On Friday 16th March, English Martyrs was lucky enough to host BBC Radio 4’s legendary ‘Any Questions’ radio show.
The team arrived very early - the distinctive BBC Radio van already in the carpark when I arrived for school. They needed time to set up to ensure the perfect show, which would start at 8pm.
People arrived ready to post their questions for the show in the large box outside St Cecilia’s auditorium -anyone could submit questions, and as many as they liked. We all took our seats and enjoyed the 30-minute warm up by Tony Roe, Political Editor at BBC East Midlands. It was very interesting to listen to him, as he was born and bred in Leicester. The warm up was also where we practiced applauding to test that the sound equipment was working properly - we clapped a lot that night!
When we were introduced to that night’s panellists, Kenneth Clarke MP, Economist Andrew Lilico, Director for the Institute for Government Bronwen Maddox, and Labour MP Shabana Mahmood, we knew that we were in for a good show. Sadly, the usual presenter Jonathan Dimbleby was unwell; so Shaun Ley, presenter of the World At One for Radio 4, took his place. Ten people in all had their questions selected, including a student and two teachers from English Martyrs, and they were invited to sit on the front row of the auditorium ready for the show. One question that was selected was posed by Lloyd King, in the Sixth Form. He asked, ‘Has Jeremy Corbyn shown that, if in power, he would allow world superpowers to walk all over Britain?’ He got some great answers from the panellists. It was a great atmosphere overall, and the audience got really involved which surprised me (they even booed at a panellist at one point!).
The audience also got a chance to meet the panellists after the show which was an amazing opportunity. I got to meet three of the panellists and even got to ask them a question I had posted in the box before the show.
I enjoyed hearing such different viewpoints on current affairs from a variety of public figures that evening, which has helped me to consider alternative views of my own. It has also helped make me look at current affairs and politics in a whole new light. I will listen to the show on the radio in the future!
You can find the show on the BBC Radio 4 iPlayer website.