News Day


In words: Its 1:30 and Nana-Ama reporting

Airstrike Hits Gaddafi Compound

Nana-Ama Akpoblu

Duration: 55 seconds (with audio)

Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s private residence has been destroyed as allied airstrikes pounded Libya for a second night.

Smoke was seen rising from within the heavily fortified compound which houses Col Gaddafi’s private quarters as well as military barracks and other installations.

William Gortney pentagon’s spokesman made it clear that the Libyan dictator himself was not a target. “We are not going after Gaddafi” He said.

A Libyan official reported that 64 people had been killed in strikes at the weekend.

Libyan officials took reporters into three-storey building destroyed by shrapnel apparently from last night’s missile. It was unclear where Col Gaddafi was at the time of the missile strike.  Gaddafi’s forces have however continued despite a ceasefire announced by the Libyan authorities.

Downing Street said that Col Gaddafi remained in breach of his obligations under last week’s UN resolution.

Nuclear Plant Workers Evacuated

Nana-Ama Akpoblu

Duration: 40 seconds

Workers have been evacuated from Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan after a plume of smoke rose from one of the reactors. Tokyo Electric Power Company spokesman Hiroshi Aizawa said the firm was investigating after the light grey smoke was seen rising from unit three of the spent fuel storage.

Japan’s nuclear safety agency reports that the Radiation levels however have not risen after the smoke was spotted.

Food products near the Fukushima nuclear plant were found to contain levels of radioactive iodine far higher than the legal limits. However, China and South Korea have announced plans to toughen checks on Japanese food.

Search continues for missing Swindon woman

Nana-Ama Akpoblu

Duration: 30 seconds

Police are still searching for a young woman who went missing after leaving a Swindon nightclub on Saturday.

Sian O’Callaghan, 22, who is a recent of Swindon has not been seen or heard from since. Police are searching a forest area after it was thought a call was made from her mobile phone.

Ch Insp Mike Jones said officers were talking to Miss O’Callaghan’s family and gathering information about her.

Officers also say, they a have reason to believe she may have visited the Marlborough area after leaving the nightclub.

Miss O’Callaghan is 5ft 3in tall with brown asymmetrical hair and green eyes. She was last seen wearing a black bolero-style jacket over her grey dress and flat boots.

Police say they are aware of previous assaults in a club toilet in 2008 but they are focusing on the here and now.

Two Children Found Dead In Bristol House Fire

Nana-Ama Akpoblu

Duration: 40 seconds

Two boys, both under the age of 10, were discovered by fire-fighters tackling a serious fire that broke out at a property in Bristol.

Their parents and siblings manage to escape the house before the arrival of the emergency service at 6:30am this morning.

William Roberts, duty manager at Avon Fire and Rescue Service said the fire was fully developed and engulfing the first floor and roof space when the crew arrived.

Four fighters wearing breathing apparatus attacked the fire using two fire-fighting jets, discovered the bodies of two children on the first floor.”

Mr Roberts described the children’s’ deaths as a “tragedy” and confirmed the cause of the fire was being investigated.

Blaze scorched

Nana-Ama Akpoblu

Duration: 40 seconds (with audio)

The Belfast Giants won with a 7-2 against the Coventry Blaze at the sky dome last night and it was a thrashing.

Greg Owen scored both Coventry goals as they suffered their 10th defeat in their last 11 games.

With Sheffield Steelers being crowned champions and Cardiff Devils finishing second, Blaze and Giants will now meet in a two-legged play-off quarter-final.

The sides meet in Belfast on 27 March and return to Coventry on 28 March.

Library service budget cuts

Nana-Ama Akpoblu

Duration: 20 seconds

Warwickshire County Council will ask people to give their views over the next 12 weeks as the council has proposed closing 16 out of the 34 building because of the reduced budget.

Councillor Colin Hayfield said a review of the libraries network and opening times was taking place, with consultations being held. A council spokesman said it must cut £2m from its £7.4m across all services.

Out words: That is the latest, Nana-Ama Akpoblu reporting

Reflection on Newsday

Newsday’s came with a sense of excitement and anticipation. I arrived earlier than the stated arrival time which was to come at 9 o’clock am. I was apprehensive about the prospect of working as real journalist for the day but all the same I looked forward to what the day will bring.

