STUDENTS were in the hotseat for a live broadcast celebrating 70 years of the NHS at Queen Alexandra Hospital yesterday.
University of Portsmouth students studying television and broadcast media showcased their skills by quizzing a number of leading people from the hospital as a packed audience watched on.
The students’ broadcast was beamed live via a video link onto Portsmouth City Council’s large screen in Guildhall Square.
The production by the 16-strong team of third year students saw producers, journalists and camera crew all frantically pulling together to make sure things ran smoothly.
Consultant transplant surgeon Paul Gibbs and matron Bev Vaughan were among those interviewed.
Student Sam Kavanagh, who was producing the broadcast, said: ‘It was quite challenging because we were broadcasting live which we are not used to doing.
‘Obviously new problems are going to crop up as a result of that which is the point of us doing it.
‘We had to make a lot of changes at the last minute but I think it went well and hopefully we displayed the passion everyone has for the NHS.’
Gary Bown, principal lecturer at the university’s School of Creative Technologies department, said he was pleased with the broadcast despite inevitably having to overcome last minute hitches. ‘It can be quite stressful putting a live broadcast on, especially with students who have not done it before,’ he said.
‘It takes a fair bit of organisation and support, though just before we were about to go live there was a problem with the satellite company we were using with its website going down.
‘This resulted in a few frantic phone calls to Germany. It meant we could not monitor things and had to cut our show down.
‘But live television is all about problem solving.
‘We also had a script that was written some time ago but because we had some good interviewees coming in at the last minute we had to change what we were doing, so the students had to adapt and go off script.
‘I think they did really well. It was special doing the broadcast for the NHS – it’s an institution we’re all very proud of. Long may it continue.’