BANG Showbiz: Day One

Monday, 28 July 2014

Today was the first day of my fifth and final week of work experience placements this summer. My University course has links with BANG Showbiz so I applied earlier in the year and secured a week at the BANG offices in Kentish Town. I've completed newspaper and magazine work experience, so I knew this was going to be something completely new, exciting and challenging. BANG Showbiz is the world's premier entertainment news agency and provides celebrity news to online, print and broadcast media outlets across the globe. BANG was established in 1997 by Fleet Street showbiz columnist Rick Sky, who was entertainment editor on The Sun, Daily Mirror and Daily Star. From reading other people's experiences online, I got the impression that BANG is very hands-on and they throw students in at the deep end which is both terrifying and exciting. It's an incredible opportunity and I was beyond nervous this morning. Despite having completed other placements, I can never seem to shake first day nerves.

I was expecting it to be nice and sunny today but instead it was horrible, dull and overcast. I wore my black and white high waisted trousers with a black top and black shoes. My friend Abby from Uni - who lives in Leeds - is staying with me for three weeks while she's on placement in London at Stylist magazine, so it's nice that we can travel into London together this week while I'm on placement too. Abby will also be blogging about her time at Stylist so if you want to keep up to date with what she's doing, then visit her blog for daily updates. We got the 8.19 train to Euston and spent the entire journey discussing how nervous we both were. We then went our separate ways as Abby is in a different part of London. I got the Northen Line to Kentish Town which was only two stops away which was a welcome break from having to endure five sweaty stops when I was commuting to Star, so you could say I'm a bit of an underground guru now. I'm so pleased it's the school holidays as the tube was practically empty which was heavenly.

I arrived early and used Google Maps to navigate my way to the building. I'd read online that it was derelict and didn't look like a usual building. The building was surrounded by a metal fence and in all honestly, looked a little abandoned. I knew it was the right one as it has number 28 on the door, so I went and sat in Costa and had a cuppa until it was time to start at 10. I called the office as I didn't quite know how to get in and a lady called Rebecca came and got me. You have to use the side door to access the building and walk through a kitchen and another office. The office is very basic but it was very bright and airy. I arranged the work experience through Tuffy but he wasn't in today so I sat at his desk opposite a lovely freelance girl called Lydia. She was so friendly and chatty and immediately put me at ease. Radio 1 was playing in the background which created a really nice, relaxed and laid back vibe.

My first task was to read the style guide, story format and a range of examples to get a feel for the tone. I then had to read a lengthy Liam Gallagher/Beady Eye article and write as many stories from it as possible. I started this just before 11 and it took me right up until 1pm when Rebecca said I could take lunch. It was lovely and sunny so I found somewhere to sit and ate. At 2 I headed back to the office and read the Metro while James read my stories. I managed to write eight from the interview and he said they were all good and that I'd gotten to grips with the style which I was pleased with. I found out that another one of the girls working there will be doing a masters in broadcast journalism at Nottingham Trent in September. It's such a small world! She was lovely and we chatted about that which was nice.

James then gave me the Stella supplement from The Sunday Telegraph and I had to write stories from a Zoe Saldana interview. She made a name for herself in Avatar and is in the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy film. That took me right up until 4.30 and James read my stories and said once again, I'd written to their specific style, only giving me one pointer which I made a note of. He didn't have anything else for me to complete so said I could head home. I hopped on the tube which was nice and empty and arrived at Euston at 5. I grabbed a hot chocolate from Cafe Nero, sat outside and read my book while I waited for Abby to finish. Today went really quickly and I enjoyed the tasks I was set. I have no idea what's in store for the rest of the week but I'm eager to learn more and take every opportunity I'm given.

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