After signing in, we were briefed on the day’s task and allowed to get on with our work. I spent the time gathering news contents from CNN, IRN, BBC and SKY newsroom. The reason for using different news sources was to ensure all the news I reported run sequentially and all quoted figures on news reports were correct.

To give the audience an all round coverage of what was happening around the world, I gathered two international news, two regional news and two local news.

The stories were straightforward to gather however it was difficult to concentrate on writing them up. This was because there was a lot going on around me as everybody was busy preparing their news content. I regained concentration minutes later on because I knew the experience would be similar to what I would face if I working as a real journalist.

I read the stories as I typed and reworded them. Additionally I changed my allocated time slot to an earlier one because I felt I would be able to have my news bulletins ready.

In the air studio, I started the news bulletins very confidently however I stuttered once and that ruined the rest of the reading. I was however happy that I did not stop amidst the reading because of my mistake. The reason for my stuttering was because I only rehearsed the first three bulletins and was confident with them however the last three I brushed through before going on air.

Additionally I lost focus because at a point I thought to myself how well I was doing on air hence the inner excitement threw me off balance therefore I have learned to keep the excitement for later.

New days on the overall brought with it a sense of achievement. I was however disappointed I went over the required minutes. I do realise that if I was hosting a programme on air and I went over, that would be eating into someone else’s time slot therefore I would do my best to keep to the required time limit the next I go on air.

As mentioned earlier, stuttering in my airing left me really disappointed about my day and my performance. I have learnt that to be an effective broadcaster, I need to be confident and not lose focus when reading, work to meet the deadline and also rehearse thoroughly before going on-air.




 Nana-Ama Akpoblu                                                            Total duration: 2’47”


“Then she rode forth clothed on with chastity:

   The deep air listen’d round her as she rode,

   And all the low wind hardly breathed for fear.”

 Lady Godiva the legend still lives.

The poem of Alfred Lord Tennyson that made lady Godiva the legend she is today.

Nana-Ama Akpoblu reports

Lady Godiva is described as a noble Anglo-Saxon woman who has existed for a hundreds of years. The legend has it that she rode naked through the streets of Coventry. The legend is kept alive with the celebration of the lady Godiva festival celebrated annually in July.

Despite the controversies surrounding her existence, Paul Thompson keeper and collections Coventry heritage argues the Godiva was not only a real person but an important figure to Coventry:



IN WORDS: Godiva was a real lady…

Out words: ….Coventry was the biggest one

DURATION: 1’06”]

Ali Wells keeper and collection of social history and natural history from the Herbert art gallery explains that lady Godiva could be seen as more than a representation of the earliest histories.  


NAME: Ali Wells

IN WORDS: She represents some of the earliest history…

OUT WORDS: …put Coventry on the map.

DURATION: 0’20”]

Andrew Mealey, Senior Librarian at the Coventry historic centre stated that the people of Coventry are aware of lady Godiva and her statue is also a strong reminder to them: 


Name: Andrew Mealey

In words: Coventry people have always been aware of…

Out words: … connection is with the city. 

Duration: 0’17”]

Nana-Ama Akpoblu reporting, with the story if Coventry city’s most prominent historic figure.

Reflection on News package

Lady Godiva is an important historic figure to the people of Coventry and most often the story of Coventry is not told without her.  My news package was therefore centred on her to recapture the story of this amazing Anglo-Saxon woman who has lived through the centuries.

The legend is she rode naked through the streets of Coventry to relive the tax her husband Leofric had imposed upon the people. Nonetheless, there are controversies surrounding her existence as some still doubt if she rode naked or even existed at all.

Visitors to the city centre are always amazed by her statue which stands in Broad gate. Therefore my chosen topic was of news value as the Lady Godiva festival is celebrated annually.

Speaking to three expects at the Herbert Art gallery I was able to gather enough background information to help me construct my news package. Initially I wanted to go to the city council to see what information I could be provided with in regards to my news package however I realised the Herbert Gallery is enriched with a variety of experts on my chosen subject.

I was anxious about going to the Herbert to speak to speak to anyone let alone ask for an interview. I have been to the Herbert on a number of occasions but that was solely as a hobby to explore the art display.

Finally, I summed up the courage to go as the work had to be done. The lady at the reception was extremely help and friendly. She directed me to the right person to speak to. After introducing myself and telling him my reason for coming I booked an appointment to see him the next day if possible.

