From 2002 to 2005 I worked as a BBC Producer on the innovative digital storytelling project ‘Telling Lives’.
Digital stories enable ordinary people to write, edit & broadcast their own personal story in a short film format using their own photos and a voice-over narrative.
The form originated in America and was introduced in the UK, initially in Wales by Daniel Meadows, through the BBC project ‘Capture Wales’. The model was rolled out to the BBC English regions as ‘Telling Lives’, with teams based in Blackburn and Hull. As Producer of the Hull team I was responsible under Executive Director Barrie Stephenson for managing a small but skilled & dedicated team with Annabel McCourt, Olivia Cubberley & Christine Gledhill.
Over the course of 3 years we enabled hundreds of people of all ages and backgrounds to tell their own story and broadcast it on the BBC website, on radio & on television. Participants signed up for an intensive week’s workshop, learnt the digital skills required, wrote & recorded a voice over narrative, and edited a short film using their own personal photographs. Stories were gathered from across the Humber region & the North West, Norwich, London, Leeds & Northern Ireland, and the collection offers a compelling snapshot of contemporary lives and personal histories.
‘The People’s War’
In 2005 I worked in Manchester as the North West Broadcast Co-ordinator for the BBC Peoples War.
I was responsible for recruiting & training a team of volunteers to help local people tell their WW2 stories for the dedicated BBC website, and produce television content for broadcast on ‘North West Tonight’, and audio stories for BBC Greater Manchester Radio, Radio Lancashire & Radio Merseyside.
I also wrote and presented an hour long radio programme for GMR distilling the stories of the region’s war veterans, evacuees, and the Home Front.
Over the course of the project we held storytelling sessions at WW2 events across the North West and on the Isle of Man. We worked with pupils at a number of schools and took a group of veterans down to London as part of the national reminiscence events with regular live broadcast feeds back to Manchester.
It was an great project to work on and I feel privileged to have met so many amazing people, helped document their stories, and contribute to the national archive that is now in the British Library.
Radio 4 Programmes
‘I have also worked freelance for the BBC as a writer & presenter for Radio 4.
‘Turning the Tide’ (broadcast 1994) told the story of the 1968 Hull triple trawler tragedy and fishermen’s wives campaign for improved safety.
“Excellent. Creed sets the scene with great sympathy and economy and then allows the women themselves to tell the heroic story” (The Times) Pick of the Week – Radio 4
‘Take the Money! Open the Box!’ (broadcast ’95 & ’96) was a three part series exploring why people take risks – emotional, physical and spiritual. A wide range of people’s experiences were portrayed, and the programme required me to take some risks myself- including skydiving, flying trapeze, and a live stand up comedy slot (none of which I’ve had the nerve to repeat)
‘Deep Water Hull’
Deep Water Hull was a web based project in 2008 that enabled Hull & East Yorkshire people to tell their stories of the 2007 floods that devastated the city.
The project was initiated by Jellycat Media and funded by the Red Cross
Stories could be uploaded direct to the website and as part of the project we held many story gathering events in community centres, libraries, church halls and even in supermarkets.
Some stories were also recorded in audio and video format.
Many of the stories were subsequently portrayed in the play ‘Every Time it Rains’ written for & produced by Hull Truck in 2009
You can see some of the Hull flood stories by clicking on deepwaterhull