terminology.

3. Convey your enthusiasm and passion for your subject.

4. Don’t worry about producing a super slick film; smartphone quality is ideal. Just keep it simple – we aren’t evaluating your camera skills. The most important thing is that we can see and hear you clearly.


Closing date 
The closing date for applications is 11.59pm on Sunday 31 August 2014.

Please only apply if you are able to be in BBC New Broadcasting House, Portland Place, London W1A 1AA on Thursday 9 October 2014. 

Please note that the BBC is unable to refund any expenses incurred in applying for, or attending, the training day.


So we can see your film
A straightforward way to get your clip to us is to set up a YouTube account, and upload your short film there. You will need a Gmail email account in order to set up a YouTube account. (Please note that YouTube and Gmail are separate third parties that are not affiliated to the BBC.  You will therefore be subject to their third party terms and conditions.)

Once you have set your YouTube account up, please check your settings. You must change your YouTube default setting from private to ‘unlisted’.

The privacy settings on your entry videos must be set as ‘unlisted’ in order for us to view your films.

Please could you name your clip in the following format:

Firstname surname expertise 

If you choose not to upload your film to YouTube you will need to burn it onto a CD or DVD and post it to Expert Voices, BBC Academy, College of Production, BC2C1, Broadcast Centre, 201 Wood Lane, London W12 7TS. Your parcel will need to arrive at the BBC by Monday 25 August.  We will not be able to return any CDs or other materials to you.


Application Checklist
Please send an email containing the following:

1. Personal details

a)     Name

b)     Category (Cultural Commentary, History, Science, Health and Medicine, Finance and Statistics or Food and Nutrition)

c)     Mobile phone number

d)     Email address

e)     Job title – in layman’s terms, clarify what your job involves

f)      Details of your ethnic group (please identify yourself against the Office for National Statistics categories listed on the ONS website).


2.  A link to a film of you talking to camera about you, your area of expertise and a story/issue that you feel needs to be told.


3.  One written paragraph explaining the story/issue you have chosen to talk about. Why does this story need airtime? Why you are passionate about it? (250 words max.)


4.  Your CV as an attachment. Please name your CV file in the following format: First name surname CV


5.  The following paragraph, deleted as applicable (see Privacy Policy, below)

do  / don’t give my permission to be informed if the BBC Academy holds further masterclasses.

do  / don’t give the BBC Academy my permission to share my details with other producers or broadcasters.

do  / don’t give my permission to the BBC Academy to include my video in an Expert Voices YouTube channel and playlist.


6.  The name and contact details for someone from whom we can take a reference for you.


All to be emailed to:


How we will choose the delegates for this event
A panel of experts from the BBC Academy and the wider BBC will view all the material submitted and will select up to 30 delegates, plus up-to five for a waiting-list, based on the following criteria:

  • Passion for your chosen subject
  • Communication skills
  • USP as an expert in your field
  • Your potential as on screen/on mic talent
  • Relevance and audience awareness

The judges’ decision will be final and we will not be able to give you individual feedback or enter into any correspondence. We will take up references before confirming the final delegates and the people on the waiting list.


Privacy Policy (see application checklist)

  • We would like to add you to our mailing list so that we could contact you about future BBC events. Please indicate whether you agree or disagree to this in your application.
  • We will also make your contact details and your clip available to producers across the industry who may contact you. Please indicate whether you agree or disagree to this in your application.
  • We plan to include clips on a BBC Expert Voices YouTube Channel. Please indicate whether you agree or disagree to this in your application.

We will store your information for 12 months, after which it will be securely deleted from our systems.



Further events

We are also holding Expert Voices events in Birmingham, Salford, Glasgow and Bristol. If you live and work near these locations and have expertise in the subject areas required, we’d love to hear from you.


BIRMINGHAM: Thursday 27 November 2014

The subject areas will be:

Health and medicine – are you medically qualified?

Rural affairs – do you have specialist knowledge of farming and food production?

Science – do you have expertise in a subject – from forensics to biology – recognised in the academic, research or commercial world?

Business and economics – can you demystify the world of business, from global finance to kitchen table start-ups?

Consumer finance – can you talk knowledgeably about everything from mortgages to pay day lenders?

Community matters – is your expertise in social policy, local education or family and religious affairs?

We will open for applications on 1 September 2014. If you would like to express your interest in this event before then, please email and we will remind you when you’re able to apply.