Fear and disappointment began to kick in when I started to get an out-of office automated reply from the other experts I needed to speak to. The hope of meeting the deadline for my package was shuttered as this messages stated that they were on annual leave.

However, I had a very successful interview with the gentleman I met earlier on named Paul Thompson who is one of historians in the Herbert gallery. I was lucky enough to obtain a second interview from one of his colleagues who willingly spoke to me even though it was short notice. The open questions I designed were useful in soliciting the response I needed for the package.

By the end of the day I was regaining my confidence which was lost. Two days later, I received an email from one of the experts I had to speak to saying they would be back to work on Thursday. The email also said, even although his designated area of work was closed to the public, he is willing to give me an interview if I can make the appointment. By this time things were looking brighter and my package might meet the deadline after all.

After all the interviews were obtained, came the dreadful task of uploading them on Adobe audition. I kept fiddling with strange buttons on the Adobe soft ware and putting the final product of my news package together seemed impossible. The software was sophisticated and high-tech and the more I panicked whilst using it the worse my results turned out.

Paul my technician lecturer was very instrumental in taking me through the procedure on how to operate Adobe. More so, I realised that although we had gone through using Adobe audition in class, we didn’t have as many clips to practise on therefore when it was time to uploaded and operate an original clip from scratch, I was found wanting. When I gain composure of using Adobe, I operated the normalise and level adjusting function with ease. This was to keep the voices in my package consistent.

Having successfully done it all, I feel a deep sense of accomplishment. Also I found myself helping some of my course mates who were also encountering difficulty operating Adobe audition. On the overall, the use of sound effect was effective because it tied in well with my package.

Court Report


An underage young man appeared in court charged with armed robbery.

Nana-Ama Akpoblu

Duration: 26”]

Court report

A young man who was found guilty of attempted robbery and theft was today sentence at the Coventry Crown Court.

The juvenile who cannot be name for legal reasons has been sentenced to eighteen months detention and training.

Presiding Judge Gregory took into account the difficult circumstances surrounding the child’s upbringing which could have subsequently resulted in his delinquent behaviour.

The trail was seen as a fair one and the hearing was successful.

Nana-Ama reporting from Coventry Crown Court

Reflection on Court report

Going to court and filling a written and an audio report was not something I thought I would have the opportunity of doing on a Journalism module. For a few weeks, I felt I was attending a law class instead of journalism one. Hearing about people’s past experience about going to court left me really scared about carrying on. However it needed to be done as I couldn’t fully participate in the module without a court attendance.

Prior to going into court I found myself thinking if somehow I unknowing breeched the court’s code of practise and got a fined or winded up in jail that would be the end of my university education. The prospect of that happening made me more fearful. Nonetheless the legal aspect of the lectures was very helpful in calming me down. I attended my lectures religiously and I knew if I paid close attention to what was been taught and adhered to the code of practice in court then my university education would not be short lived after all.

The day in court was a tensed one as the whole atmosphere was not something I was accustomed to. However I was not apprehensive while going through security checks at the court house. This was because I had nothing to hide neither was I carrying anything I wasn’t suppose to such as hidden cameras or secret recording devices which were definitely not allowed in court. The Edirol I was carrying was taken from me which I expected and I also handed over the camera I had in my bag.

I met a few of my course mates on the day I went to court and that was helpful as it calmed me down. My course mates spoke to the clerk and I stood and listened because I didn’t have the courage to approach him. The clerk was very helpful as he made it clear which hearings were taking place that day hence I was able to make a clear note of the ones time would allow me to sit through.

Sitting in the pressing bench and making notes like a real journalist I’m aspiring to be was an amazing experience. It gave me an idea of what to expert in my professional world. The look on the faces of lawyers and other court attendants was definitely intimidating. I assumed they were thinking why a number of students were in court that morning.

Being shouted at to sit down did not make it any better. I mistakenly stood to speak to a course mate just as a trial began. The judged called the name of the accused and coincidentally then was when I stood to speak to my course mate. I walked back to my seat deeply embarrassed and not knowing where to hide my face as I could feel everyone in the court room was staring at me.

I attended more than three hearing however I decided to filled my report about 15 year old was guilty of robbery. Knowing he was underage I was careful not to name him in my report. The clerk was also very helpful in providing us more background information about the trial.

