What a week… It was one that started like any other but ended with an unexpected TV appearance live on BBC World News!
On Wednesday afternoon, I received a call from a BBC journalist. They were going to cover a remarkable story and they wanted me to comment on it live on the Global with Matthew Amroliwala show at BBC Broadcasting House in the heart of Central London.
BBC World News is the BBC’s international news and current affairs TV channel and, according to the producer, has the largest audience of any BBC channel, with an estimated 100 million weekly viewers. Gulp — no pressure, right?
But I don’t believe in hesitating when life throws you an amazing opportunity. My philosophy is: jump — you might swim! Regardless of any nerves, I had no doubt that it would be the experience of a lifetime. This is what I love about being a blogger: a job that demands you keep your finger on the pulse of your industry means that anything can happen at any time, a story, an opportunity, a news item, and you have to be able to react at lightning speed.
Less than 24 hours later, I found myself being whisked to BBC HQ. I spent two minutes with the producer, then briefly into make up and straight into the studio. I was mic-ed up, introduced to my fellow panelists, shown my place on the round table by the floor manager, and straight onto air!
It was such a unique insight into the world of live news production. There was no rehearsal, no introductory meeting to the delightful presenter (Matthew Amroliwala), no idea what questions would be put to us (other than what was discussed in general over the phone with the journalist the day before), no chance to rehearse our answers or have an idea of how we might perform… we were entered in the studio and LIVE ON AIR!
Exhilarating is the word and it really was the most thrilling ‘pinch me’ feeling speaking live at the Headquarters of the BBC, the largest broadcaster in the world. I jumped — and I found that I was able to swim.
You can watch my interview via the Youtube Video at the top of this post. It’s an engaging discussion between me, Zaki Wahhaj and Brienna Perelli-Harris (who between the three of us, represent three continents across the globe). We each gave our take on how attitudes towards marriage are changing across the world.
So back to the remarkable story that prompted our panel discussion. BBC World TV News run a series called 100 women where they explore the lives of empowering and interesting women across the world. As part of this, they were running the story on a young woman from Pakistan who has chosen to defy her family expectations of arranged marriage to pursue her career goals. Naema really is an exceptional woman, and I urge you to watch her short film, which preceded our discussion.
The lesbian Jewish-Hindu wedding that I mention in the interview is Yana & Archita’s Jewish Hindu wedding that I lovingly blogged last year. More details about the Indian reader writing to me, that I was truly touched by, can be found here.
It was such a fascinating topic, and I was honoured to have taken part in the discussion. It was a wonderful moment in Smashing the Glass history and a thrilling life experience that I will cherish forever.
Today BBC live news; tomorrow, the world!
Yana & Archita’s same sex mixed faith wedding lovingly blogged on Smashing The Glass