Nick Grimshaw: Radio 1 team assistant for a day

Team assistants at Radio 1: they don’t just make the tea. Nick Grimshaw steps into their shoes for the day and finds out whether he can hack it for Access All Areas.

Team assistants, or TAs as they’re known, are the hidden voice in radio. More than just making the tea, they play a crucial role in keeping shows running smoothly. But what do they actually do, and could someone like Grimmy cut it as a TA?

As he finds out from his TA Amy Elizabeth, the job requires organisation, planning and a level head. The TA will have to report music and sound effects, and make music notes to help the presenter introduce new tracks. Once the show’s over, they also have to make sure the schedule for next day is in order, otherwise presenters and producers don’t know what’s happening. As Grimmy says, “You need to be ‘on it’ for this job.”

“Grimmy’s alright, but whether he has the attention span for it, I’m not sure!”– Robby Williams

Unlike the producer and presenter, the TA will be the only person outside the studio, and link the studio to the outside world. They will also be the ones getting any callers ready to go on air – no easy task, as Grimmy finds out in this film.

For TA Robby Williams, who works on the 1Xtra Breakfast Show and with DJs Trevor Nelson and Sarah-Jane Crawford, briefing callers is your chance to shine. “When you get callers up, it’s your chance at producing radio. So if you put a rubbish caller on, more than likely the next three minutes of radio is going to be forgettable.”

The role is a balance of admin and editing clips that will go out on air, so there’s plenty of opportunity to get creative too. But you need to know how to use your time. On a fast paced show, if a task takes more than five minutes, then TAs need to know when to call it quits – and need to know how to break it to the production team.

The verdict on Grimmy?  “Alright…,”, according to Robby, “but whether he has the attention span for it, I’m not sure!”

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