I found the trail of the 15 year old very shocking the charges levelled against him were unbelievable for a 15 year old. This exposure brought to my attention the harsh realities of life which was a miles away from court trials on TV.

Additionally the ‘killer’ stares from the young man on trial’s family were very frightening therefore I was cautious about leaving the courtroom the same time as his family. Nonetheless I knew if I complied with the journalist code of practise, I should not feel threaten in anyway.

Filling the audio report was another experience I found extremely exciting. Standing outside Coventry court with onlookers passing by while I read out my report was somewhat embarrassing but yet amazing. In order not to be in contempt, I filled my report contemporaneously. The recorded script was within the 20 to 30 seconds limit as required by the assessment criterion and after a few takes I decided on which audio recording to pick for my portfolio.

Using west midland as my border I could have gone to other court hearing in different cities to see what it also had to offer. However, in retrospect, I’m proud of my achievements. The exposure has given me a little more confidence and brought to my awareness that to become a successful journalist, it takes a lot of practice.


Al Jazeera and the recent Arab “revolution”


        Stephen Cole, Presenter of Al Jazeera English was the very renowned speaker of the Coventry Conversation held last Thursday.

He gave the audience an insight into what Al Jazeera was all about: “We are the fastest growing network, taking centre stage in recent times and Africa is important to us”.

He reiterated that Al Jazeera has nothing to do with Al-Qaeda as people like to suggest. The US government however has a tensed relationship with them, with former President Bush expressing that he wanted to bomb them. As to whether that was a joke, they are not sure. Nonetheless their offices have been hit twice by troops and this they believe was a deliberate attack.

He explained that the Americans changed their minds after seeing their broadcast on Bin Laden. US viewers, who are becoming more interested in Al Jazeera, watch the channel by other means. This new alliance has been a transformative impetus.

Arabic channels, he added, have emerged in the last 1990 and this has given a voice to the marginalised political parties, which are not heard. Al Jazeera was also demonised for giving a contrary opinion on war. America, however, has woken up to the truth. He also affirmed that the cold war that existed between Al Jazeera and America has ended because of US secretary of state, Hilary Clinton’s visit to Qatar. Cole stated that Al Jazeera is becoming a channel of reference; however he doesn’t mean this in an arrogant way.

The channel was created by the Qatar government in 1996 and Al Jazeera English is only five years old. The Qatar government pays an estimated Seven hundred and fifty million towards its running. He said: “You don’t get rich by running a channel, you rather get poor.”

The Middle East saw Al Jazeera as an open door. It helped them to understand the media censorship as matters regarding the state were shaped behind closed doors. The only response citizens ever got from delegated ministers on why things went on behind closed doors, was development and deliberation battles were ongoing hence they were not told the full story.

The recent uproars he explained picked up because the tension has been the heartbeat of generations. Over the past 15 years the frustration of the people in the Middle East has been broken, he stated.

The audience were reminded that reporting from war-torn zones are not without dangers. Cole reported the killings of some of their journalists and also about the recent beating of one of their cameramen who is still off duty. He further objected to any connection between Colonel Gaddafi and Al Jazeera. The 1980’s movement, he reminded, are the ties that bind Gaddaffi.

Tunisia’s regime is not a dictatorship, he added. Eighty percent of Tunisian’s belong to the middle class and their level of education is ranked in 5th position in the Arab world. The uproar began with a human-interest story, he narrated: It was “one market trader and a slap. A young market trader was asked to pay bribe toward the spot he sold his produce. Not having enough money on him that day, he asked if he could go home and get some money when he was slapped. The rage behind the slap was because it was done by an officer who was a woman. The trader saw that as a disgrace to have been slapped by a woman. In his fury he set himself ablaze in the market place to express his frustration on how bribe taking has sunk so low to even a common market trader.”

On Jan 30 Al Jazeera was ordered to be shut down with Nilesat also breaking the contract. However ten Arab sister channels came to their rescue. The breaking of the satellite, Cole stated, has brought about an unexpected new opportunity since it causes people to devise other means of obtaining news. This radical means was strengthened by the vast majority of North African’s who are predominantly under the age of twenty-five.

Mr Cole describes Al Jazeera’s coverage on the Egyptian revolution as their ‘CNN moment’: “People around the world want us. Al Jazeera has become must see TV especially if you want to know what is happening in the Arab world”.

