Wednesday, June 18, 2008


It all started last Thursday, when the teacher who I help run Film Club with said to me, "Is your hairdresser open tomorrow?"

Completely flummoxed by the question, I didn't know what to say. After all, I just had my hair cut, and I even recently purchased a HAIR STRAIGHTENER, which, believe me, was the source of much mirth and merriment in the house. In any case, my friend went on to explain that BBC's Newsround would be visiting our school Friday. 

The boys were beyond excited. You would have thought that Christmas arrived early. As anyone Of A Certain Age (read 8-14) in the U.K. knows, Newsround is the children's BBC news program broadcast every day. 

We thought about what we would say. We thought about what we would wear. I'd like to say that I brushed the boy's hair in anticipation, but we only do that twice a year on school picture day (whether they need it or not).

We got to our school's ICT suite at the appointed time and met Helen, the reporter, and Ushma, the camerawoman. They were incredibly nice, and seemed genuinely chuffed that the children were so excited to meet them. As a journalist, I have to say they were incredibly skilled in making sure that all the children got a chance to be on camera, and also had a really good manner with them all, while also getting the story done.

All in all, they spent more than an hour and a half at the school, filming interviews, reaction shots and introductions. Helen and Ushma carefully explained that even though they were there a long time, it wouldn't all be on newsround. As it was, the report lasted about a minute long (which in TV time, isn't half-bad.)

I didn't have anything to do with who they picked to talk to, but Thing One was interviewed and they used his response (see below). They also did a pretty cute shot of kids reacting to the movie, which included Thing Two, but they ended up not using that. During the shoot, I was busy trying to stay out of the way, while also fetching cold glasses of water and opening and shutting the blinds on demand. (As I actually used my hair straightener that day, I was somewhat disappointed that I didn't get interviewed. But it's all about the kids. Really.)

When the big day came, we....missed it. We only found out that it was broadcast Tuesday morning, when a boy from the school walked up to Thing One and said, "I saw you on telly this morning." His mother later told me she thought her son was kidding when he saw his schoolmates on TV. "You know how it is," she said. "You're trying to get them ready and out the door. I didn't actually believe him."

Since we don't watch TV on school days (that's right. I am a Mean Mother) I had no idea that Newsround is on several times a day. What do we know? We watch the news reports on the Interweb. In any case, my friend the computer whiz was able to download the video from yesterday. It'll be up on this site until the BBC lawyers find me. 

Needless to say, we were thrilled with our one minute of fame. 

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