Masterclass for uni students with CBeebies presenter Gemma Hunt

Gemma Hunt, CBeebies presenter, at University of Bedfordshire
Gemma Hunt, CBeebies presenter, at University of Bedfordshire

A presenter of children’s TV went back to the classroom to help budding stars of the future.

CBeebies presenter and BA (Hons) media performance graduate Gemma Hunt returned to the University of Bedfordshire to give a masterclass on interview techniques.

A presenter on TV’s Swashbuckle, Gemma returned to share nuggets of information on how to conduct an interview from the research stages right through to the live event.

The masterclass was put on to aid media performance students with their project, a joint venture with the first year BA (Hons) television production students where they conduct a 10-minute interview with a featured guest before an audience.

Gemma said: “I think it’s really important for as many people from industry come in to speak to students because it gives them hope, that they can make it too.

“But also it’s a change of voice. Often the lecturers are saying to the students week in, week out exactly what I’m saying, but because I come in as fresh blood, they listen more to me.”

Gemma emphasised the importance of listening by putting the second year students in pairs and asking them to tell each other about their morning routine face to face and then to recount the details to each other.

The pressure was then upped by turning their backs to one another and increasing the volume to simulate having an earpiece in.

It was then time for the students to boost their presenting skills by doing a run through of their interview which will be live streamed on the day.

Gemma gave each student detailed individual feedback as well as overall group feedback – something that the students found invaluable in the run up to their assessment.

Gemma added: “I learnt the craft of presenting here at the university, because they gave me all the groundwork; not just how to perform on camera, but also studio etiquette, how to behave in the industry, how different types of corporations work.

“All that kind of stuff that was really, really, important for me when I started my career in television, so I am so grateful for the valuable experience that the university has given me and I really hope that the students now make the most of their experience here as well.”

Dr Maria Weiner, senior lecturer in media performance said: “Gemma is an inspiration to the students because she has graduated from the same course that they are studying. She has a brilliant career, a charismatic personality.

“It’s not just her experience but her accessibility that make these masterclasses so successful.”