Looking at Al Jazeera’s new engagement, it has become a trusted news provider. The editorial lines are carefully scrutinised hence increasing a powerful alliance between the news media. They have broken the media monopoly.

“We were in Tunis, we were in Cairo’s Tahrir Square and we have deployed five of our team to Japan even though it is a very expensive trip.” He went on to say: “Once people have access to information they can decide their own fate. What we are about is to extract information from the powerful to the people because in reality those who make changes and decisions keep their own people in the dark”.

He acknowledges that what set Al Jazeera apart during Cairo’s uproar was their level of dialogue, as they were speaking to citizens directly. More so, they conveyed a better sense of what was happening. Additionally they are not accustomed to deploying journalists just to cover stories but rather they make use of the ones they have.

Mr Cole mentioned that they are over running many news networks; where news networks were making cuts they were making it their focus and through this they develop a unique identity, he said: “The environment you broadcast adds colour to your network”.

When asked if their broadcasting techniques turned a ‘mob’ into a future ‘mob’ he replied: “we have passed the accuracy test and Al Jazeera broadcasts the truth.” Subsequently when asked if they were the voice to the Middle East he replied with an empathic ‘no’ saying: “we are a channel just like any other.”

He stated that Qatar plays no political role in Al Jazeera. The Qatari government is aiming to raise the profile of its country hence, the vast amount of money they are contributing to Al Jazeera. He additionally reminded us that the Qatari government’s enormous contribution does not influence their job in anyway neither does it affect what news stories they cover. Al Jazeera, he reaffirmed, gets both sides. Not the White House side and one side as done by other networks.

The secrets to news presenting, he gave away, was to have a deep calm. However he emphasised on the amount of research that needed to be done: “Every story should always have a lot of background.”

He concluded with valuable advice to aspiring journalists: “keep reading and read everything because you always get something from the things you read. Find a mentor if you can.”

Picture Source:…/Jan/30/tvnews.television

My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding: Fact or Fiction?

Romany Journalist and broadcaster Jake Bowers dropped by at the Herbert Art Gallery on Friday the 4th, to give us an insight in to channel 4’s cutting edge documentary “My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding”

A programme watched by 9 million viewers with the statistics growing weekly has been a huge success the makers say and an American version is ‘in the pipe line.

More than two thirds of the audience who attended the presentation by show of hands believed they were watching a documentary as well as a true insight into the traveller’s community.

Mr Bowers started his presentation with an overview of who he is. I am a husband, a father, a brother and a friend he said.

He is also a Romany gypsy community member, a former presenter of BBC radio programme for the travelling community. He has contributed to the ‘Guardian’, the ‘independent’ and the ‘ecologist.’ He edits the Traveller’s Times and runs a Gypsy Media Company which aims to broadcast the real truth about gypsies.

Additionally, he gave an over view of who gypsy travellers are. They are an estimate of 30,000 people with Romany gypsies forming 60 percent whilst ethically Irish traveller’s forms 10 percent. New traveller’s form 5% however these are people who have chosen to live their lives as travellers: Nomadic by choice. Roma gypsies form 15 percent and they tend to be darker skin and come from eastern European state. In all we are looking at a population of over 12 million people; bigger than Sweden and Denmark put together he reported.

Over the years gypsies have always been portrayed negatively in the media. They have been stereotyped in literature as depicted in the ‘hutch back of Notre dame’ and in film as seen in ‘Snatch’ for example.

Press propaganda against this community hasn’t been any better. The continuous negative representation of his community is one of the reasons he became a journalist. He stated that he used to think he was the only Romani journalist but added there are three others now.

He reiterated the fact that the programme has been created having no experts from the gypsy community involved and a dress maker acting as spokes person is not in good taste.

Journalist Bowers described the programme as a sneering ‘mockumentary’ not journalism. The Tone and voice over did no justice to the documentary either. Young brides tripping and falling over on their wedding day was just disgraceful not to mention the wrong invited guests in attendance. He added: this is just ‘Trailer trash Flintstones’ showing an unbalanced representation and adding insult not insight.

Channel 4 defended themselves saying they didn’t create any new stereotype. Mr Bowers stated that they didn’t challenge the old ones either but have rather added to it and that was an utter heartbreak to his community. The added stereotype has resulted in unprecedented consequences such as people losing their jobs and also encouraged more bullying in the play ground.

