TV and radio personalities crown student podcast competition winners

30 April 2024

A podcast created by students from Alperton Community School in Wembley has won first prize in a competition run by the University of Derby in collaboration with Gogglebox star and education expert Baasit Siddiqui.

The podcast, the work of students Aisha, Gunn and Tariq, is titled ‘Would you marry an AI?’ and explores themes around AI taking over humans. The students were presented with their prize of £200 of Amazon vouchers each, as well as £500 for their school, by Baasit, podcast producer Pete Allen – both University of Derby graduates – and Head of Journalism Dr Gurvinder Aujla-Sidhu, at a ceremony at the University.

The competition was open to students at schools that had signed up for Get Ready for Uni, a series of videos developed by Baasit in partnership with the University. Designed for teachers to use with their students, the videos cover a variety of topics to support them as they prepare for their future and the transition to university – including personal confidence, research, academic writing, digital technology and cooking. The runners-up were a team from Littleover Community School in Derby.

Baasit studied Business and Information Systems at the University of Derby and went on to train and work as a teacher. In 2018 he started his own business, Siddiqui Education, working with young people to raise aspirations. Since 2013 he and his family have appeared regularly on Channel 4’s Gogglebox.

Baasit said:

“Podcasting is the way forward and it is really important that students are building their transferable skills to have the confidence to share their concepts and ideas and show creativity and chemistry. These groups did extremely well.

“It has been great to work with the University to celebrate these students and to bring them here so they can see what the future might have in store for them. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to have professionals from the University and from industry confirm for the students and their teachers who came with them how talented they are and how much potential they have.”

A group of people smiling
Pete Allen, Dr Gurvinder Aujla-Sidhu and Baasit Siddiqui with the winning team

The students and their teachers were given a guided tour of the University’s facilities for journalism, including the recording studios and green screen room, where they were able to try out the equipment for themselves. Baasit will also visit the shortlisted teams’ schools to deliver a bespoke masterclass.

Pete Allen, who studied Computer Science at the University, worked in radio for 25 years, including as co-presenter of the ‘Dino and Pete’ breakfast show on Capital East Midlands. He is the founder of Carrotcruncher Media, which creates podcasts for business clients.

He said:

“I was delighted to support the competition because I’m passionate about podcasts and I am always looking for the next generation and the upcoming people who are going to be great tomorrow and are great today and I am finding them right here.

“It has been a pleasure to spend time with the students and to explore the facilities with them, including the green screen room. Some of the recording equipment here at the University is better than industry equipment, which sets students up so that they can walk into a studio anywhere and create.”

Aisha from Alperton Community School said that the team were “over the moon” to have won. She said:

“We are all really thrilled to have been given the amazing opportunity to take part in this competition, to choose our own topic, and to talk about something that we are interested in.”

The Get Ready for Uni series was created to provide information and support to young people at a key transition point in their lives.

Liam Dowson, Head of Schools and Colleges Engagement at the University of Derby, said:

“More than 50 schools have now signed up to the video series, and we are hearing from teachers that there is a real need for this kind of content to help them guide students as they prepare to take their next steps. As a university rated Gold for Teaching Excellence, we are delighted to work with Baasit to support the next generation of game-changers, including our deserving winners.”

Schools can sign up for the Get Ready for Uni programme on the University’s website.

Find out more about studying at the University of Derby.

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