Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Secret Of The White City



As we walked through cyber city to where we needed to go, it was an interesting awakening as to how it all worked. White City is the address and white it is indeed. The buildings and decor look vaguely reminiscent of the Big Brother set. Completely modern and scarily angular.

A far cry from the original White City that the site is named after.

It was 5 p.m. as we arrived, and so the building was being vacated by hundreds of staff, or so we thought. Everyone looked the same. All thin and wiry with girls who all had long hair and jeans with trousers that fitted them, but which would be too tight on your average person's Barbie doll.

As we sat down, I looked ahead. Through the window I saw a bar, where people were buying drinks and settling in for the evening. Needing to post a card for my father for Father's Day, I asked someone if there was a post box nearby. I was directed to a post office, which conveniently was placed on site, along with a Starbucks, a Tesco, a beauty parlour, hairdressers and a restaurant. I went back to ED and commented that no-one need ever go home. We decided that all they would need would be a sleeping bag and they could live and work there forever.

In fact, it was suddenly clear as to why the BBC is such a closed shop when it comes to getting a job. You clearly have to be born into the BBC Cyber Community. I think they must have a maternity wing on floor 10 and a retirement wing on floor 12. From here, they breed all their future BBC employees to provide the rest of us with the next generation of newscasters and BBC producers.

This is where they quite clearly get the ideas for the Dr. Who scripts. How ironic. So close to home and so far from the rest of the world.

ED and I decide to have a Starbucks at the on site facility, prior to returning home on the train. I notice that they have managed to get the same pricing structure through to to Cyber City and spend most of the next ten minutes in a daze at having spent £5 on a coffee, and orange juice and two biscuits. And they didn't even give me a china mug for my coffee.

We then went next door into Tesco to buy some sustenance for the train, where of course I could have bought 10 litres of orange juice for that same £5.

As we left Cyber City, we walked past many BBC employees having drinks on the lawns, settling in for the weekend. And then I had a sudden dawning.

I knew the reason why, despite 20 years of applying for jobs in the BEEB, writing to them, blagging interviews, doing voluntary stuff for them with the Action Desk, working on a Community station for three years, writing a newspaper column for three years, and doing professional voice overs for people, I had still not been successful in getting a job with old Auntie.

It isn't that I wasn't born into the community on Floor 10, or that my experience isn't relevant.

It's because my legs aren't thin enough. Not necessarily fat you understand, just not Barbie thin. Never have been. Of course, they won't let people know that that plays a part in their recruitment process. They couldn't. But I know. They can't pretend to me any longer.

And now, with that knowledge I feel so much better about life.

And if you happen to see Mark Thompson on your travels, do let him know that I've worked out "The Secret" won't you?

p.s. A card arrived this morning from Enidd, of, seemingly, another "White City", in Molvania. It took a while to reach me from Molvania, but it got here at last. It's the second one she sent, as the first one has got lost somewhere in postland. But it arrived just in time for Enidd to settle into the USA! Thank you Enidd! It was much appreciated.

Thank you Enidd!:


A picture of White City in 1908. This is the site that was used later for the BBC White City.

30 comments:

ChrisB said...

Sally I love your insight into the beeb, you tell it so well (lol); are we going to get learn more about the outcome?!
Now what do have to do to get a post card from enidd!! it was nice to see her back online.

Akelamalu said...

No chance for me getting a job at the BEEB with my legs then! Thanks for the info. :)

Asha said...

Legs and jobs are related,huh?! I believe you.It's always the skinny one get the job faster!;D
Enidd's cards are beautiful,specially the first one.

Sally Lomax said...

Chris - I won one of Enidd's competitions! She said that she would send me a pressy - but I asked her to just send me a postcard - which she did!
Ak - I thought that people would be pleased to know!

Sally Lomax said...

Asha - Clearly!
RE: the cards, it's only the first one that is from Enidd (which was actaully her second if you get the gist). The other one is a picture of "White City" as it was in 1908, before the British Broadcasting Company bought the site...

hubby said...

I guess that rules me out for working at the beeb as well. Shucks!

Perhaps the few less aesthetic-pleasing specimens who do manage to sneak past the White City controls end up as the monsters on the Dr Who set?

Sally Lomax said...

That's nice. Less than aesthetic. You have a way with words!

Lisa said...

I loved the part about the matrnity ward, too funny!
I know the type of place. Even the most normal-sized people feel like cows among the employees (kind of like Abercrombie & Fitch here!)

enidd said...

hi sally, enidd's glad the card finally got there. are there any similar rules for writers, do you think? perhaps enidd's nose is too big, or her upper arms are too flabby?

