ON JULY 3, we travelled up to Broadcasting House in central London to visit the new, modern base of BBC News after it moved from the old TV Centre in Shepherds Bush. It was also a chance to celebrate 60 years since the first ever BBC news broadcast was made. The original building of Broadcasting House was built in 1933 by Colonel Val Myer, ten years after the BBC was launched and is a grade II listed Art Deco building. The modern extension has been constructed over the last ten years and now brings news, TV, radio and online broadcasting together in the same building. On arrival at the BBC, we were amazed by the towering glass building in front of us that is connected to the original Broadcasting House. There is a statue above the door that we found out is of characters from Shakespeare's The Tempest – Ariel is the "spirit of air" and the BBC see this as represents broadcasting waves. We then had to go through security where the friendly team told us they could identify every item in a school bag, including a lunchbox fork! Then it was straight on to the tour and our first stop – the main newsroom which we looked down on from a balcony. All news departments, including online, radio and local news teams, work together in one massive room and it is very busy, with lots of journalists checking screens at their desks for latest news updates and writing up their reports. We were also shown red lines on the floor that if you step over them, mean you may be spotted in the background on the live news broadcasts. There were lots of giant screens on the walls all over the newsroom showing breaking news coming in from around the world. We spotted news presenter Sophie Raworth working at her desk in front of us, getting ready for her bulletin. As we were walking around the newsroom, a presenter also stepped into a side room and read the weather live on air as we watched. Next it was the turn of some of us to read the news and weather. Lucas was chosen to read the weather and Ben was asked to read the news. We were then shown the rooms where BBC radio shows are broadcast from, including a very comfy theatre where audiences go to watch Radio 4 shows. The One Show is also recorded at Broadcasting House and we found out that politician Hillary Clinton was in that day but best of all, The Vamps were visiting Radio One – so we kept looking out for members of the group for the rest of the tour! We posed with a Dalek on the way out, visited the BBC shop and brand new café, said goodbye to the security team. The BBC newsroom is huge, very lively and much bigger than any of us imagined.
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