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THREAD: My journey into the polite, efficient belly of the beast @ BBC

I'd been asked to contribute a homemade video for #VictoriaLIVE a few months ago but it didn't get used.
This time they wanted me in the studio to talk #LabourSplit. It was a surreal experience. 1/
Phone interview night b4 w/ a nice man. Good Qs & I gave a good account of the left.

Why join Labour?
-socialisms back
-parliament stealing vote
-EU corrupt
-JCs CU has a majority
-no, many reasons
-to stop #JC4PM2019
-not since Pete Willsman
Etc 2/
I'd been waiting a few hours for that phonecall while at work. I missed one on silent & began to worry I'd missed the boat! Would they just go down a list of phone numbers & use whoever answered first?

When the call came it was a portal thrown open. 3/
If only that call had been On Air. It was a succinct deconstruction of the whole shebang. It was beautiful. I daydreamed about saying it all on TV.

I thought 'I hope that wasn't TOO good & I lose my spot!' They rang back to book my train ticket.
I'm goin to London baby! 4/
So I obviously spent the evening wracked with nerves about the impending chance to get some nuggets of truth out on the airwaves, amidst a tsunami of spin as we reach the climax of the only plan the neoliberal parliament has ever had - to steal the brexit result & stop JC. 5/
I messily scribbled notes onto 4 A4 pages. Some killer paragraphs to read verbatim & some bullet points for backup, as per twitter advice.
Got about 3 hours sleep, up at 5am for a 06:45 train from Nottingham to London. Followed some perfect directions to arrive @ BBC on time 6/
Waited in the lobby after a bag scan & photo ID guest pass. Ate a banana & with nowhere to dispose of the skin, I still had it in my hand when a staffer from the show greeted me. Quickly wiped off the banana goop & shook hands. Then thru a secure door to the main building. 7/
I was led around a high balcony overlooking banks of workers like the background of a news room. It probably was the background of a newsroom, i was preoccupied with finding a bin for my banana skin! Up a lift, thru some offices, bin! Woop! Then the Green Room. 8/
Safety pee, then got powdered up to avoid a shiny bonce. Polite chat ensued with the other guests in the Green Room.
I didn't quite manage to gauge their politics, probably cos I was distracted by nerves & trying to lock & load important things to say. 9/
At this point I still didn't know what format the show would be. I'd never watched #VictoriaLIVE. I was expecting to be an audience member who asks a Q!
The other guests seemed super relaxed & all had done BBC before. There was a weird lopsidedness to the panel of speakers. 10/
It was 3 young white middle class females & me. 2 were quite centrist. The 3rd, who sat next to me on the show, was anti-austerity & seemed to have a good knowledge of history but was pro PV. I wasn't on the same page as any of them. I think I spoke the least backstage. 11/
After 20mins we were called into the studio, mic'ed up & led to the sofa. Twitter folk had told me it'd be like a chat format the night b4 but I'd forgotten that. The only advice I remembered was to wiggle my toes, controlled breathing & sit my bum into the back of the seat. 12/
We watched the presenter spin her way thru a video interview w/ @AndyMcDonaldMP who did a good job denouncing the split.
Then a Skype w/ #DerekHatton who impressed (but expelled next day). Then spin doctor #AlistairCampbell stank up the airwaves. Then she walked over to us. 13/
I was super aware of being the only male & about a foot taller than every1.
I had to find a suitable sitting position. It had to be open but not manspreading. Confident but not arrogant. Still, no fidgeting & most importantly, my JC Tee by @THTCCLOTHING had to be visible 14/
I had my shirt buttoned up before going into the studio so I'll never know if they'd have banned the Tee, had they known.
The presenter began asking us questions. The 4 folded up scruffy sheets of A4 in my pocket & my phone full of screen grabs & notes were now useless. 15/
I was definitely not just an audience member as I'd speculated. I would not be able to cram or recite from notes. This was all off the cuff, live. It felt like the other 3 went thru the motions as if doing a voxpops in their local SU, totally relaxed.
My heart was pounding. 16/
Then she came to me. The rest is history. My mouth opened, I didn't recognise my own voice. It felt about an octave higher than usual w/ a nasal drone as if the inside of my head & neck had swollen up.
Inspite of this I managed to drop some truth bombs 17/
A lot of guff was spoken. Even by the pro-JC guest. It was excruciating letting it go unchallenged but being the only dude, if I'd tried to interject it would've looked bad.
I could feel the chat drawing to a close as PV was gettin unanimous support. 18/
When the splitter supporter was halfway thru the last word of her statement I jumped in to explain why a 2nd ref is a ridiculous idea.

That clip has been seen a lot less but is also dynamite. The presenter cut the segment short & I'd had the last word. 19/
And that was it. Smiles were exchanged. We were lead out & de-mic'ed. The other guests didn't have anything to say to me. There was some vague conflict over the utility of a 2nd referendum but I could tell none of them wanted to bond with me in my post-show elation. 20/
I strode out the revolving doors alone as the others hung back, satisfied with my contribution but cursing the lack of time. My points were killer, concise & audible so it hit the mark. And thanks to BFF @brianenoschinos the footage was already secured. A good day's work. 21/
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