Alice Fuller pitches her extraordinary doc idea at Podium Training 2019

“I want to make a documentary about poo!” – it wasn’t the opening line I’d intended to give when asked to pitch an idea for a BBC Radio 4 documentary.

But having spent the day hearing from journalists and producers at the #podiumtraining19 day at Google HQ in London, that’s what I came out with – an idea for an in-depth look at food allergies and intolerances.

During the day, myself and 80 other aspiring media professionals heard from journalists, podcast producers, social change campaigners and audio specialists. The topics ranged from the process of producing a BBC Radio 1 documentary, to pitching your ideas to commissioning editors.

Anna Siwecka
Anna Siwecka on how to start your own podcast

Stephen Titherington from the BBC World Service gave an inspiring opening speech about making engaging content. He gave some great examples about how to attract audiences, even when you don’t have the latest and greatest equipment.

Sky News treated us to two speakers. Louise Hastings discussed the different ways to enter journalism, as well as what was happening in the newsroom that day. It was the day Theresa May announced her resignation, so they made a swift exit to get back to duty.

It was great to hear from Kumba Kpakima and her route into the field. She chose a Sky News apprenticeship over university and recently won a Young Journalist Award. She told us how her first ever documentary now has over one million views on YouTube – impressive for someone so young!


Sky News
Sky News stories

Sam Bailey was recently appointed Managing Director of the Audio Content Fund and was interested to hear about the barriers young audio producers face. There was a consensus that a lack of funding, studio space and high-quality equipment are the most significant factors preventing us from producing the content we would like to. I was happy to hear that funding will hopefully soon be available for journalists.

Throughout the day we also heard from: producer and reporter Simona Rata; executive producer Sue Bowerman; Broadcast journalist Josie Verghese from BBC Young Reporter; Safiyyah and Mya from RevolYOUtion; David Prest from Audiotrain; and podcast producer Anna Siwecka.

The highlight of the day was when we were each given the chance to pitch our podcast or documentary ideas to the commissioning editor at BBC Radio 4, Mohit Bakaya. There were some fantastic ideas – everything from a young person’s experience of narcolepsy to the crisis of finding student accommodation.

Mohit Bakaya Radio 4
Mohit Bakaya

It was a wonderfully supportive environment with the audience whooping and clapping after each pitch. I still can’t quite believe I got up on stage and said (to the man I hope to one day be my boss!), I’d like to make a radio documentary all about poo.

I left feeling optimistic and inspired. Anyone who says audio is dying is wrong and that was proven at #podiumtraining19. See you next year!

Blog by Alice Fuller


#podiumtraining19 Photographs by Hardeep Kaur Dhadda

Podium Film Makers

Louise Schofield and Caroline Hailstone at the Creative Collisions event for

Louise said, ‘At Creative Collisions it was really great to get stuck into and be involved with  a topic that young people feel so strongly about and to be able to openly express what should and needs to change. It was great experience in both journalism and presenting and really opened up a whole new experience for me and I learnt loads of new techniques to go forward in my career with. The team were also ace to work with and it was a fantastic event to be a part of.’ Louise Schofield

Caroline added, ‘Creative Collisions is the biggest Charity event the UK has ever seen, and our job was to collect interviews throughout the day for a follow-up film. It was my first time on camera, but I got used to it by the end with the support of a strong all-female team! Some of the interviews were truly enlightening and a real insight into issues like social mobility and feminism for young people.’ Caroline Hailstone

See what they helped to make 

‘Out at Sea’ Credits

Abe, Jamie, Cordelia and other drama team members
Abe, Jamie, Cordelia and other drama team members

Out at Sea was written by Abe Buckoke

Performed by Jamie Finn
Editing, recording and sound design by Cordelia Galloway
Additional sound effects *
Music, Breakfast In New York by Stefan Kartenberg (c) copyright 2016 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial  (3.0) license. Ft: Javolenus, Martijn de Boer (NiGiD) (NiGiD)
Directed and produced for by Cordelia Galloway