Take a tour of the BBC at MediaCity UK

Would you like to see the studio where BBC Breakfast is made? Take a tour of the productions floors at MediaCity UK, in Manchester, together with a group of students from Birmingham School of Media.

Facts about MediaCity UK

  • About 3,000 people work here for the BBC, according to Aziz Rashid, Head of BBC North West.
  • BBC Children, BBC Learning, BBC Radio 5 live, BBC Sport, BBC Radio Manchester and BBC Breakfast as well as Religion & Ethics and the BBC Philharmonic are housed here.
  • Around 7,000 people in total work in media production here.
  • ITV’s “Coronation Street” is produced here as well.

The group went on a tour through the production rooms, the studio and the gallery where news are released on air. Aziz Rashid, Head of BBC North West, talked about the advantages of this studio. One of them? Having non-halogen lamps means TV presenters do not feel like their make-up is melting due to the heat generated.

AzizRashidBBCBreakfaststudio

As Aziz Rashid explained, the BBC Breakfast studio has real plasma screens in the background.
A very sleek look. 

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In reality, the BBC Breakfast studio is not as big as it seems on screen. 

The gallery for this studio resembles a star ship, at a first look. And a second. And a third. The only bigger thing I have recently seen comprising so many screens is the NASA centre control room in “The Martian”.

Aziz Rashid pointed out:

Everything needs to be working like a well oiled machine. If it doesn’t, mistakes show on air.

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Just a corner of the “control station” of the BBC Breakfast (and news) ship at MediaCityUK.

BBCMediaCityUKgallery

According to Aziz Rashidon big news they run out of outside sources screens
(upper middle rows, as seen here).

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The sound station, in the same gallery. Looking at all those controls,
don’t you feel a bit lost?

If you want to visit the BBC at MediaCity UK, you have to know you cannot go in and out as you wish. As a visitor, such as this group of students, you will be met at reception and taken exactly to where you need to go. Nor can you get out as you wish. The revolving doors are operated only by magnetic ID cards. Without one, you are stuck there.

The whole building in itself is massive, very contemporary and presents lots of open space. Have a look below.

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Rows and rows of desks for BBC production at MediaCityUK.

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And another production floor.

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“Children in need” is produced on site. 

At the end of the tour, Aziz Rashid gave two main pieces of advice to media students who would want work experience with the BBC. Watch below what he said.

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