BRISTOL:  Thursday 29 January 2015

The subject areas will be:

Antiques / fine art – do you know your Ming from your Meissen? Do you collect, buy or sell desirable decorative items or advise other collectors?

Gardening and horticulture – are you a garden designer, a landscaper or a botanist? Are you passionate about shaping and beautifying the natural world?

Rural affairs – do you have specialist knowledge of farming, food production or rural issues?

Conservation and environment – are you an expert on alternative forms of power or preserving the natural world?

Natural history – are you a zoologist, anthropologist, geologist or biologist? Can you communicate about animal or human behaviours or the physical forces which formed the world?

Food – are you a chef or cook? Can you prepare delicious food or talk about what we eat?

Applications will open on 26 October 2014. If you would like to express your interest in this event please email and we will remind you when you’re able to apply.


SALFORDThursday 26 February 2015

The subject areas will be:

History – the Tudors, the First World War, the ancient world or modern Britain, which periods are you passionate about? Are you an academic, custodian, auctioneer or museum curator?

Science / health – are you medically qualified?

Sport – do you coach, play or comment on football, athletics or other sport?

Business and economics– can you demystify the world of business, from global finance to kitchen table start-ups?

Consumer finance – can you talk knowledgeably about everything from mortgages to pay day lenders?

Art – is your expertise in the visual arts, popular entertainment or literature?

We will open for applications on 1 December 2014. If you would like to express your interest in this date please email and we will remind you once applications can be accepted.


GLASGOW: Thursday 12 March 2015

The subject areas will be:

Arts – is your expertise in the visual arts, popular entertainment or literature?

Medicine – are you medically qualified?

Science – do you have expertise in a subject – from forensics to biology – recognised in the academic, research or commercial world?

Community affairs – can you talk knowledgeably about local government, education or social policy?

Law and justice – do you have a legal qualification and can you communicate clearly about legal affairs?

Children’s broadcasting – are you a specialist in history, science, coding, zoology, agriculture or medicine and can you communicate these subjects to a young audience?

Applications open on 5 January 2015. If you would like to express your interest in this date please email and we will remind you once applications can be accepted.

News Radio

You spoke, the BBC listened

THE AFRICAN and Caribbean communities are not powerless. When we come together in solidarity fighting for equality, demanding to be respected we can win. Above all when we are successful, everyone benefits way beyond our own communities.

Back in April, six Caribbean individuals – Diane Abbott MP, David Lammy MP, Pat Younge – ex director of BBC, Baroness Ros Howells, George Ruddock – The Voice Editor and myself wrote an open letter to two of the most senior men at the BBC – Tony Hall and James Harding.

We lamented the fact that they were about to make redundant the only journalist specialising in African and Caribbean news on the radio. Their argument was that budgets were being moved for a more local response, but we argued losing this focus and particular expertise was both short-sighted and undermined the BBC’s own remit to be a broadcaster that valued diversity.

Also a number of BBC Caribbean staff also made their feelings heard at the highest level.

Four months later, after some genuine soul searching, the BBC has been big enough to recognise April’s move was a mistake. They now want not just journalist specialising in Caribbean and African but a team of journalists which would enhance the BBC as a whole.

In a statement last week the BBC said: “We are going to create a small team to cover the underreported African-Caribbean community; we are going to increase the number of political reporters and city correspondents across England to enhance local coverage and we are focusing our funding on original journalism through the big stories fund in Newsgathering and by providing extra money for Newsnight.”

This move is perhaps too late for Helen Bart and Kurt Barling who between them had 35 years of experience before their contracts were not renewed. But on the broader issue of the roles importance, we have resoundingly won.

This latest move comes on the back of the Lenny Henry campaign who has demanded that the BBC and other broadcasters ring-fence a minimum amount of money for BME productions.

We can only applaud Harding and others for listening and acting upon sound advice. I guess we’d argue this should not have occurred in the first place, but they’ve listened.

Let’s hope that this latest move marks a new era in which Harding, Hall and others recognise our value and begin the process of ensuring greater representation in middle and senior management, and greater communication with those communities the BBC seeks to serve.

* Simon Woolley is the director of Operation Black Vote (OBV), an organisation that aims to inspire BME communities to engage with public institutions in order to address the persistent race inequalities we face in areas such as: education, health and employment