On the 12th June myself, Ellie and Harina (all from year 13) got the exciting opportunity to attend BBC North West tonight’s EU referendum special. Harina and myself were representing young people voting out, whilst Ellie was a strong remain advocate.
Having previously been asked to each submit 2 questions to be pre picked for the debate we arrived at media city knowing that Harina would definitely be able to grill the panel taking a stance from the out side as one of her questions had been picked. However Ellie and myself had to wait and see if we would be able to get our voices heard.
On arrival at media city we were all greeted and met the rest of the audience, a small group of people all with big opinions. We got to know a few people, and it quickly became apparent we were the only young people present- no surprise there! This only spurred us on more to be able to have our say.
After a drink and a chat we were moved into the studio, the same one in which they record Jeremy Kyle, and there we were prepped and powdered ready for our staring moment. The debate was ran by Roger Johnson from North West Tonight and the panel consisted of the following people-
Lisa Nardy, Labour MP for Wigan (Remain)
Paul Nuttall, UKIP deputy leader (Leave)
Janet Beer, University of Liverpool vice chancellor (Remain)
Nigel Evans, Conservative MP for Ribble Valley (Leave)
The NHS, education and immigration were some of liveliest areas of debate, whoever the whole debate was non-stop and in the end we ended up filming more than was fitted into the programme. However, we did all get our time to shine.
Harina’s question kicked off the whole debate and began things rolling, the audience and panel were very lively and facts and figures were flying everywhere. As Alty Girls, we all sat there patiently waiting for our chance to speak raising our hand every minute or so to get chosen.
Sadly, this tactic wasn’t the most successful and as the debate moved on we got more and more hyped up about wanting to speak and raise the issue that we as young people believed to be important.
On the last point of the debate my yellow cardigan finally got me noticed and I was able to give my point about the lack of political education and information for young people. I told the panel and audience that the scaremongering was putting young people off voting at all and this was a big problem. They agreed however, in true politician style didn’t have much of an answer for me.
The debate came to a close, but we still felt as young people we hadn’t had our say. So, Ellie went on to record her views for the end of the programme, before the three of us spoke to a BBC reporter about the lack on inclusion of young people for the whole referendum. We also had the opportunity to have a chat with Roger, and met a lovely lady to had developed a clever idea of coins with ‘leave’ on one side and ‘remain’ on the other for those who were unsure what to vote.
We throughly enjoyed our time filming and being involved at the BBC and would like to thank Mrs Bowyer for getting us such a wonderful opportunity. It was great to be able to see ourselves back when the programme was aired and get support and feedback from many people via social media. It was an added bonus to appear as a clip in the BBC EU advert!
If you would like to watch the debate it is still available on iplayer at the following link-
Lauren Barclay 13-1