Children In Need 2003
In 2003 it was decided to revive YSTV's traditional fundraising show accompanying the BBC's appeal being broadcast at the same time. This was partly because new original productions were desperately needed on the station, and partly because it was felt that this was the sort of programme YSTV should be doing. The show was nominally produced by Jonathan Bufton but as with most things that term it was overall a group effort from the Gang of Four.
The previous programme was made in 1999. Production paperwork indicates that a programme was planned for 2000 but not proceeded with. The reasons for this are unclear but it's thought that there had been concerns that 1999 had been and so the event was dropped and not picked up again.
Because of this 2003's programme was intentionally kept fairly simple and low-key. The show would be presented mainly from the "broom cupboard" self-operating set in the corner of the studio in order to keep the numbers of crew needed down (and partly to inspire interest in Off The Cuff which eventually launched in January 2004). The BBC's donation number was superimposed by the new Graphics PC in the corner of the screen, however this caused issues whenever the programme joined BBC1, who obviously already had one in the same position!
On the night before the main programme, a number of short pre-records were made from the YSTV Week desk. These included a short parody of the news show involving custard pies, which was also converted into a trailer broadcast all day on Friday. URY's James Gallagher also recorded a short segment involving custard pies as he was unable to attent Friday's show. A number of "x-rated" versions were also recorded, and only saw the light of day in YSTV's Bloomers in June 2005, along with other material from this "session" where Ed Jellard had a particularly OTT reaction to the shaving foam used.
On the night the programme was broadcast from 7pm for four hours. Usually two presenters hosted from the broom cupboard, and would be able to play music videos in order to fill time when there was nothing else to do. They were able to monitor BBC1's programme and cut to it when something interesting was happening - such as a Doctor Who/Weakest Link parody and Shane Richie performing that year's Children In Need single "I'm Your Man" (well, I say interesting...). The broom cupboard was decorated with posters and graphics from that year's fundraising pack.
A number of others went around campus bars (and CostCutter and the library in one trip) collecting money with a DV camera. This footage would be replayed on air once the fundraisers returned to Goodricke.Unlike previous years there was little tie-in with RAG's Children In Need fundraising apart from official collecting buckets being given to the station.
The final element of the show was custard pieing. It was thought that including this would add an element of fun to the programme and attract attention in the bars. An early idea was to pre-record the custard pie-ing of sabbatical officers and YUSU types, however despite enthusiasm by some to take part the usual university red tape meant that anything like this would have to be classed as an "event" and go through the usual time-consuming chanels. Consequently all pieing would be done in the studio. A fairly basic set of black drapes and stools was made in the corner of the studio oppostite the broom cupboard, and most YSTV regulars were pied at some point in the night (as well as two random blokes from Derwent bar who turned up after being encouraged by bucket-shakers to come along). In order to avoid the shaving foam, people would have to answer three questions - the first two being deceptively easy and the final something like "name's YSTV's station director from 2000 to 2001". The custard pie element was retained all subsequent Children In Need programmes.
The show ended in chaos as all of the crew assembled on the "pie set" to apparently use all the remaining shaving foam to pie themselves (around a dozen pies). However the two main presenters Jonathan and Ed hadn't been told that all the pies were going to be aimed at them. Chaos ensued as they were caked in shaving foam and no-one was in any state to wrap up the programme. The only remaining crew member in the control room, Dave Baker, cut the output to BBC1 whilst everyone cleaned up (although in the actual close of the programme he received his fair share of the foam). A clip of this incident was included in the title sequences of both the 2004 and 2005 programmes, and was rescreened in full four years after the event during Children In Need 2007 where Jonathan was interviewed about his memories of the show and also given a surprise custard pieing to bring us full circle!
Despite the somewhat hurried production and improvised nature of the show it was a lot of fun to do, and the bucket-shakers raised over £100. The success of this show re-established Children In Need as a regular annual event on YSTV.
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