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So a few weeks ago, an Email popped up.
It was from the BBC.
Now, I’ve done a few things with the BBC in the past, so before I even read it it, my mind was like, yeah, sure, anytime!
So what was it all about?
BBC News World Service wanted to record a programme in Berlin!
This wouldn’t be the travel documentary that I was supposed to be a part of in 2020, you know, in the middle of the pandemic, but a radio show.
This radio show is called BBC World Questions, and they wanted to host a live debate in which they would bring together leading politicians and the public, to discuss the issues that matter most to people in Germany.
Would I be interested in press accreditation, and being a participant in a live audience setting?
Thanks very much!
Well, BBC World Service is an international news service available on radio, television and online.
It provides impartial news reports and analysis in English and 40 other languages!
BBC World Questions is a series of international events created in partnership with the British Council.
Gwenan Roberts, Commissioning Editor, BBC World Service English, said: “I’m delighted that we are partnering with the British Council for World Questions in Germany in May, and I’m very much looking forward to the debate and to hearing what issues matter most to the German audience and panel.”
Paul Smith, Director of the British Council in Germany, said: “The British Council is always delighted to partner with the BBC, who are world leaders in reporting global issues. This will be a great opportunity to hear German public opinion on issues that affect us all.”
This is the very same British Council who invited me to a small intimate gathering of drinks, cocktails and general genteel merriment with Prince William and Kate Middleton!
As well as an invitation from the British Ambassador – for the Royal Wedding Reception of Prince Harry & Meghan Markle, in which we all dressed up, wore our wedding hats, cheered on the lovely couple and had High Tea and wedding cake!
Thanks again, they were both quite lovely!
But I digress …
The debate took place in one of the gorgeous rooms at the Humboldt Graduate School, a stone’s throw from the Charité in Berlin!
Yes, the very same the Charité depicted in Netflix!
This debate, chaired by Jonny Dymond, featured leading German politicians political influencers and would also include questions from a live audience at the lovely Humboldt University.
The actual recording took place on May 11th, 2022 and would be heard all around the world on May 14th, 2022, and beyond!
I was all set to leave my home in a timely manner, but would you believe it, the zip on my nice new dress got stuck!
I tried to move the zip up!
My husband – The Music Producer – tried to move the zip down!
But the zip simply wouldn’t budge!
Right, let’s get OUT of the dress and wear another one.
That didn’t work either.
In the end, he had to cut me out of it!
It was a lovely dress too, which I had only worn once …
Anyway, I was running late!
When I got to the Humboldt Graduate School, I took a few photographs than galloped up the stairs, all puffed out and in a bit of a flurry!
All the niceties over, re-personal identification and vaccine check-up, then I rushed up the stairs again for the pre-debate reception function.
Thankfully, there was a gentle hum of conversation, lots of drinks and nibbles, and a lovely group of people.
While having our nibbles, we were asked to write the questions that we wanted to ask, on a special BBC World Questions card, and if they were interesting enough, might get included in the actual debate.
Most of the questions would be connected to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, weapon supplies to Ukraine, the energy embargo, climate change, new energy sources, economics, German politics, Europe, and the recession in Germany.
I wrote two questions that weren’t included but I did get to ask two different questions to the panel, and you can actually hear my voice in the debate, so that was nice!
The participants of the debate were:
Three hours later, the programme was over.
The debate was brilliant and very lively.
Both Jonny Dymond and the funny guy from the British Council in Germany, were both hilarious and there was great input from the audience.
It’s so rare that you get to genuinely share your opinions with the power-makers, and people who can actually get things done.
And judging by the clapping, tough questions and robust comments, the audience agreed!
After a bit of chit-chat with members of both the British Council in Germany, and the BBC, I was invited for after-event supper at the charming home of Paul Smith – the Director of the British Council in Germany, and his delightful wife.
The company was cheerful and the spread was delightful.
And a very nice evening was had by all!
BBC World Questions: Germany was broadcast on BBC World Service on Saturday 14 May and is available online here!
Go for it!
BBC World Service delivers news content around the world in English and 41 other language services, on radio, TV and digital.
The BBC attracts a weekly global audience of 489m people to its services available internationally, including BBC World Service, BBC World News television channel, bbc.com/news, BBC Studios and the international charity, BBC Media Action.
For more information, Click Here!
The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities.
They build connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education and the English language.
Founded in 1934, they are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body with a reach of 75 million+ people directly and 758 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications.
For more information, Click Here!
The British Council in Germany builds connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education and the English language.
It’s been in Germany since 1959 and connects with thousands of students, educators, policymakers, academics, researchers, creatives and entrepreneurs in Germany.
For more information, Click Here!
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Victoria, congratulations on being a part of this debate. I laughed at the stuck in a new dress, but at least you made it there in time.
Thanks so much Gilda! I was so stressed out and really worried that the doors would be closed before I got there!
All the same I made it, and the debate was really, really good. 😀