Today, June 8th, is the one year anniversary of the 2017 General Election. Straight after I finished work, I headed up to Salford to check into my hotel and got ready for a long night of coverage. Myself and around 25 other young people were about to spend 7 hours on BBC Radio 5 Live watching the results come in and our immediate reactions were to be broadcast across all and everywhere.
Today, June 8th, is also the one year anniversary of me realising that in the fight of Me vs My Misery, I was going to win. A big night all round, I’d say.
I’d spent the previous few weeks ignoring the fact that I’d have to be on national radio for absolutely ages, around a bunch of people I’d never met before, most of whom would have a different opinion to me, and I’d have to be gregarious and extroverted all evening. It felt like the best way to prepare was to block it all from my mind.
Thankfully, meeting people at a live broadcast automatically gives you a million talking points with everyone you meet, and with seven hours of radio ahead, no one’s going to get confrontational; who did you vote for? where are you from? what are you studying? which way did you vote in the referendum? (Bonus point – you can ask this twice to anyone who’s Scottish) have you done anything with the BBC before? what do you think the result will be? isn’t it annoying how we can’t be drinking whilst everyone else is?
The good ol’ Beeb were also post a bunch of clips of the night on social media. Have a look at this one from the start of the night – I’m in the sleeveless maroon, or more obviously, I’m the excited one. I might look a bit manic, but I don’t look like the misery I’d been feeling for the previous god knows how long.
— BBC Radio 5 live (@bbc5live) 8 June 2017
I don’t need to dissect the night for you, there are more than enough proper commentators that can do that for you. It’s far more important to mention how as a huge group, we supported and debated and stuck together, and at times almost everyone was in unison – I’m thinking of the moment Nick Clegg lost his seat, not naming names but there were even a few Lib Dems happy about that. Unsurprisingly, the atmosphere was electric all night and by the time we all got back to our respective hotels at 6am, and the euphoria of the night wore into the DUP centered push notifications we were all getting, I knew something had shifted in me. Sadness had loosened its grip on me.
I headed home after approximately three hours sleep because my [political insult redacted*] boss wouldn’t give me the full day off despite me giving two weeks’ notice. That evening I went on Canadian radio station CBC and did an interview on the same show as Lord Buckethead which was probably the highlight of the whole thing.
A few days later I put up a nice tweet much to this effect, thanking the BBC for having me and discussing the momentous evening it was for me. So, thanks again for letting me be there on such a big night (special thanks to Vicky Farncombe in particular for inviting me), and all the young folks who were in the Labour/SNP/Tory/few others pocket I sat with all night. Special thanks to Oli for being my best pal from that night onward, and happy anniversary to me.
*Pretty sure he was a Blairite.**
**My spellcheck wants to correct Blairite to Irritable. Nice.