He distastefully stated how his culture has been described as everything that glistens. This is clearly shown in the wedding and communion dresses deck in thousands of crystals. Anyone watching this programme would think we were all ‘loaded’ he said.

Grabbing, he strongly reaffirmed “is not a gypsy tradition. It is a blatant sexual that does not define who we are.” This is a programme that sexualises children, juxtaposes young gypsy girls as prostitute but with morals, women are presented as domestic slaves and their world is described as a man’s world.

He admitted that their attitude towards woman may not be up to date with the 21st century’s definition but describing their world as misogynistic one is deeply offensive.”

The gypsy culture he enlightened has its roots in India so it affects the way they dress and how they see women, however they do accord respect to their women. Eighty percent of the people used in the programme were Irish travellers and that is a poor presentation of Britain’s gypsies.

This programme has prompted a backlash from the gypsy community.  There has being a massive internet revolution and complaints to channel 4 as well as 175,000 facebook fans. The Guardian has called it a platform for bigotry and this resulted in a change of the sound track so that it was less mockery.

Channel 4 has been rumbled for presenting documentary as fact and this programme has prompted an unfinished business and the debate will still carry. The programme was entertainment and should have been clearly labelled as such he added.

Mr Bowers also mentioned that his greatest objection to the programme is not what was in it but rather what could have been in it. There are lots of untold story about the gypsy community. The programme could have looked at  Roma as the fastest growing community, the forced sterilisation of gypsy women, the educational segregation they experience, poverty, crime and also the trafficking of gypsies from Europe.

This programme has left some viewer genuinely surprised as well as fuelled more hatred. There is a great deal of debate going on about representation and non-gypsies are left confused. However the silver lining he sees, is the programme has granted his community a huge media attention.

He concluded that “being gypsy is not defined by life style but rather by bloodline. We have a language and an identity.

When asked if the gypsy community was a secretive one he boldly replied “no”. We are just like everybody else and we just want to live our lives. Most of us don’t live in caravans anymore he added.

Teletubbies: “Eh-OH, Uh-Oh”

 Award winning British producer, writer and composer, Andrew Davenport, was speaker for Thursday’s Coventry conversations.

Dubbed as ‘the J K Rowling of the under fives’, his charisma held the attention of eager adults who were ready to hear all about the children’s series that took the nation by storm.

His presentation was about two of the works he is most associated with: Teletubbies and In the Night Garden. The aim of his creation with Anne Wood was to connect with the universal experience of childhood.

Davenport, a speech scientist by background said: “Playing is an important thing to look at in child development. Child play tells us a lot about their cognitive and social development.”

Teletubbies was aimed at pre-school children and this he described as the most important stage in the development of a child. In The Night Garden however was aimed at children over 3 years of age. He also added that a new language emerges in play before it comes out in the real world: “with Teletubbies came a whole new infantile language.”

Teletubbies was shot in the beautiful grassy landscape of Stratford upon Avon giving it a sense of reality. The visual work is effective in the way it appealed to children and the vast landscape also allowed for things to be described as ‘here’, ‘there’ and ‘over there’. The visual positioning is a way of communicating to children that even though things may be in the distance – ‘over there’ – and they couldn’t see it, it still exited.

The Teletubbies, aired by BBC on the 31st of March 1999, became a critical as well as a commercial success in Britain with 19 people placing calls to the BBC calling it infantile and silly. Some saw it as dumping the British culture and although most people thought of the programme as silly, the audience didn’t find it so. 

Davenport further added that teletubbies was being misunderstood because it excluded the adult audience. Some parents reported that their child’s language development skill is going backwards instead of forward. This was because they have taught their infants to say ‘hello’ properly but after watching teletubbies they say ‘Eh-oh.’

 He justified this complaint by saying, language acquisition is a constant and resilient process therefore it goes forward and not backwards. Children in general ‘’mimic infantile language because it is appealing and that is the reason why teletubbuies speak the way they do’’, he explained. He also mentioned that children will speak appropriately when in different social setting therefore older children mimicked infantile language just to seek attention from their parents.

