It’s a gig many established journalists would give their right hands for - an interview, in person, with one of the world’s most popular rock bands.
But it was a group a young wannabe journalists who got the opportunity of a lifetime on Tuesday when they were invited to a special interview session with The Script as part of the BBC Radio 1 Academy - which rolled into the city this month in advance of next week’s highly anticipated Big Weekend event.
The youngsters, aged from their mid teens to their mid 20s, took part in a workshop with local journalists (myself included) on how to research a subject matter, prepare questions and settle those nerves before being invited to an exclusive Live Lounge performance with Danny O’Donoghue, Mark Sheehan and Glen Power.
The band, who hail from Dublin, performed a stripped back cover of Rihanna’s song ‘Stay’ live on air with Alice Levine before treating the students and other invited guests to performances to two of their songs Millionaires and Hall of Fame.
The students were tasked with both reviewing the Live Lounge peformance and interviewing the band afterwards - during a 40 minute long session.
They were then tasked with writing up both articles - and one lucky student will win the chance to shadow a reporter for the day during the Big Weekend.
Most of the students hadn’t expected to get so close to the Script - and with some major fans in the mix, it proved to be a both a nerve- racking and inspiring experience.
And for The Script it was a chance to sing the praises of Derry. The band said they were excited to see Derry emerge from the past and embrace the music scene.
The told the students, and the audience at their Live Lounge Performance, they were looking forward to playing at Radio 1’s Big Weekend. They will take to the main stage on Sunday, May 26 - and promise to bring their biggest hits with them.
“It will be a case of don’t bore us, get to the chorus,” Danny O’Donoghue said, promising that Hall of Fame and The Man Who Can’t Be Moved will feature in the set list. “No one wants to hear the B-sides,” he said.
The event was one of a number of workshops run by BBC Radio One over the course of the week - which has also seen a number of the stations top DJs arriving in the city to broadcast from live from The Nerve Centre.
Radio 1 talent who broadcast their shows from the Academy includes Phil Taggart, Huw Stephens, Zane Lowe and Greg James as well as Nick Grimshaw, who finished his Radio 1 Breakfast Show Tour in the venue on Monday,
Phil Taggart and Alice Levine also broadcast their 10pm – midnight show live from BBC Radio Foyle Monday – Wednesday and from the Academy on Thursday evening.
The Academy will also played host to the return of Radio 1’s Big Conversation. Hosts Nihal and Tina Daheley were joined by young voices from the area to debate the key issues that are affecting them.
They talked about the hopes and dreams of a young UK, ask what does the future look like and what needs to be done to make their lives better.
During the week long Academy there has been a vast number of practical hands on workshops including DJ Skills – how to improve your performance on stage; how to make a Newsbeat radio bulletin; practical workshops in stage management, event planning and promotion; build beats and mix music for Radio 1; EastEnders – scripting writing workshops; and 6Degrees – directing master-class with production and actors from the series.
Local bands including Little Bear, The Wonder Villains and singer Soak have also had the chance to perform as part of the BBC Radio 1 ‘introducing’ gigs.