Sally Lomax said...

Lisa - exactly right!
Enidd - It's probably that you paint your toe nails the wrong colour, the right colour only being available via the BBC intranet to current employees.

The very nice man said...

Shall I have a word in Wogan's ear for you??
BBC . . . does that stand for "Bring Big Cleavage"???

Alice Band said...

Funny you should say that Sally. I did a cookery programme a couple of years ago with a very well known director of a very famous celeb chef. ITV bought it and it is still doing the rounds on all the satellite food channels. Last year I did a small audition filmed by the same director who showed it to the BBC. Apprently they were after something sexier...and they didn't even see my legs, all size 18 of them!

Sally Lomax said...

VNM - If you know Wogan that would be great, yes please!

Alice - Cookery shows on t.v.? Tell us more! Can you YouTube it?

Flowerpot said...

Well who wants legs like that anyway?! I used to work round the corner from the Beeb in Langham Place (see current blog posting) at a TV news agency and several of the Beeb people we worked with are still there now - 17 years on. (Charlotte Green for one) So you're right!

headless chicken said...

Sally - I think the BBC are crazy not to have snapped you up already for your own prime-time t.v.chat show. You could be the next Parkinson....only younger and better looking....and female of course!!..And there's ED - never mind the Beeb, with looks and talent like that she is destined for the big screen,surely!!!!:D

Sally Lomax said...

Flowerpot - Saw your post! Glad I got it right.
HC - AWWW thank you!!

Alice Band said...

You Tube? Never thought of that. I'll email you about it.
One of my best lines to camera though was, indicating Hubby - "He is the Johnny to my fanny!"

elena jane said...

interesting observations....enidd's arrived, yay....great postcards :)

Ignorminious said...

Ah damn, there goes my career as a weather girl! Fat hairy man legs are probably enough to get me bumped all the way down to Channel 4 I expect :(

Sally's ED said...

aww thanks HC!=)
Fab post mum!
I have developed a theory though that they are all thin because they were all born on floor twelve, so therefore all originate from the same twelve gorgeous, skinny people who presented the BBC News and Weather in the beginning...

THEREFORE no fat genes have been allowed in as there has been no external input into their DNA!

(And they all live on Tall Skinny Double Cappuccinos and Tesco paella anyhow!)

Though with any luck, the interbreeding will soon result in a Forest-of-Dean-esque situation, where they have size zero legs poking out their noses...

then we will have the last laugh!

muahahahahaaa
x x x x x

Sally Lomax said...

Well.......Alice!!!!
EJ - Indeed!
Ig - I'm sure you'd make a great weather girl really.
ED - Apparently according to Belle who left a commnet on her own blog about it, they call White City - WC!!

Fi said...

Thank you for your comment last week about being 33! :) It's always nice, in a peculiar way,to hear from strangers. My legs arent up to the job either...

Mary Alice said...

tee hee....I don't know about the legs here in the US, (though I am sure they are small too) but what I have noticed is that the news ladies have extraordinarily large heads, thereby creating an illusion of an even tinier body...though even with a normal head they would appear fashionably emaciated

Sharm said...

glad the card finally got there

have a nice day
:))

Beccy said...

I'm not surprised to hear that the beeb is a closed shop. Shame for you though!

Jayne said...

Legs are over rated. I could never work at the beeb then, I'm never able to shave mny legs properly. I doubt they'd employ hairy ankled women either.

meredic said...

ummm.... am I alone then in not really finding tall skinny people gorgeous. I like, now how can I put this in such a way that I can offend almost everyone, how about 'a little more fat on my pork chop'.
There, I think that even covers the muslims.

Little Miss Moi said...

Dear sally. While I haven't been to White City, there are lots of places in Sydney that fits that commercial / residential description. Usually the big computer companies dominate.. but they have EVERYTHING! I used to think, "Ahh wouldn't it be great to live here and get a job here.." but they're so devoid of character-y old buildings etc.. Plus, I did think once I got swallowed up, I'd never be able to leave.

Sally Lomax said...

Fi - Hi! Welcome to the blog! And it's true what I said about young 33 year olds!
Mary Alice - That must be what they have based Bratz dolls on then!! Big heads and skinny bodies. NOT attractive!
Sharm - And you.
Beccy - Welcome back!! We've missed you!
Jayne - Their loss though!
Meredic - No not alone. Hubby says something similar, but usually manages to offend. Poor hubby.
LMM - Exactly. It could be scary really!

Alice Band said...

Are you ok Sally? We haven't heard from you for a while. Hope your dumps aren't too down.