University students join BBC broadcasting team for Radio 1’s Big Weekend

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Three lucky students were chosen from the University of Bedfordshire

Three lucky students from the University of Bedfordshire have been selected to work with the BBC on their broadcast coverage of the 2024 Radio 1 Big Weekend Luton and the iconic Luton Carnival.

Madison Smith, Amia Clarke, and Ana Gaiao were all chosen from dozens of entries across Luton and will work alongside the team at BBC Three Counties Radio to produce content across the three-day music festival held between 24 – 26 May.

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Madison, Amia and Ana have the opportunity to learn from experienced industry professionals and gain hands-on experience reporting and presenting at a busy live event as part of a paid internship. The trio will shadow the Three Counties team and help produce output to be broadcast as part of the festival coverage.

(left to right) Amia, Ana & Madison(left to right) Amia, Ana & Madison
(left to right) Amia, Ana & Madison

By the end of the weekend, the three students will also create a special programme for BBC Upload which will be broadcast to thousands of listeners across the country.

Journalism student Amia will be covering the Big Weekend on Saturday, which will see a stellar line-up headlined by singer-songwriter Raye. Media Performance student Madison and Journalism & Creative Writing student Ana will team up for Sunday’s coverage, where global superstars Coldplay will close out the festival.

There were tears all around as Three Counties producer and presenter Tara Dolby came down to the University’s Luton campus to surprise the trio with the exciting news.

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Speaking about being chosen, Madison said: “I don’t think I’ll ever have the right words but I’m really excited to get started, I can’t believe it!”

Amia added: “I’m most looking forward to just being around industry professionals – the BBC is a legendary broadcasting system – the level of professionalism in that environment is going to help me grow into the journalist that I really want to be.”

Ana said: “I’m honestly still processing that the BBC saw potential in me and my work. It is truly a great opportunity and an amazing jumpstart to our journalism careers, I couldn't be more grateful.”

Madison, Amia and Ana were chosen after taking part in a special workshop open to media students at the University, where they were asked to submit a short clip exploring what they love about Luton. The clips were then reviewed by the Three Counties team who selected the lucky winners.

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Rachel Clark, Course Coordinator for Media Performance, also congratulated her student Madison on the opportunity: “I went in to see Madison receiving the news that she had won. She was calling her parents to tell them the news and was so excited and pleased. When her mum answered, she didn’t have the words and burst into tears! This was really a special moment and we felt exceptionally proud.”

Keep an eye out on the University’s social media channels – @uniofbeds and @uniofbedsnews – in the run-up to the Big Weekend to see more behind-the-scenes glimpses of their experience.

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