BBC Election 2015 debate at Gateshead College


Budding young politicians, technicians and theatre crew got to work with BBC Look North this week when producers chose Gateshead College as the setting for a local election debate.

With just eight days until the general election, BBC Look North (North East and Cumbria) broadcast a local election debate ‘Election 2015’ from the college’s Baltic Campus theatre on April 29.

Nine media and production students worked with the BBC’s crew to set-up over two-days for the Question Time-style televised debate while three A Level Politics students sat in the audience and their class-mates enjoyed the privilege of seeing the show on an exclusive live-feed.          

Holly Fox, 17, is studying on a Level 3 Production Arts programme at Gateshead College and worked with the BBC to set-up for, and run, the debate.

She said: “Working with the BBC crew was an amazing experience and I really enjoyed having the chance to be so hands-on and do something really practical.

“I already know that I want to work in the technical theatre or the arts industry; I’m still in my first year at college so I’m still deciding on what career path to take. It’s fantastic that at Gateshead College you get opportunities like this, to work with industry professionals and gain valuable experience. It will certainly help me in the future, whichever role I choose to go into.”

The debate included five local party representatives Guy Opperman - Conservative candidate for Hexham, Julie Elliott - Labour candidate for Sunderland Central, Helen Flynn - Liberal Democrat candidate for Harrogate and Knaresborough, Phillip Broughton - UKIP candidate for Hartlepool and Jill Perry - Green candidate for Workington.

Topics discussed included education, unemployment, the benefits system, immigration and the National Health Service.

The 40-minute show was filmed at 6pm and was broadcast at 10.50pm the same evening, though the crew were on site working with students to set up and prepare all day on April 28 and 29.

To watch the BBC Look North (North East and Cumbria) Election 2015 click here.