Teletubbies were created to speak a silly and playful language but in a relevant way. They couldn’t speak any differently because the ‘playfulness’ in the language is what makes a teletubbie. Like saying ‘Eh-oh’ for hello and ‘Uh-oh’ a common toddler’s response to describe events or anything that is not good. The repetitive nature was because children love repetition. The teletubbies are dressed in different bold colours to allow toddlers to follow their constant consecutive movements.

To move the programme forward, Mr. Davenport said he relied on the memories from his childhood and these were occasions at his grandmother’s house, the tradition of tucking him in bed and telling him bedtime stories.

This also brought about the creation of ‘In the night garden’ which featured a new landscape and new possibilities. The title also suggested the beginning of something different hence the characters were created by what they do adding to it the feeling of a living book.

He added that bedtime stories were appealing because he saw the characters as resilient and also they have lived through the years of the stories being handed down from generations. The impossibilities in the rhymes as such ‘the cow jumps over the moon’ gave children a sense of imagination, hence creating a picture in their mind and thus developing their thinking ability. He also wanted to give children a beautiful and romantic idea of bedtime as bedtimes stories were dying out and children were becoming hesitant to go to bed.

The drawings he said were not amazing from the start but were side-stepped by his adult imagination.

‘You start with a design, and as you work with performers everything changes and adapts but it is important not to lose the original idea of what the character was design to do’. An example he said was for ‘Upsy Daisy’.

He wrote books and the melodies that went with programme and the melodies he said came to him whilst designing and as the characters fell into place.

‘In The Night Garden’ was shot in HD and that was the biggest technology at that time. Despite the few technical difficulties the great resolution allowed opportunities in the way things could be shot. The inclusion of an old fashion style animation which was familiar with parents was an attempt to draw them in as some parents were the main critics of the programme. We had an idea there of an audience who were watching a programme which was not made for them he said.

His source of inspiration came from a children’s book over 200 years old published in 1792 called ‘Evening at home children.’  All the things he remembers as a child worked for him he said, because that is what he grew up with so his experiences would also make sense to other children. The popularity of the programme also created a high demand for teletubbie dolls during Christmas periods.

A live stage show of teletubbies is about to start in April 14.The show has been adapted to fit the age group it is reaching out to because conventional theatres are not designed for seating children of that age.

Davenport added: ‘’the younger the children the more universal the programme is likely to appeal to them’’. He believed pre-school children share the same experiences universally. Outside this age group however experiences are different because cultural differences come into play.

Teletubbies also reaches to an audience in Australia, China, the Fareast and some parts of Africa and the programme is tested on children before it is aired.

When asked if he was proud that children as well as some adults all over the world have grown up speaking his language. He modestly replied: “it is the teletubies language.”  When also asked if he saw himself as an educator, he responded by saying: ‘’Stories are used to educate and impart knowledge. The process of understanding a story and developing meaning involves practise and concentration’’.

He was asked what advice he would give to budding journalist and creators. He said the advice applied to anything.

“If you want to make something that is different and ground breaking then you are half way there at becoming successful. Always start from your audience.”

He further added that making contacts with people in various circles of life is not as difficult as it looked. “Once you have something to show someone you are half way there.”

(Information about teletubbies stage show: www.inthenightgardenlive

Finding the perfect abode


This is the time of year when students are anxious to find a place to live. Apart from the existing students there will be an influx of first years coming in September. Finding the right place to live can seem a daunting task but when done patiently the result is rewarding.

Do take the following into consideration as you look for a place to live in the coming academic year. 

  •  Decide the kind of accommodation you want to live in.
  •  Have a realistic budget you can afford.
  • Choose your housemates carefully. If you are not getting along well in halls now it won’t get any better when you move in with them.
  • Don’t rush into finding houses; nevertheless don’t leave it till the end.
  • Go for at least two or three viewings before coming to a decision. Possibly go with a friend for a second opinion.
  • Choose an accommodation with ‘character’ and also something that reflects you.
  • Have a ‘good feeling’ about the house when you walk through the door.
  • Have a clear idea of where you want to live whether in the city centre or on the outskirts of the ring road.
  • Disperse the myth that students are untidy and hence pay no attention to where they live.
  • Take into account the general cleanliness and up keep of where you choose to live.

When the difficult part of finding the perfect place is done…

  • Ensure your deposit is secured.
  • Keep a hard-copy of the contract agreement
  • It is also advisable to keep a record or a receipt of all rent payments.

Now off you go to find the perfect abode. Good luck….