Travelling up to Glasgow was needless to say ‘an experience’, having travelled into central cities (London, Coventry) I stupidly thought I would be used to having to battle for my seats. Glasgow’s train was absolutely rammed; spending the first hour stood up in a cramped carriage near the doors I was relieved when I finally got onto a seat.
Looking out the window, the scenery coming through Carlisle was absolutely breathtaking; mountains covered in fog, the fields spreading as far as you could possibly see. The nervousness set in when I got a chance to sit and think about what I was doing, I was travelling to Glasgow to meet the BBC and be filmed. What a shock!! I know I have met John Barrowman already, but that was a surprise and the adrenaline took over whereas now I knew my fate.
Arriving in Glasgow was a shock to the system, the central shopping mall having the variety of shops seen in Milton Keynes, but the ‘buzz’ of the town was similar to London. Walking through the streets, it’s clear to see that Glasgow is very proud of its heritage. There are pieces of history throughout the town at every turn. Taking an early morning stroll through the city the stunning views along the Clyde were steeped in history and unveiled their own mysteries as I started to wander across the bridges that traversed it. From the Glasgow bridge there are some round columns that are inscribed with the words ‘All goodness stands firm in the storm’. They then have the words inscribed beneath in what appears to be Greek.
I espy another bridge not far away and as I make my way towards it the Bankside reveals another of its treasures. On the opposite bank a mural of a tiger, 20 feet tall is emblazoned across a wall. On closer inspection it is revealed that there are further murals around the City depicting each of the twelve symbols of the Chinese calendar.
The architecture of this city is breathtaking. Turning the corner into a side street known only as “The Italian Centre”, I would never have expected to see a building as stunning as that I was presented with. Dark stone walls lead up to a three-arched bridge which acted as an entrance to a stunning building very like a castle. One of the many features of the building was a gorgeous teal dome with a beautiful gold cross atop.
The feel of the city was so different than I am used to at home, it was a busy as I am used to, however, the attitude of the people was so refreshing. Everyone was happy to go out of their way to help. Sunday morning was amazing to experience, waking up in the early hours of the morning, I expected the town to be slightly busy as it is at home but it was deathly quiet. While taking a stroll down the high street to take in the sights, you could visibly see the city wake up and start to come alive. By the time we started to make our way back to the hotel, the city was buzzing.
The city was so relaxed that I have made a life-changing decision. After completing my studies, I fully intend to move to Glasgow and work for BBC Scotland. This came as quite a shock as I have spent years absolutely adamant that my future lay in London, yet the experience has changed that view completely. I’m already looking into work experience to try to make it happen.
Getting ready to go to the studios I was very nervous, although I knew that I had completed my ‘surprise’, I didn’t know quite what to expect at the studios. Once we arrived, a very pleasant man named Rory took us through the particularly thorough security and up into the dressing room. Sitting amongst the band, there was a very relaxed but excited atmosphere amongst the people. Although it was very hard to relax when I knew I had to network as well. The staff, Rory in particular, did everything they could to make sure that we were all ok and had what we needed.
After sitting in the dressing room for an hour and a half, we were escorted down into the main studio to take our seats in the audience as guests.
I had a microphone on, hidden under my cardigan, and sat to enjoy the show. A man named Kevin warmed up the audience, using comedy to relax us whilst explaining the safety rules of the show. When John came on, the audience erupted into applause and were cheering for him.
As the first dance routine began, everyone was on their feet singing and dancing. What a show man, he put on an amazing performance before introducing the first guest.
As soon as the VT of the first guest came on, I was flooded with just two emotions. Guilt and humility; this gentleman had served in the war, raised money for charity and helped support other members of the forces when they returned home. I was in shock; all I had done was looked after my mother and been born with a hearing problem. I should not have been on the show.
This gentleman’s wish was to sing Swing music with a real live band and John had brought him into the studios and let him play “The way you look tonight” with the studios band. The smile that spread across his face when he began singing was addictive to say the least and the voice was fantastic.
The second guest was a young girl who had been diagnosed with chronic pain syndrome and had slowly started to let it get her down and her dream was to sing. She had always enjoyed singing as it took her mind off of the pain she was constantly feeling. John made her wish come true as she got to sing “Valerie” live on stage with Alicia Dixon. I am in complete awe of this girl, she was so confident on stage, knowing exactly what she was doing. As for her voice, this girl could have a seriously successful career in the future.
Then it was my turn, and the VT showed the moment I was surprised by John and how I backed away from him. They kept in a clip of me saying I have loved him since I was little, so I was a little embarrassed to say the least. Still I finally got to see my weather report, and I have to say, I looked a lot calmer on the television than I felt that day. Next obstacle was having to talk to John, who was now sitting right beside me wanting to ask me some questions about the day.
The set was fantastic, and although filming took four hours, John had more than enough time for the audience, asking them questions and entertaining them in-between filming. The time flew by and before I knew it, it was all over. Just as I was heading out into the rain, I was stopped by Rory who invited all of us up to the dressing room for a drink. When I arrived, all the guests were in the room and I took the opportunity to tell them how fantastic they had been.
I was slightly disappointed that John hadn’t had time to come and see us after the show but I understand he was very busy and was flying home to Cardiff straight after the show.
I would like to take this chance to say THANK YOU to my mum, Shelly, Lisa and Iain who made it all happen. Also a big thank you to the production crew who made me feel at home every step of the way, they were truly amazing and have inspired me to carry on and shown me I really can make it.