Chadwell Heath Academy students wowed by expert advice on trip to BBC HQ

Students from Chadwell Heath Academy received talks about the media industry from a number of profes

Students from Chadwell Heath Academy received talks about the media industry from a number of professionals during a visit to BBC HQ last week. Photo: BBC - Credit: Archant

Would-be singers, broadcasters and music producers had a day to remember last week when they visited BBC studios in central London.

The sixth formers from Chadwell Heath Academy, in Christie Gardens, Chadwell Heath, also met up with former students who had gone on to careers in the media industry to pick their brains.

They also had the chance to quiz industry experts, working for the BBC, about how best to get ahead in the media.

To top it off, they also got an exclusive tour of the BBC’s Radio One, 1Xtra and Asian Network radio studios in New Broadcasting House.

Student Blue Thompson, 18, lives in Brentwood and one day hopes to become a music producer himself.

After the educational visit to the BBC, he said: “I gained a much better insight into how to get into the music industry.

“There are many different paths for me to potentially go down - I’ve just got to get out there and do it.”

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Tommy Sandhu, a DJ and presenter at BBC Asian Network, is well known for his breakfast show every weekday morning.

He spoke to the students, reminiscing on his own experiences trying to get a job in the media industry.

“I was really lucky,” he told the assembled teenagers.

“I had a few good people who gave me opportunities.

“The main thing is, don’t let people tell you what you can and can’t do – you guys have all the power.”

The students were then introduced to former Chadwell Heath Academy student Mawaan Rizwan, who left the school in 2009.

Since then he has gone on to gain success as an actor, presented and comedian.

In 2015 he starred in a BBC Three Documentary called How Gay is Pakistan?, and now hosts his own radio show on the BBC Asian Network,

“When I started out I didn’t know anyone who worked in radio or TV,” he said.

“Having come from a BME working class background, information and resources were limited.”

Teacher Andy Philipson took the Chadwell Heath Academy students on the trip, and helped lead their discussions with experts over the course of the morning sessions.

“Whilst the kids were a bit shy at first, they were all properly buzzing when we left, saying what they’re going to do, make, and change about how they do things,” he said.